Friday, September 14, 2012

Tilghman hands Rockets biggest loss in 45 years

Tilghman's Tre Coleman – a college prospect – puts the rush on
Rocket QB Travis Gilbert.
MARION, Ky – It was the worst home loss in 45 years.

The Rockets were helpless against Tilghman's barrage of offensive weapons as the Rockets fell 54-0 in their worst defeat since losing at home by 56 to Owensboro Catholic in 1967. Crittenden had also lost by 54 to Russellville in 1994.

With Tilghman quarterback Jordan Tyler on the sideline nursing a bad knee, the visiting Tornado turned to its running game to easily dispatch the Rockets and end a two-game losing streak. Tilghman (3-2), a consensus Top 5 most of the season, came into the contest after losing to Mayfield and Graves County. 

Tilghman scored on all but one possession, posting seven touchdowns and two long field goals by junior kicker Miles Butler. Tilghman also returned two punts for touchdowns and racked up 278 yards on offense.

Backup quarterback Aaron Armstrong was solid in his debut behind center, completing 3-of-7 passes for 59 yards, but it was third-team QB Jessie Dunigan who had the game's only passing touchdown late in the game on a 16-yard strike to Sayven McEwen.

Joeshawn Starks, who was recently ruled eligible by the KHSAA, scored a touchdown, rushed for a team-high 62 yards and led the team in receiving with 38 yards. 

The Tornado defense smothered the Rockets (2-2), who were playing without starting tailback Grant Gardner, who had rushed for more than 100 yards in each of his first three games this season. Gardner was out with a hip injury, but expected to be back in action next week against Reidland. Without him, Crittenden managed just 47 yards on the ground and only five first downs. Crittenden County was unable to move the ball, but tried to keep drives by calling plays on fourth down. The Rockets converted one fourth-down pass on a fake punt, but two running plays on fourth down gave Tilghman great field position.

In fact, the Tornado had a short field all night. Only once on nine possession did they start a drive from their own territory. The Rockets fumbled twice in the game, but both turnovers came late in the fourth quarter after the outcome was firmly determined. 

Brenden Phillips led the Rockets with 30 yards rushing and Bobby Knox caught a pass for 36 yards, a team high receiving. His pass came on a fake punt from Noah Dickerson to keep a short-lived drive going.

Butler, Tilghman's kicker, made five extra-point kicks in the contest, and kicked field goals of 37 and 35 yards.

Paducah Tilghman     20     3     17    14
Crittenden County        0      0      0      0

PT-James Hill 25 run (Miles Butler kick) 9:05, 1st
PT-Darrius Spivey-Nunn 68 punt return (Butler kick) 5:01, 1st
PT-Joeshawn Starks 55 run (pass failed) 1:33, 1st
PT-Butler 37 field goal 5:24, 2nd
PT-Spivey-Nunn 11 run (Butler kick) 8:56, 3rd
PT-Hill 19 run (Butler kick) 4:52, 3rd
PT-Butler 35 field goal :07, 3rd
PT-Olajuwon Harmon 58 punt return (Butler kick) 10:12, 4th
PT-Sayven McEwen 16 pass from Jessie Dunigan (Reese Butler kick) 5:16, 4TH

First Downs: Crittenden 5, Tilghman 7
Penalties: Crittenden 3-25, Tilghman 6-55
Rushing: Crittenden 33-47, Tilghman 27-203
Passing: Crittenden 6-12-0, 48 yds., Tilghman 4-8-0, 75 yds.
Total Yards: Crittenden 95, Tilghman 278
Fumbles/Lost: Crittenden 2-2, Tilghamn 1-0

Crittenden-Dylan Hollis 3-7, Zach Tinsley 12-15, Austin Sitar 1-2, Brenden Phillips 8-30, Jacob Young 7-6, Travis Gilbert 2-(-13). Tilghman-Hill 12-59, Tre Coleman 2-12, Spivey-Nunn 4-48, Starks 4-62, Terrell Murdock 1-6, Aaron Armstrong 1-5.
Crittendne-Gilbert 5-11-0, 19 yds., Noah Dickerson 1-1-0, 29 yds. Tilghman-Armstrong 3-7-0, 59 yds., Dunigan 1-1-0, 16 yds.
Crittenden-Daniel Wagoner 3-9, Bobby Nox 2-36, Clint Asbridge 1-3. Tilghman-Chris Flemmons 1-13, Spivey-Nunn 1-8, Starks 1-38, McEwen 1-16.

Asbridge 2 solos, assist; Bebout 2 solos, assist; Clark 4 solos, 2 assists; Cozart 5 solos, TFL; Knox 3 solos, assist, TFL; Roberts solo; Gilbert solo, 2 assist; Phillips 3 solos, assist, TFL; Tinsley solo; Wallace 6 solos; Young solo; T.McKinney solo; Sitar solo.

Records: Tilghman 3-2, Crittenden 2-2