Friday, October 22, 2010

Mayfield takes district title from Rockets

Brian Berry (3) makes a play of Mayfield running back
Shane Ross in the second half.
MAYFIELD, Ky. – Despite what their coach considered a valiant effort, the Rockets just couldn't beat the odds or the numbers at Mayfield in a showdown between the two best Class A football teams in western Kentucky.

The top-ranked Cardinals displayed a plethora of offensive weapons in turning back seventh-ranked Crittenden County 39-19 to capture the First District championship.

Mayfield used nearly everything in its arsenal to get the job done as six players scored for the Cardinals, six different receivers caught passes and sophomore phenom Jonathan Jackson rushed for 202 yards.

"We asked our guys to go out and compete – just fight on every down," Rocket coach Al Starnes said. "We did that against the No. 1 team in the state."

Mayfield overcame a fumble through the end zone for a touchback in the first half and an interception that set up a third-period Crittenden touchdown. Its spirited effort turned back a persistent Rocket attack that stayed in the game for four quarters, but could not muster enough momentum to get out of a hole created by Mayfield's two second-period touchdowns.

"The key to being a great team is that you always answer," Starnes said. "Mayfield is a great football team and every time felt we had something going, got some momentum, they answered."

Crittenden pulled to within 21-12 in the third quarter after quarterback Brian Berry, under heavy duress, got off a remarkable short pass to receiver Robert Cudnik in the end zone. However, the Cardinals responded with a 49-yard run by Jackson to set up a three-yard touchdown run for Shain Ross.

Every time Crittenden scored, Mayfield followed with a touchdown of its own.

"We played okay, but I don't think we were as sharp as we should have been. We just weren't crisp and I guess Crittenden had something to do with that," said Mayfield coach Joe Morris, whose team was coming off a bye week.

"I'll take it though," Morris added. "We came away with a win and the district championship."

The Cardinals got an outstanding performance from senior QB Luke Guhy who complimented Jackson's ground game with 174 yards passing on 12-of-21 accuracy. Crittenden's Grant Gardner picked off one Guhy pass. It was the first time the Mayfield had been intercepted this season.

"We weren't able to stop them," Starnes said. "They just have a lot of weapons."

For their part, the Rockets had trouble finding running room. Mayfield's swarming defense held Crittenden to just 72 yards on the ground. Berry tried to loosen the clamp by hitting 10-of-16 passes for 126 yards, but it wasn't enough.

Starnes told his team he was proud of its "pride, heart and determination" after the game and challenged the Rockets to return to Mayfield for a regional showdown in week three of the playoffs. For Crittenden to do that, it would have to run the table in the first two post-season games against a No. 3 seed, Bethlehem, at home then on the road for a likely rematch with Louisville Holy Cross, a team the Rockets beat last year in the regional semifinals.

First, Critttenden will close out the season next week at home against the second best team in Class 2A, undefeated Murray High.

Crittenden Co.   0    6     6    7
Mayfield              0   21   10   7

M-Devin Jones 42 pass from Luke Guhy (Marc Wynstra kick) 9:48, 2nd
M-Javarius Richardson 27 pass from Guhy (Wynstra kick) 6;01, 2nd
CC-Dustin Hernandez 32 pass from Brian Berry (kick failed) 4:39, 2nd
M-Jonathan Jackson 2 run (Wynstra kick) 2:10, 2nd
CC-Robert Cudnik 6 pass from Berry (pass failed) 8:15, 3rd
M-Shain Ross 3 run (Wynstra kick) 6:08, 3rd
M-Wynstra 24 field goal, 1:50, 3rd
CC-Tanner Nix 30 pass from Berry (Micah Hollaman kick) 9:20, 4th
M-Deandre Jackson 29 run (Wynstra kick) 5:32, 4th

First Downs: Crittenden 6, Mayfield 12
Penalties: Crittenden 2-10, Mayfield 4-30
Rushing: Crittenden 28-72, Mayfield 32-267
Passing: Crittenden 10-16-0, 126 yds., Mayfield 12-21-1, 174 yds.
Total Yards: Crittenden 198, Mayfield 441
Fumbles/Lost: Crittenden 1-1, Mayfield 1-1

Crittenden-Nix 12-32, Andrew Freeman 10-24, Hernandez 1-5, Berry 5-11. Mayfield-J.Jackson 20-202, Decole Noonan 9-25, D.Jackson 1-29, Shain Ross 1-3, Guhy 1-8.
Crittenden-Berry 10-16-0, 126 yds. Mayfield-Guhy 12-21-1, 174 yds.
Crittenden-Hernandez 2-50, Nix 5-63, Cudnik 2-8, Freeman 1-5. Mayfield-Richardson 2-31, William Higgingson 4-46, Jones 2-50, Ross 2-21, Louis Love 1-9, Noonan 1-17.
Bebout 3 assists; Berry 5 solos, assist; Clark assist; Cozart 4 solos, assist; Cudnik 7 solos, 3 assists; Freeman 4 solos, 4 assists; Gardner 5 solos, 2 assists, interception; Hernandez 6 solos, 2 assists; Knox 4 solos, 4 assists, 2 TFL; Long 2 solos, assist; Nix assist; Phillips assist; D.Wallace solo; Werne 7 solos, 4 assists; Willis 5 solos, 4 assists.
Pizza Hut Players of the Game
Defense Robert Cudnik. Offense Brian Berry. Lineman Terry Werne.
Records: Crittenden 7-2, Mayfield 9-0