PRINCETON, Ky. – Senior quarterback J.D. Gray rushed for 99 yards on seven carries in the first period as he and his Rockets set the tone early and cruised to an easy 35-6 victory over Class 4A Hopkins Central in the Caldwell County Medical Bowl Friday at Princeton.
While Crittenden was quick out of the chute with its elusive running quarterback, Hopkins Central was a non-starter. The Storm showed little strength on offense after beating Caldwell County 6-0 a week earlier. The Rocket defense was stellar, holding Hopkins Central to just 106 total yards and throwing the Storm for a loss or no gain on nearly half of its 21 running plays.
Meanwhile, the Rockets' methodical running attack never missed a beat as Gray finished with 140 yards on the ground and junior tailback Brian Berry had 101 yards and three touchdowns. Gray also threw for 60 yards, completing 5 of 7 passes including a first-period TD to tight end Dylan Clark.
The Rockets used their typical smash-mouth offense to peel the Storm for 368 yards. Tanner Nix rushed for 56 yards on plays designed to get him quickly to the corner. Otherwise, the Rockets pounded Hopkins Central right between the eyes, running behind its big, but largely young front line.
Hopkins Central avoided the shutout late in the game when Orlando Lovan caught the Rockets off guard on a fourth-quarter kickoff and raced 90 yards for the touchdown. It was the only highlight for the Storm, whose quarterback was unable to find anything on the ground or in the air. He was the team's leading rusher with 20 yards on a dozen carries and managed just 59 yards on 5 of 17 passing.
The victory gives Crittenden its best start since 2005. The 2-0 Rockets play at McLean County next week in a non-district game.
Pictured above is linebacker Dyllan Thornton breaking up a pass. At top is Brian Berry rushing for some of his 101 yards.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Hopkins Central 0 0 0 6
Crittenden County 14 7 7 7
CC-J.D. Gray 14 run (pass failed) 9:13, 1st
CC-Dylan Clark 13 pass from Gray (Clark pass from Gray) :30, 1st
CC-Brian Berry 3 run (J.R. Adams kick), 5:28, 2nd
CC-Berry 3 run (Adams kick) 4:14, 3rd
CC-Berry 5 run (Adams kick) 2:37, 4th
HC-Orlando Lovan 90 kickoff return 2:22, 4th
First Downs: Crittenden 17, Hopkins Cent. 6
Penalties: Crittenden 3-25, Hopkins Cent. 4-35
Rushing: Crittenden 50-308, Hopkins Cent. 21-47
Passing: Crittenden 6-8-0, 67 yds., Hopkins Cent. 5-17-1, 59 yds.
Total Yards: Crittenden 368, Hopkins Cent. 106
Fumbles/Lost: Crittenden 1-0, Hopkins Cent. 1-0
Rushing: Crittenden-Gray 17-140, Berry 21-101, Tanner Nix 4-56, Andrew Freeman 6-10, Dustin Hernandez 1-2, Bowe Wallace 1-(-1). Hopkins Cent.-Lucas Crawley 12-20, Anthony Qualls 3-18, Micah Rorer 3-13, Aninio Nance 2-5, Stephen Gordon 1-(-2), Jessie Almon 1-(-7).
Passing: Crittenden-Gray 5-7-0, 60 yds., Berry 1-1-0, 7 yds. Hopkins Cent.-Crawley 5-17-1, 59 yds.
Receiving: Crittenden-Clark 2-24, Berry 2-14, Nix 1-22, Gray 1-7. Hopkins Cent.-Rorer 3-32, Gordon 1-15, Nance 1-12.
Defense: Bebout solo, TFL; A.Berry assist; B.Berry 2 solos, assist; Clark 5 solos, assist, 2 TFL; Fletcher 2 solos, assist, TFL; Freeman solo, 3 assists; Gray solo, 3 assists; Hernandez solo, 2 assists, interception; Knox assist; Lee assist; Long 2 solos; Nix 2 solos; Thornton 5 solos, 3 assists, TFL; B.Wallace 2 assists; Werne solo, 3 assists; Willis assist.
Pizza Hut Players of the Game: Defense: Dyllan Thornton and Dylan Clark. Offense: J.D. Gray. Lineman: Aaron Berry.
Records: Crittenden 2-0, Hopkins Central 1-1