Friday, October 31, 2008

Rockets fall 21-7 at Caldwell

PRINCETON, Ky. -- There were no Halloween tricks and the customary Caldwell curse was non existent. Still, the Rockets were unable to overcome the quick Tiger defense and lost their final game of the season 21-7 at Princeton.

Crittenden County (7-3) found no surprises in what Caldwell County (6-3) did during the game. The problem was that the Rockets provide little support for senior running back Rodney Robertson's 142 yards rushing and Caldwell won the grudge match with surprising ease.

The Rockets made it a game with a 57-yard, third-quarter touchdown pass from quarterback J.D. Gray to Dustin McConnell. Despite Crittenden pulling to within 14-7 at that point, Caldwell was generally in charge of the ebb and flow of the contest. The Tigers kept Gray at bay, holding him to just 14 yards on the ground and the Rocket quarterback's passes were less than crisp as he over threw and under threw receivers while being chased in the backfield by Caldwell's persistent pass rush.

Crittenden misfired in the red zone twice in the first half, coming up empty as Caldwell scored on two of its three first-half possession for a 14-0 edge.

The Rockets got on the scoreboard after Gray intercepted a Will Barnes pass in the end zone then Crittenden went 80 yards for a touchdown thanks to the long pass and catch by Gray and McConnell. Otherwise, the Rocket offense punted three times and failed on four fourth-down tries in Caldwell territory.

Caldwell bottled up Gray, who has been a major threat when he spreads the field and looks for running lanes. The Tiger defensive speed closed the gaps quickly and they missed very few chances on open field tackles.

Two third-quarter onside kicks recovered by the Rockets - who had grabbed three the prior week against Fulton County - were of little comfort. Despite getting the two balls in Caldwell territory, Crittenden was unable to capitalize against a fundamentally sound Tiger defense.

Save Robertson's rushing yardage and McConnell's long reception, Crittenden managed only a dozen plays for positive yardage. Minus Robertson and McConnell, the Rockets netted just 35 yards. Meanwhile, Barnes threw for 205, completing 17 of 21 passes. 

Crittenden will be off next week as the rest of the state's teams finish the regular season. The Rockets are back in action Nov. 14 at home against Kentucky Country Day in the first round of the Class A playoffs. Caldwell goes to Mayfield next week to finish its regular season before meeting Owensboro Catholic in the 2A playoffs.

Pictured above is Crittenden's Gaige Courtney blocking for Rodney Robertson who is right over his shoulder carrying the ball.

Crittenden County 0 0 7 0
Caldwell County 7 7 0 7

Cald-Brandon Sigler 16 run (Glen Gray kick) 2:57, 1st
Cald-Eric Faughn 6 pass from Will Barnes (Gray kick) :21, 2nd
Critt-Dustin McConnell 57 pass from J.D. Gray (J.R. Adams kick) 5:34, 3rd
Cald-Tron Gray 20 pass from Barnes (Gray kick) 7:43, 4th

First Downs: Crittenden 9, Caldwell 16
Penalties: Crittenden 5-40, Caldwell 3-30
Rushing: Crittenden 35-154, Caldwell 29-13
Passing: Crittenden 6-13-0, 80 yds., Caldwell 17-21-1, 205 yds.
Total Yards: Crittenden 234, Caldwell 328
Fumbles/Lost: Crittenden 1-0, Caldwell 1-0

Crittenden: Rodney Robertson 18-142, J.D. Gray 14-14, Gaige Courtney 2-4, Tanner Nix 1-(-6). Caldwell: Sigler 13-59, Jaquan Glover 5-15, Bryce Boone 1-15, Tron Gray 5-20, Barnes 4-7.
Crittenden: Gray 6-13-0, 80 yds. Caldwell: Barnes 17-21-1, 205 yds.
Crittenden: McConnell 1-57, Robertson 2-6, Courtney 1-0, Brian Berry 1-8, Joey Pluskota 1-9.
A.Berry 6 solos, 4 assists, 3 TFL; B.Berry 2 solos, 2 assists; Clark 3 solos, 5 assists, TFL, caused fumble; Courtney 6 solos, 7 assists; Cudnik 2 solos, 2 assists; Freeman 5 solos, assist; 2 TFL; Pluskota solo, 3 assists, TFL, caused fumble; Long 2 assists; McConnell 5 solos, assist, 2 TFL; Nix 2 assists; Robertson 3 solos, 2 assists; Thornton 3 assists; Urbanowski 2 solos, assist; Werne 2 solos, 2 assists.
Players of the Game: Offense Robertson, Defense Courtney, Lineman A.Berry, Special Teams J.R. Adams.
Records: Crittenden 7-3, Caldwell 6-3

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and other Rocket football video.