Friday, September 21, 2018

No. 7 Rockets toast No. 10 Braves 38-3

Coach Thompson gave a great deal of the
credit to defensive coordinator Gaige Courtney,
pictured above, for helping orchestrate
the near-shutout victory.
MARION, Ky. – We all know that legendary football coach Bear Bryant said defense wins championships.

But first-year Rocket skipper Sean Thompson will attest that strong defense can also win non-conference, regular-season games when there is nothing but pride on the line.

Class A seventh-ranked Crittenden County drew the iron curtain down on Class 3A's No. 10 Union County Friday, toasting the Braves 38-3. 

It was the worst Crittenden has ever beaten Union County in the series that dates back to 1964.

"It shows what can happen when you believe in what you are doing," Thompson said, giving his defensive coordinator Gaige Courtney the credit for what the Rockets did on that side of the ball.

"It all starts with the checks that coach Courtney put in this week. Union County is true to what they do and coach Courtney had our guys prepared," Thompson said. "What we do now defensively is exciting and coach Courtney brings so much intensity to it. The kids have bought into his system and this is what you get."

Crittenden's defense was buoyed by a number of stellar performances, but none bigger than that of end Sean O'Leary, who was in the backfield all night with several tackles for loss. Linebackers Tyler Boone, Braxton Winders and Gavin Dickerson and nose guard Lathan Easley were just as onerous for the previously unbeaten Braves. See O'Leary, Winders and Lamey video comments below.

Union County (4-1) was on its heels the whole night. Save a couple dozen power runs by brushing running back Corithian Portee-Seales, who rushed for 109 yards, Union County was helpless against the Rocket defense. The Braves tried three different quarterbacks and neither could jumpstart their offense.

Crittenden smothered everything Union County had in its arsenal. The Rockets stopped the Braves at the line of scrimmage or behind it for a loss on 20 different plays during the contest.

Rocket receiver Branen Lamey was the offensive catalyst, scoring on three touchdown receptions from quarterback Hunter Boone. Lamey caught TD passes of 27, 54 and 19 yards and he even caught one of Union's passes, returning the interception 74 yards for a Pick 6.

Boone threw a fourth scoring strike to Payton Riley, who had an impressive offensive game of his own, making a one-handed grab on a pass in the second period to set up his touchdown catch a short time later. 

Lamey finished with 111 yards receiving and Riley 69 while the Braves secondary centered much of its attention on silencing leading Rocket receiver Ethan Dossett.

The victory was no doubt especially sweet for coach Thompson, whose Rockets hadn't beaten Union County in the last five tries. Thompson was an assistant coach at Union County for a time before returning to CCHS in 2014. It was his first win against the Braves since coming home to CCHS.

"Going into the game I thought we would win, but not this bad," Thompson said. "They're a Top 10 team in 3A and we basically shut them out."

Union didn't score until it kicked a field goal in the fourth period. The Braves were stopped three times on fourth-down plays in Crittenden territory. 

Crittenden, now 4-1, will open Class A First District action on the road against winless Fulton City next week if the Bulldogs have enough players to field a team. They have forfeited twice this season due to personnel issues, but played this week, losing 50-0 to Clarksville (Tenn.) Academy. 

Union County 0 0 0 3
Crittenden Co. 7 7 17 7

C-Branen Lamey 27 pass from Hunter Boone (Parker Johnson kick) 10:33, 1st
C-Payton Riley 18 pass from Boone (Johnson kick) :33, 2nd
C-Johnson 37 field goal 10:28, 3rd
C-Lamey 54 pass from Boone (Johnson kick) 5:52, 3rd
C-Lamey 19 pass from Boone (Johnson kick) 3:03, 3rd
U-Mason Weldon 28 field goal 6:04, 4th
C-Lamey 74 interception return (Johnson kick) 4:28, 4th

First Downs: Crittenden 6, Union 14
Penalties: Crittenden 9-105, Union 9-70
Rushing: Crittenden 21-40, Union 42-87
Passing: Crittenden 12-18-2, 191 yds., Union: 4-17-2, 42 yds.
Total Yards: Crittenden 231, Union 129
Fumbles/Lost: Crittenden 0-0, Union 6-1

Crittenden: Devon Nesbitt 13-37, Gavin Dickerson 1-1, H.Boone 7-2. Union: Corithian Portee-Seales 24-109, Brayden McGraw 3-2, Allen Elam 5-16, Brennen Jenkins 1-3, Gabe Adams 4-(-27), Solomon Teehan 10-(-12).
Crittenden: Boone 12-18-2, 191 yds. Union: Adams 1-11-1, 29 yds., Teehan 2-6-1, 13 yds.
Crittenden: Lamey 4-111, Riley 4-69, Dickerson 1-8, Ethan Dossett 2-(-5), Nesbitt 1-8. Union: Dealynn Ricketts 2-13, Lincoln Sick 1-24, Allen Elam 1-5.
Dickerson 7 solos, TFL, 3 sacks; Joyce solo, 2 assists; Lamey solo, interception; Nesbitt fumble recovery; O’Leary 11 solos, 6 assists, 5 TFLs, 4 sacks; Riley 2 solos, 2 assists; Gobin 2 solos, 2 assists, TFL, sack; Jones 3 solos, 4 assists; Boone 8 solos, 6 assists, caused fumble; Easley 12 solos, 4 assists, sack; Ellington solo, assist; Tabor 4 solos, assist; Winders 8 solos, 10 assists, interception; Yates 2 solos.
Players of the Game
Offense Branen Lamey, Defense Braxton Winders and Gavin Dickerson. Linemen Lathen Easley and Sean O’Leary. Special Teams Parker Johnson.
Records: Crittenden 4-1, Union 4-1