Friday, October 25, 2013

No. 1 Caldwell smokes Rockets 50-3

MARION, Ky. – No one expected it.
Caldwell County's National Honors Society raised $1,500. Al
and Angela Starnes accepted the money and say they will
donate it to St. Jude Children's Hospital. Here is the post-game
ceremony and presentation at midfield.

No one could have seen this coming – not in a million years.

Utterly unbelievable. 

Gold and Blue mixed in an indiscernible galaxy of sweat and tears, holding hands reciting the Lord's Prayer at midfield. Bitter rivals, Caldwell County and Crittenden County came together in unison following Friday night's football game at Rocket Stadium. No one in the house seemed to care that Caldwell had just spanked the pants off Crittenden 50-3. 

No, everyone expected such an outcome. The undefeated Tigers – four points shy of a state championship last year – are back on a collision course with a return trip to the Class 2A finals. The polls have had them No. 1 since preseason and so far, no one has challenged that status.

What happened on the field beyond the game was much bigger than anything on the scoreboard. Spearheaded by the Caldwell County National Honors Society, every player, every coach and many others were wearing "Fight Like Coach" T-shirts, honoring Rocket coach Al Starnes' battle with colon cancer. It was a gesture made even larger by last week's diagnosis of Starnes' wife, Angela, with breast cancer.

The athletes had the shirts on all night under their pads. At the final horn, the jerseys came off, revealing a scene that tugged at everyone's heart. 

"That touched me," said Starnes. "It was one of the truest acts of kindness I've ever seen."

Starnes said he and his wife, who is Crittenden's athletic director, have decided to donate the money raised from the sale of the T-shirts to St. Jude's Children's Hospital. 

Between the lines, Caldwell County was much rougher on their age-old foes. Tiger quarterback Elijah Sindelar passed for 228 yards. It took Caldwell just 10 first-half plays to ring up six touchdowns. Two Rocket fumbles made it even easier for their guests.

Sindelar, who is considered by at least one scouting agency as one of the top 10 high school quarterbacks in the country, showed why he's so highly touted. He missed on just one pass and threw for four touchdowns. His only pass that didn't go for a score was a 61-yarder to Eli Pepper. Although Sindelar launched it like a missile nearly 50 yards in the air, Pepper had to stop to make the catch, giving Crittenden's defense just enough time to make a tackle.

The Rocket offense moved the ball in the first half, or the score might have been worse. It was the only thing that slowed the Tigers. Crittenden managed several first downs and kept the ball away from the Tigers. In the first 16 minutes of the game, Caldwell had the ball less than a minute. 

Crittenden kicker Micah Hollamon scored the Rockets' only points and nearly matched the school record doing it. His 41-yard field goal in the second period was three feet shy of Brad Madden's best ever.

A couple of players were hurt in the game. Crittenden's Brenden Phillips suffered a knee injury after rushing for a team-high 46 yards in the first half. He didn't play at all in the second half. Neither did Caldwell's JaMichael Ellis, one its top running backs, who hurt his knee, too, in the first half. 

Caldwell County    14    28    0    8
Crittenden County   0     3     0    0

Cald-Jordan Young 81 pas from Elijah Sindelar (Brett Seymore kick) 4:47, 1st
Cald-Jaylen Boyd 52 run (Seymore kick) 4:24, 1st
Critt-Micah Hollamon 41 field goal, 7:15, 2nd
Cald-DeMetreus Cain 6 run (Seymore kick) 6:26, 2nd
Cald-Eli Pepper 24 pass from Sindelar (Syemore kick) 6:02, 2nd
Cald-Elijah Anderson 9 pass from Sindelar (Seymore kick) 5:19, 2nd
Cald-Cain 53 pass from Sindelar (Seymore kick) 2:48, 2nd
Cald-Alan Getz 24 run (Getz run) 4:14, 4th

First Downs: Crittenden 9, Caldwell 3
Penalties: Crittenden 0, Caldwell 2-20
Rushing: Crittenden 38-105, Caldwell 19-208
Passing: Crittenden 3-6-0, 21 yds., Caldwell 5-6-0, 228 yds.
Total Yards: Crittenden 126, Caldwell 436
Fumbles/Lost: Crittenden 2-0, Caldwell 0-0

Crittenden: Lane Wallace 15-34, Maeson Myers 4-27, Dylan Hollis 2-(-1), Brenden Phillips 11-46, Nick Castiller 1-(-8), Austin Sitar 1-0, Noah Dickerson 2-1, Charlie Johnson 2-6. Caldwell: Getz 9-85, Boyd 1-52, Charlie Traylor 3-17, JaMichael Ellis 1-7, Cain 2-13, Caleb Perkins 3-34.
Crittenden: Dickerson 2-2-0, 13 yds., Castiller 1-3-0, 8 yds., Paxton Riley 0-1-0. Caldwell: Sindelar 5-6-0, 228 yds.
Crittenden: Wallace 1-10, Alex Cosby 1-8, Hollis 1-3. Caldwell: Cain 1-53, Anderson 1-9, Pepper 2-85, Young 1-81.
Tinsley solo, assist; Greenwell solo, 3 assists; Wallace solo; Birdwell 2 solos, assist; Castiller assist; Cosby solo, 3 assists; Fitzgerald 2 solos, 2 assists; Hollis solo; Hood assist; A.McKinney assist; T.McKinney solo, 3 assists; Sitar 4 solos, assist, TFL; Cummins solo, assist; Ellington 3 assists; Hunt assist; Myers 4 solos, 2 assists, TFL.

Records: Crittenden 3-6 (0-3), Caldwell 9-0 (3-0).