Friday, October 23, 2015

Rockets lose, finish second in district

Senior Tyler Coleman heads for one of two
touchdowns in the game. He finished with
nine receptions for 149 yards.

MARION, Ky. – Russellville may have won the district championship Friday at Rocket Stadium, but Crittenden County’s football team earned a measure of self respect.

That might be difficult to understand just looking at the final score where the Panthers bested Crittenden 46-21, but Coach Al Starnes says there is plenty of room for positive introspection.

“We fought. We had a chance. But you just can’t give them 14 points on kickoff returns,” Starnes explained. “You take those away and we’re driving down there to win 28-26.”

Of course the coach knows that Russellville might have dreamed up another way or two to score. After all, the Panthers rushed for 400 yards and had 16 first downs. Moving the football wasn’t a problem.

“What I saw was that we fought and never quit to the end.” the coach added.

He says that is something his team can take through next week's final regular-season game at Ballard Memorial and into the playoffs next month.

Crittenden did show plenty of life throughout the game, and actually pulled to within 26-14 in the third period on senior receiver Tyler Coleman’s second touchdown reception from senior quarterback Nick Castiller.

Travis McKinney (75) and Travis Fitzgerald (55) are
seniors who have been defensive mainstays
for the Rockets this season.

But Russellville answered immediately with one of those kickoff returns and the Panthers were able to keep the Rockets at bay even though Crittenden continued to have success moving the ball through the air in the second half. One a drive ended with a fumble in the end zone for a touchback then an interception in the end zone late in the game kept the score from being a bit closer. 

Crittenden had trouble stopping the Panthers’ wing-T offense that has posted more points this year than any other team in Class A. Bruising 240-pound fullback Bryson Thomas – just a junior – was a workhorse up the gut, rushing for 122 yards and two touchdown. Senior tailback Joshua Bigbee rushed for 109.

Despite the loss, Crittenden will host a first-round playoff game against Caverna on Nov. 7 and finish the season as district runner-up. Russellville, with the First District title in tow, will host Fort Knox to start the postseason. Fulton City will play at Campbellsville and Fulton County at Bethlehem in Bardstown. 

Class A First District
Team Overall Dist.
  1. Russellville 8-1, 3-0
  2. Crittenden Co. 6-3, 2-1
  3. Fulton City 1-8, 1-2
  4. Fulton County 0-9, 0-3

Class A Second District
  1. Bethlehem 7-2, 3-0
  2. Campbellsville 7-2, 2-1
  3. Caverna 2-7, 1-2
  4. Fort Knox 2-7, 0-3

Russellville 6 14 20 6
Crittenden Co. 0 7 7 7

R-Jaylyn McMurry 31 run (kick blocked) 7:53, 1sst
C-Tyler Coleman 60 pass from Nick Castiller (Will Perkins kick) 11:01, 2nd
R-Jason Mitchell 83 kickoff return (Bryson Thomas run) 10:46, 2nd
R-Thomas 7 run (kick failed) 1:44, 2nd
R-Damon Hales 85 kickoff return (run failed) 11:44, 3rd
C-Coleman 36 pass from Castiller (Perkins kick) 9:08, 3rd
R-Thomas 3 run (Milam Watkins kick) 4:50, 3rd
R-Johnny Drumgole 37 run (Watkins kick) 1:27, 3rd
C-Castiller 1 run (Perkins kick) 9:52, 4th
R-McMurry 1 run (kick blocked) 2:35, 4th

First Downs: Crittenden 14, Russellville 16
Penalties: Crittenden 2-20, Russellville 14-111
Rushing: Crittenden 27-49, Russellville 50-400
Passing: Crittenden 17-38-1, 250 yds., Russellville 0-0-0
Total Yards: Crittenden 299, Russellville 400
Fumbles/Lost: Crittenden 1-1, Russellville 1-0

Crittenden: Dylan Hollis 8-10, Maeson Myers 4-23, Castiller 15-16. Russellville: Thomas 17-122, Drumgole 4-48, Joshua Bigbee 18-109, MJ Jones 6-82, McMurry 5-39.
Crittenden: Castiller 17-38-1, 250 yds.
Crittenden: Coleman 9-149, Ethan hunt 2-44, Alex Cosby 1-(-2), Hollis 3-30, Seth Birdwell 2-29.
Beavers assist; Birdwell 9 solos, 6 assists, blocked extra point; Dickerson solo, 3 assists; Fitzgerald 8 solos, 8 assists, TFL, blocked extra point; Hicks 4 solos, 7 assists; Hollis 4 solos, 7 assists; Hopper solo, 8 assists, TFL; Hunt 3 solos, 6 assists, TFL; Lamey 2 solos, 4 assists, onside recovery; T.McKinney 5 solos, 7 assists; Myers 4 solos, 4 assists; Nesbitt 3 assists; Pax.Riley solo; Russelburg assist; Smith 5 solos, 8 assists.
Players of the Game
Offense Tyler Coleman; Defense Seth Birdwell and Travis Fitzgerald, Lineman Fitzgerald, Special Teams Will Perkins.
Records: Crittenden 6-3 (2-1), Russellville 8-1 (3-0)