Saturday, September 8, 2012

Rockets slaughter Union County 35-6

MARION, Ky. – It may have been the cleanest cut in the history of Rocket football.

Union running backs found no where to run, or hide during
Saturday's game at Rocket Stadium. Here, Eli Bebout (56), 
Brenden Phillips (20) and Ryan McDowell (61) converge on
Jashaud Fleming.
It was a masterpiece. 

Hand Rocket football coach Al Starnes a brush and a canvas and he couldn't have painted it prettier.

Plainly put, Crittenden was virtually mistake free in a 35-6 shellacking of Union County Saturday night in a game postponed 24 hours for lightening and storms.

"We needed one like this," Starnes said after the game.

The smile on his face hid what might have been a hint of surprise. Even the head coach of 22 years couldn't have imagined the perfect wave his boys rode to victory over the Braves (1-2). The teams both play in Class 2A, but are in opposite districts of the First Region. They could meet again the playoffs.

The Rockets dominated the line of scrimmage, pounding the ball down field with piston-like rhythm. Twenty-three first downs were testament to the unstoppable march the frontline and backfield mustered against their defenseless guests. Union hardly put up a fight as the Rockets scored on every possession but two, and one of those ended with quarterback Travis Gilbert taking a knee to end the game in the red zone. 

It was all clicking for Crittenden County (2-1) as Gilbert passed for 109 yards on 8-of-11 accuracy and six backs rushed for 324 yards on 60 carries. The first downs and carries were the most in more than a dozen years. 

Grant Gardner continued his blue-collar work with the ball, gaining 105 yards on 28 rushing attempts. He was hurt late in the third period and did not return. Preliminary indication was that he injured the hip he had surgery on during the offseason.
Grant Gardner dives into the end zone for the Rockets'
first touchdown. 

Fullback Brenden Phillips had his best game of the season despite still being a bit gimpy from a bad case of turf toe. He carried the ball 16 times for 88 yards, including one touchdown. His backup, freshman Dylan Hollis rushed for 46 and caught an 18-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. Sophomore Jacob Young rushed for 59 yards. He and Hollis carried the flag during the fourth period when Gardner and Phillips were licking their wounds on the sideline.

While the Rocket offense was methodical in its management and control of the game, Crittenden's defense was equally as impressive. Had it not been for a long kickoff return that set up Union's fourth-quarter touchdown, the Braves likely wouldn't have scored. They managed just three first downs the whole game and rushed for only 19 yards. Sophomore quarterback Davis Joiner completed just 6-of-17 passes and he was intercepted twice – once each by Clint Asbridge and Dakota Stone.

Starnes credited his staff with crafty substitutions that kept fresh players on the field and prevented his boys from getting too tired too early – a problem the first two games this season.

Suffice it to say that Crittenden will try to trace this game into the playbook and use a similar recipe the rest of the season. It was a true Rembrandt.

Union County           0   0    0    7
Crittenden County   7   7   14   7

CC-Grant Gardner 4 run (Sakari Kalpio kick) 5:05, 1st
CC-Bobby Knox 6 pass from Travis Gilbert :26, 2nd
CC-Brenden Phillips 3 run (Micah Hollamon kick) 8:24, 2nd
CC-Dylan Hollis 18 pass from Gilbert (Hollamon kick) :43, 3rd
UC-Jarrell Foster 6 pass from Davis Joiner (run failed) 11:13, 4th
CC-Gilbert 1 run (Hollamon kick) 5:05, 4th

First Downs: Crittenden 23, Union 3
Penalties: Crittenden 2-30, Union 1-5
Rushing: Crittenden 60-324, Union 12-19
Passing: Crittenden 8-11-0, 109 yds., Union 6-17-2, 64 yds.
Total Yards: Crittenden 433, Union 83
Fumbles/Lost: Crittenden 1-0, Union 2-0

Crittenden-Gardner 28-105, Phillips 16-88, Hollis 3-46, Jacob Young 7-59, Noah Dickerson 1-17, Gilbert 5-9. Union-Foster 3-(-5), Freddie Jo Gaines 1-2, Jashaud Fleming 1-2, Silaf Harris 4-21, Davis 3-(-1).
Crittenden-Gilbert 8-11-0, 109 yds., Union-Joiner 6-17-2, 64 yds.
Crittenden-Knox 4-65, Clint Asbridge 2-20, Phillips 1-6, Hollis 1-18. Union-Foster 4-43, Wendell Anglin 1-2, Stu Davis 1-19.
Asbridge solo, assist, interception; Bebout 2 solos, 3 assists; Clark 2 solos, 2 assists, TFL; Cozart 3 solos, assist; Gardner solo, TFL; Knox 5 solos, assist, TFL; McDowell 2 assists; Gilbert solo; Hollamon solo, assist; Phillips solo, 2 assists; Stone 2 solos, TFL; Young 2 solos; Hollis solo.
Defense: 7-member offensive line; Offense: Gilbert and Knox. Special Teams: Dickerson.
Crittenden 2-1, Union 1-2

Union QB Davis Joiner was out of options most of the night .... here, against
the defense of Brenden Phillips (20) and Lance Wallace (25).