Friday, November 17, 2017

Starnes era ends 44-8 in state quarterfinal

Coach Starnes and his wife and daughter talk to WPSD-TV
after the game, which signaled the end to his 27-year career
as football coach at Crittenden County.
MARION, Ky. – The Al Starnes coaching era that started 27 seasons ago came to an end Friday night with a 44-8 loss to Campbellsville in a Class A state quarterfinal at Rocket Stadium.

The Eagles’ dominating ground game took command of the regional championship game early as Devonte Cubit rushed for 181 yards and five touchdowns.

Campbellsville (7-6) took a 23-8 lead into halftime and then scored on three of five possessions in the final two periods. Late in the fourth period, the reality of it all began setting in on the longtime Rocket skipper, who had guided his team to a fourth trip the state quarterfinals.

“A lot was going through my mind,” Starnes recalled as the seconds ticked away on the most successful coaching tenure in Rocket football history. “The biggest thing was how these kids were fighting until the very end. They have nothing to hold their heads down about. They were district champions and regional runner-up.”

While Crittenden (8-5) was struggling to get its offense on track – it had no first downs in the pivotal third period when Campbellsville began to pull away – the Eagles piled up 338 yards rushing with two backs over 100 yards.

Senior Brady Birk brings down Eagle running back
Devonte Cubit, who rushed for five TDs.
“They’re a heck of a football team. We knew that coming in,” Starnes said. “We couldn’t stop them. We would try to key on one running back and they’d give it to the others.”

Starnes said finishing his career at home was a significant opportunity.

“I thank these kids for allowing me to finish it at home. It means so much to me and family. We will forever remember that. These kids accomplished more than they understand. It was a great year.”

This season, the Rockets won a district championship, the sixth since Starnes has been coach and eighth all time and they played in a regional championship game for the sixth time in school history. Starnes guided the Rockets to four of those quarterfinal berths and his boys won the crown in 2008.

Although his head coaching career is complete, Starnes said he plans to be on the Crittenden sideline next season to be part of what he predicts will be another great year for Rocket football. 

Campbellsville 16 7 7 14
Crittenden Co. 8 0 0 0

Ca-Devonte Cubit 7 run (Charlie Pettigrew run) 4:44, 1st
Cr-Hunter Boone 1 run (Cody Belt pass from Boone) 2:33, 1st
Ca-Cubit 16 run (Pettigrew run) :24, 1st
Ca-Cubit 6 run (Bryce Richardson kick) 4:04, 2nd
Ca-Cubit 9 run (Richardson kick) 8:16, 3rd
Ca-Cubit 2 run (kick failed) 11:57, 4th
Ca-Cubit 15 run (Braden Paige run) 9:00, 4th

First Downs: Crittenden 10, Campbellsville 15
Penalties: Crittenden 2-10, Campbellsville 6-45
Rushing: Crittenden 20-49, Campbellsville 52, 338
Passing: Crittenden 11-23-1, 178 yds., Campbellsville 4-7-1, 66 yds.
Total Yards: Crittenden 227, Campbellsville 404
Fumbles/Lost: Crittenden 2-1, Campbellsville 0-0

Crittenden: Devon Nesbitt 10-29, Xander Tabor 5-11, Caden McCalister 1-2, Boone 4-7. Campbellsville: Cubit 28-181, Malachi Croley 6-50, DeaSean VanCleave 4-45, Pettigrew 12-110, Riggie Thomas 1-(-5), Pagie 1-2.
Crittenden: Boone 10-22-1, 141 yds., Nesbitt 1-1-0, 37 yds. Campbellsville: Arren Hash 4-7-1, 66 yds.
Crittenden: Ethan Dossett 5-91, Branen Lamey 2-24, Belt 4-63. Campbellsville: VanCleave 2-34, Dakota Reardon 2-32.
A. Beavers: 12 solo, 10 asst, TFL
C. Belt: 5 asst
B. Birk: 2 solo, 4 asst
K. Castiller: solo, 2 asst
J. Estes: solo, 8 asst
M. Hunt: 4 solo, 7 asst
M. Joyce: solo, 4 asst
B. Lamey: 4 solo, 2 asst, TFL
S. O'Leary: 4 solo, 15 asst, FR
P. Riley: 4 solo, 5 asst
H. Jones: 5 asst
T. Boone: 12 solo, 6 asst, INT
C. McCalister: 5 solo, 3 asst, TFL
B. Winders: 5 solo, 5 asst, TFL
Records: Crittenden 8-5, Campbellsville 7-6