Friday, October 31, 2014

Rockets overcome fumbles to beat Fulton

FULTON, Ky. – It was a frightening first half of Halloween football at Fulton Friday, but the Rockets managed to turn some tenuous play into a Week 10 treat, beating the Bulldogs 36-14.

If the first rule in recovering from mistakes is owning up to the errors and moving on, then Crittenden County is to be commended. Almost to a man, the offensive backfield was guilty of first-half blunders. The backs left the ball on the ground five times and the Bulldogs scooped up the loose pigskins like holiday candy. It allowed Fulton to take a 14-14 tie into intermission.

Crittenden very easily could have been head by five or six touchdowns at halftime as four of the early turnovers were in the red zone.

It was a terrifying thought… losing at Fulton to end the season after starting the year with a hefty win over the Bulldogs. Never mind that this opponent will be a district foe next season and sending a resounding message was important to the fragile Rocket psyche.

In the halftime huddle, CCHS coach Al Starnes had a simple message: "Take care of the football."

The Rockets turned the tide in the last two periods, taking the ball away from Fulton three times on turnovers and capitalizing twice with touchdowns. One was a rare touchdown by a lineman. Tackle Travis McKinney stripped the ball from Fulton running back Areon Ferrell and bolted 33 yards, posting the Rockets' final touchdown of the regular season.

Crittenden's defense was in charge most of the way, allowing Fulton just 19 yards on the ground and not much more through the air. A kickoff return accounted for six of the Bulldog points.

Meanwhile, the Rockets racked up 231 yards on the ground bolstered by running backs Maeson Myers and Lane Wallace, who combined for just over 100 yards and quarterback Nick Castiller who had 64. Dylan Hollis rushed for 31 and a touchdown before leaving the game with an apparent concussion late in the second half. He was taken to a nearby hospital for examination. 

Crittenden is now 4-6 on the season – its best finish in four years in Class 2A – and will head to Owensboro Catholic to face the No. 3 Aces in the first round of the playoffs next week.

Crittenden County 7 7 7 15
Fulton City 0 14 0 0

C-Nick Castiller 1 run (Dylan Hicks kick) 2:35, 1st
C-Dylan  Hollis 24 run (Hicks kick) 9:06, 2nd
F-Areon Ferrell 71 kickoff return (run failed) 8:51, 2nd
F-Michael Thomas 17 run (Michael Downing run) :17, 2nd
C-Maeson Myers 3 run (Hicks kick) 4:14, 3rd
C-Myers 8 run (Hicks kick) 6:06, 4th
C-Travis McKinney 33 fumble return (Myers run) 5:48, 4th

First Downs: Crittenden 14, Fulton 7
Penalties: Crittenden 4-50, Fulton 4-20
Rushing: Crittenden 46-231, Fulton 26-19
Passing: Crittenden 4-7-0, 55 yds., Fulton 5-14-1, 51 yds.
Total Yards: Crittenden 231, Fulton 70
Fumbles/Lost: Crittenden 8-6, 8-5

Crittenden: Lane Wallace 14-52, Myers 10-50, Hollis 5-31, Noah Dickerson 2-39, Castiller 13-64, team 1-(-5). Fulton: Thomas 12-9, Cody Bott 1-7, Artemius Joy 5-4, Ferrell 3-7, Tyler Bishop 1-0, Gabe Harned 2-2, Downing 2-(-9).
Crittenden: Castiller 3-6-0, 36 yds., Dickerson 1-1-0, 19 yds. Fulton: Thomas 4-12-1, 56 yds., Aubrey Ware 1-1-0 (-5) yds., Downing 0-1-0.
Crittenden: Hollis 2-36, Dickerson 1-12, Wallace 1-9. Fulton: Nick Ware 1-29, Bishop 1-4, Ferrell 1-16, Brandon Walker 1-7.
Beavers 6 solos, 7 assists, 2 sacks, 3 TFL, caused fumble; J.Belt solo; Birdwell 3 solos, 4 assists, 2 caused fumbles, fumble recovery; Dickerson 2 solos, assist; Fitzgerald 3 solos, 5 assists, TFL, caused fumble, 2 fumble recoveries; N.Greenwell, 2 solos, TFL; Hicks 4 solos, assist, interception; Hollis 4 solos, assist, TFL, fumble recovery; E.Hunt 4 solos, 2 assists, sack; A.McKinney assist; T.McKinney 11 solos, 2 assists, 3 TFL, 3 sacks, 3 caused fumbles, fumble recovery; Myers 2 solos, assist; Wallace 4 solos, 2 assists, TFL.
Pizza Hut Players of the Game
Offense Nick Castiller, Defense Travis McKinney, Lineman Adam Beavers, Special Teams Noah Dickerson
Records: Crittenden 4-6, Fulton 1-8