|Bobby Knox makes a second-half grab.|
Aces quarterback Houston Hartz stretched the Rocket defense for 200 yards and completed six touchdown passes as top-ranked Owensboro Catholic zipped Crittenden County 58-0.
It was the worst playoff loss in school history, but 22nd-year Rocket coach Al Starnes never questioned his team's effort.
"Things didn't turn out the way we wanted them to this year, but it wasn't because we didn't try," said Starnes, who has won 148 games in his career at Crittenden County.
The Rockets (3-11) kept the game respectable for about a quarter against a team that hasn't lost a regular-season game in two years and just one in three seasons.
The Aces scored a couple of early touchdowns, but the Rocket defense forced two straight punts and penetrated into Owensboro territory twice thanks to fourth-down conversions. Neither drive resulted in points, but Crittenden did get to the 22 once before turning the ball over on downs.
Owensboro (11-0) led 27-0 at the half, but had to earn this points. Nearly all its drives started deep in Aces' territory. The second half was a different story, the points came easier.
The hosts, ranked No. 1 in Class 2A virtually all season long, capitalized on excellent field position the last two periods, starting every possession on the Rockets' side of the 50. The Aces put the final punctuation on their victory as defensive back Ryan Clark picked off a Travis Gilbert pass and returned it 95 yards for a touchdown with 22 to seconds to go. Crittenden appeared to be about to score before that after moving to the Owensboro 11.
|Grant Gardner (24) and Brenden Phillips (20) try to stop Catholic|
running back Holden Staples.
The Rockets were able to move the ball at times, relying on their rushing game and periodic passes, mostly to tight end Bobby Knox, who had five receptions for 71 yards. Fullback Brenden Phillips rushed for 52 yards and Grant Gardner ran for 48. Zach Tinsley came off the sideline late to rush for 41.
Gardner finished this season with more than 200 carries, becoming just the fifth back in Rocket history to handle the ball that many times in one year.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Crittenden County 0 0 0 0
Owensboro Catholic 14 13 17 14
OC-Bradley Norcia 16 pass from Houston Hartz (Houston Ray kick) 11:11, 1st
OC-Holden Staples 10 pass from Hartz (Ray kick) 7:57, 1st
OC-Jansen Riney 18 pass from Hartz (Ray kick) 6:45, 2nd
OC-Ryan Clark 15 pass from Hartz (kick failed) 2:15, 2nd
OC-Ray 43 field goal, 8:58, 3rd
OC-Staples 20 run (Ray kick) 6:01, 3rd
OC-Joseph Mills 1 pass from Hartz (Ray kick) 3:15, 3rd
OC-Collin Carrico 11pass from Hartz (Isaac Wilkerson kick) 10:59, 4th
OC-Clark 95 interception return (Wilkerson kick) :22, 4th
First Downs: Crittenden 9, Owensboro 14
Penalties: Crittenden 6-55, Owensboro 2-20
Rushing: Crittenden 43-146, Owensboro 24-174
Passing: Crittenden 9-21-1, 85 yds., Owensboro 14-21-0, 200 yds.
Total Yards: Crittenden 231, Owensboro 374
Fumbles/Lost: Crittenden 1-1, Owensboro 0-0
Crittenden: Zach Tinsley 9-41, Brenden Phillips 11-52, Grant Gardner 18-48, Jacob Young 3-5, Travis Gilbert 1-(-1). Owensboro: Riney 2-19, Chris Vessels 13-48, Staples 8-96, Andrew Carlisle 1-11.
Crittenden: Gilbert 8-20-1, 54 yds., Noah Dickerson 1-1-0, 31 yds.
Crittenden: Bobby Knox 5-71, Gardner 2-5, Dickerson 1-6, Daniel Wagoner 1-3. Owensboro: B.Norcia 2-32, Riney 2-33, Carrico 2-19, Mills 3-39, Staples 1-10, Vessels 3-34, Matthew Norcia 1-19, Clark 1-15.
Asbridge 5 solos; Clark 4 solos, 2 assists; Phillips solo, 3 assists; Bebout 2 solos, 4 assists; Roberts solo; Dickerson 5 solos; Cozart 4 solos, assist; Gardner solo; Wagoner 3 solos, 2 assists; Hollis solo; Castiller 2 assists; Overfield 5 solos; Gilbert assist; Bobby Knox 4 solos, 2 assists.