Friday, August 10, 2012

Rockets score once in Muhlenberg scrimmage

Brenden Phillips runs after intercepting a pass.
at Graves County, 6 p.m.

As predictable in the early preseason, Crittenden County's defense was well ahead of its offensive play during the first scrimmage game Friday against Muhlenberg County at Rocket Stadium.

The Rockets scored the only touchdown in the two-and-one-half-hour pre-season workout. Neither team scored during two 10-play offensive series, and one down-and-distance segment. However, the Rockets posted seven points during a goal-line drill. QB Travis Gilbert passed to running back Brenden Phillips on a fourth-down-and-four play for the only touchdown. Kicker Micah Hollamon kicked the extra point.

There were numerous penalties in the game as both teams try to polish up before their season openers. Muhlenberg plays next week in regular season against Webster County while the Rockets have another scrimmage next Thursday night at Graves County. Kickoff is at 6 p.m.

Grant Gardner takes a handoff from QB Travis Gilbert
Bobby Knox caught four passes during the game and Daniel Wagoner caught two. The Rockets, who have pledged to be more smash-mouth-style on offense this season, had some trouble running up the gut. They had more success when coach Al Starnes spread  the field into offensive sets more reminiscent of recent seasons. The running game didn't get much yardage, but Gilbert was able to move the ball with periodic passes. Tailback Grant Gardner had a couple of good runs, though, as did Phillips at fullback.

During the down-and-distance portion of the scrimmage, Crittenden moved from its own 30 to the Muhlenberg 5-yard line before being held on downs. On the drive, Gilbert completed passes to Knox, Wagoner and Grant Gardner for first downs then kept the ball on a strong run to the nine. However, after setting up first and goal from there, two offside penalties and three incomplete passes stalled the Rockets.

Backup tailback Zach Tinsley hurt his ankle early in the scrimmage and didn't play much afterwards.

Stephon Cozart chases down a ball carrier.
Lineman Stephon Cozart also hurt his left knee in the game. It was visibly swollen when the varsity team came off the field after its portion of the scrimmage. The injury came early in the workout, but Cozart finished play despite the swelling.

Defensively, the Rockets played well against the Mustang's option offense. Crittenden stuffed the run and intercepted two passes. Phillips and Clint Asbridge each picked off passes.

The junior varsity team finished off the scrimmage with some good play. Noah Dickerson played QB for the JV and looked good behind center. Austin Sitar played exceptionally well on defense and ended the scrimmage with big tackle for loss.