Friday, September 7, 2018

Gap narrows, but Caldwell prevails 32-20

Post Game: Down, but not out...

PRINCETON, Ky. – That gap which has more often than not been a great divide was closed a bit, but Caldwell County still maintains an upper hand in this 50-game series.

Both teams came into Friday's border-rivalry ranked among the Top 10 in their respective classes, but the Tigers used a superb performance by their senior quarterback Joby Jaggers and the elusive speed of receiver Jameer Riley to – at least temporarily – take some wind out the high-rolling Rocket sails.

But the gap was indeed more like a small estuary instead of the oceanic canyon that has separated these two teams in recent years. The Tigers have beaten the Rockets 40 times in this series that started in 1958.

This fall, Crittenden County, which led 10-6 at the half, lost 32-20 at Caldwell County.
Rocket tight end Tyler Boone gains yards after
a catch, but this play was nullified on a
controversial call by officials.

The damaging tide didn't roll in; however, until fairly late in the night when Riley surfed to the end zone on two long pass plays of 66 and 78 yards to seal the victory.

Coming into this annual encounter, Caldwell had mastered the Rockets in nine straight wins, outscoring them 416 to 59 in those matchups since Crittenden last won 26-14 in 2009.

Crittenden is ranked No. 9 in Class A. The Tigers are 10th in Class 3A. From most observations, this was suppose to be a competitive game, and it was, but that was little consolation to first-year Rocket skipper Sean Thompson and his crew.

"Our goal is to be 1-0 every week," Thompson said as his team lost for the first time under the new regime. "We didn't come in here wanting to be competitive; we wanted to beat them."

Crittenden County took an early lead behind kicker Parker Johnson's first-period field goal and sophomore receiver Preston Turley's first varsity touchdown reception. But Caldwell scored on its opening three possessions of the last half to turn the table.

"Mental mistakes. We basically shot ourselves in the foot," said senior offensive lineman Jake Gibson, who recovered a muffed punt in the third period that set up Johnson's second field goal. That three-point kick tied a school record for field goals in a game and put the Rockets ahead 13-12. It would be Crittenden's last lead of the ballgame. 

"The (closeness of the) score doesn't really matter," Gibson continued. "We had them at the half, but it's the final score that matters."

Jaggers, who completed 21 of 28 passes, connected with Riley on Caldwell's first play from scrimmage after the Rockets had taken their only second-half lead on Johnson's field goal. That Tiger combo worked more magic minutes later for a 26-13 Tiger advantage and the Rockets' hopeful voyage was – for all practical purposes – doomed at that point.

Both teams swapped touchdowns down the stretch as Caldwell (2-2) won for the 10th straight time against the Rockets (2-1).

Crittenden will be back in Marion next week to host Webster County in its homecoming game.

PostGame Injury Report: Preliminary: Nesbitt possible concussion; Langston shoulder; Turley ankle.

Crittenden County 3 7 3 7
Caldwell County 6 0 12 14

Critt-Parker Johnson 24 field goal, 8:30, 1st
Cald-Jameer Riley 7 pass from Jobe Jaggers (kick failed) 6:54, 1st
Critt-Preston Turley 6 pass from Hunter Boone (Johnson kick) 7:59, 1st
Cald-Travis Newcom 4 pass from Jaggers (kick blocked) 8:35, 3rd
Critt-Johnson 26 field goal :10, 3rd
Cald-Riley 66 pass from Jaggers (passed failed) :00, 3rd
Cald-Riley 78 pass from Jaggers (Russ Beshear pass from Jaggers) 8:20, 4th
Cald-DeErick Hollowell 5 run (kick blocked) 2:03, 4th
Critt-Ethan Dossett 20 pass from Boone (Johnson kick) 1:04, 4th

First Downs: Crittenden 17, Caldwell 11
Penalties: Crittenden 3-25, Caldwell 10-91
Rushing: Crittenden 43-127, Caldwell 21-157
Passing: Crittenden 14-27-2, 172 yds., Caldwell 21-28-1, 266 yds.
Total Yards: Crittenden 299, Caldwell 423
Fumbles/Lost: Crittenden 0-0, Caldwell 2-2

Crittenden: Devon Nesbitt 27-72, H.Boone 11-43, Branen Lamey 1-1, Xander Tabor 3-20, Team 1-(-9). Caldwell: Riley 6-48, Hollowell 15-109.
Crittenden: Boone 14-27-2, 172 yds. Caldwell: Jaggers 21-28-1, 266 yds.
Crittenden: Dossett 6-70, Nesbitt 3-8, Payton Riley 2-28, Tyler Boone 1-25, Turley 2-41. Caldwell: Riley 3-151, Hollowell 3-9, Gabe East 2-31, Newsom 8-34, Oliver Parker 5-41. 
Defense: Dickerson 3 solos, assist; Joyce 3 solos, 2 assists; Lamey 2 solos, assist; Gibson fumble recovery; Nesbitt solo; O’Leary 2 solos, assist; Porter solo; Riley 8 solos, 5 assists; Guess assist; Jones 2 solos, TFL; Phillips assist; T.Boone 6 solos, 6 assists, 2 TFLs; Easley 2 solos, 2 assists; Ellington solo, assist; Tabor 3 solos, assist, interception; Turley 4 solos, 2 assists, TFL; Winders 3 solos, 4 assists, fumbler recovery..
Records: Crittenden 2-1, Caldwell 2-2