PRINCETON, Ky. – Highlight this one in the history book, Crittenden County officially declared its independence from a long drought against Caldwell County, winning a gripping 21-13 football game at Princeton Friday – the Rockets’ first there since 2004.
|Zach Counts (54) and Levi Piper (21) block for|
QB Micah Newcom in the first half.
It didn’t come easy, and it required a stunning pivot to the offensive strategy for Crittenden to capture its first win over Caldwell in 13 tries.
“The steak is over. I love it,” declared lineman Travis Blazina, who’d never beaten Caldwell throughout his football career dating back to little league.
After encountering first-half difficulties throwing the football, including two interceptions – one returned for a touchdown – the Rockets used an old-fashioned approach to seal the deal with stern defense and a strong strong running game down the stretch. After trailing by a touchdown at the half, Crittenden scored once in each of the last two periods while blanking the Tigers. Crittenden had allowed Tiger running back Jamus Carneyhan to roll up 108 yards by the half, but held him to minus-9 after the break. He got most of that first-half total on a 73-yard TD run.
|Preston Morgeson uses a stiff arm to find the edge.|
CCHS quarterback Micah Newcom, whose team played behind the sticks much of the first half due to 70 yards in penalties, was sacked, called for illegal grounding and flushed from the pocket over and over by Caldwell’s rush. Despite the challenges, he still threw for 184 yards, all but 45 came in the first half.
In the final two quarters, Crittenden went almost exclusively to the ground after its first series, which ended with an interception in the end zone. The Rockets had blown four trips inside the 25-yard line at that point, so out came the handoffs.
From there, Newcom rushed for 49 yards the second half and running back Gattin Travis, Levi Piper and Preston Morgeson each had 25 of or more yards as the Rockets scored two unanswered TDs.
Special teams were key as well. Crittenden blocked an extra-point kick and two punts, one of them set up the Rockets’ first score.
Crittenden improved to 2-2 on the season while Caldwell falls to 0-4. The Rockets will have a bye week next Friday and coach Gaige Courtney hopes to use that time off to get some of his injured players healed before hosting a very good Union County the following week.
Crittenden Co. 7 0 7 7
Caldwell Co. 7 6 0 0
Critt-Micah Newcom 5 run (Preston Morgeson kick) 4:47, 1st
Cald-Jamus Carneyhan 73 run (Timothy Nichols kick) 4:43, 2nd
Cald-Logan Chambliss 93 interception return (kick blocked) 10:25, 2nd
Critt-Newcom 11 run (Morgeson kick) 6:09, 3rd
Critt-Newcom 2 run (Morgeson kick) 8:54, 4th
First Downs: Rockets 17, Tigers 13
Penalties: Rockets 10-90, Tigers 7-69
Rushing: Rockets 38-122, Tigers 24-108
Passing: Rockets 16-24-3, 184; Tigers 5-13-0, 69
Total Yards: Rockets 306, Tigers 177
Fumbles/Lost: Rockets 0-0, Tigers 1-1
Rockets: Gattin Travis 8-34, Morgeson 2-25, Levi Piper 3-11, Tyler Belt 2-6, Seth Guess 3-8, Sammy Impastato 1-4, Newcom 18-37, Kaleb Nesbitt 1-(-3). Tigers: Carneyhan 12-99, Luke Parker 11-12, Cooper Mobley 1-(-3).
Rockets: Newcom 16-23-2,184; Seth Guess 0-1-1. Tigers: Parker 5-13-0, 69.
Rockets: Gabe Keller 4-50, Nesbitt 5-56, Morgeson 2-12, Travis 1-14, Casey Cates 2-28, T.Belt 1-20, Case Gobin 1-4. Tigers: Xavier Bumphus 3-65, Carneyhan 1-(-6), Camden Woford 1-4.
Sammy Impastato 2 solos, TFL, fumble recovery, blocked kick; Case Gobin 4 solos, 2 assists, 2 sacks; Kaleb Nesbitt 4 solos, 2 assists, TFL; Briley Berry 4 solos, 3 assists, TFL, sack, blocked kick; Preston Morgeson 3 solos, TFL, blocked kick; Seth Guess 4 solos, 2 assists; Evan Belt assist; Gabe Keller assist; Levi Piper solo, 2 assists; Gattin Travis 4 solos, 3 assists, TFL; Tyler Belt 2 solos, assist; Keelyn Gobin solo, assist.
Players of the Game: Defense Case Gobin, Offense Kaleb Nesbitt, Lineman Zach Counts, Special Teams Briley Berry.
Records: Rockets 2-2, Tigers 0-4