Friday, September 13, 2019

Early Tiger Punch Knocks out Rockets 36-14

Rocket RB Xander Tabor looks for running room.
MARION, Ky. – An enormous crowd showed up to see a matchup billed as a monumental clash between two Top 5 teams in the state, but it never materialized as Caldwell County turned the game into a rout in the first half.

The Tigers used great field position early to post five unanswered touchdowns before the Rockets could gather their senses. 

Caldwell’s junior quarterback hadn’t shown a propensity to throw much in three previous games, but divvied it out to five different receivers in the first half, putting three TDs on the board. Russ Beshear finished 14-for-19 for 116 yards in the air with scoring strikes to running back DeEric Hollowell and receivers Tripp Branch and Tate VanHooser. Hollowell rushed for two more first-half touchdowns.

All before the Rockets had gotten their offensive legs underneath them.

Caldwell drove downfield on the opening series on 10 plays, that included four passes for the game’s first score. The Tigers tacked on two more in a hurry thanks to a short field, one courtesy of a Rocket fumble on a fake punt try on fourth down.

“Caldwell kind of punched us in mouth early, forced their will on us and made us like it. They didn’t give us time to think about what was going on. It went fast, good teams are going to do that,” Rocket coach Sean Thompson said. “We have to be able to respond.”

Rocket Tyler Boone was bottled up on this play.
The coach said his club finally found its balance just before the half, but by then it was too late.

The Rockets scored on their last possession of the second period on a 43-yard pass from quarterback Hunter Jones to receiver Preston Turley. Their final TD came on the last offensive series of the game when Tyler Boone caught a four-yard Jones' pass.

Both teams came into the contest ranked fifth in Kentucky in their respective classes, Crittenden in 1A and Caldwell in 2A. The Tigers had played much more difficult early-season schedule than Crittenden, which may have been partly responsible for the Rockets being unprepared for a game of such magnitude in the fourth week of the season.

“We came out the second half and even though it was a running clock, we won the second half. We showed some growth within the game, but we have to come out better to start games and believe we can play with good teams.”

Crittenden was also playing without Caden McCalister, a linebacker and running back, who was an all-conference player a year ago and a primary contributor this season. He had been hospitalized with a viral infection all week prior to the game and was unavailable to play. Crittenden also lost a starting member of the secondary in the first half when senior Justin Phillips went out with bruised ribs.

Crittenden will be idle next week then travel to Union County on Sept. 27.

Caldwell County 21 15 0 0
Crittenden County 0 7 0 7

Cald-DeEric Hollowell 10 pass from Russ Beshear (Blake Vivrette kick) 8:51, 1st
Cald-Hollowell 2 run (Vivrette kick) 4:02, 1st
Cald-Tripp Branch 10 pas from Beshear (Vivrette kick) 1:46, 1st
Cald-Hollowell 7 run (Vivrette kick) 11:23, 2nd
Cald-Tate VanHooser 6 pass from Beshear (Hollowell run) 6:01, 2nd
Critt-Preston Turley 6 pass from Hunter Jones (Noah Perkins kick) :48, 2nd
Critt-Tyler Boone 4 pass from Jones (Perkins kick) 1:57, 4th

First Downs: Crittenden 8, Caldwell 13
Penalties: Crittenden 8-90, Caldwell 6-78
Rushing: Crittenden 26-53, Caldwell 24-89
Passing: Crittenden 9-21-1, 116 yds., Caldwell 14-19-1, 116 yds.
Total Yards: Crittenden 169, Caldwell 205
Fumbles/Lost: Crittenden 1-1, Caldwell 1-1

Crittenden: Xander Tabor 12-34, Braxton Winders 2-5, Tyler Boone 4-8, Preston Morgeson 4-8, Jones 4-(-2). Caldwell: Hollowell 11-60, Logan Smiley 6-38, Barren Wells 2-2, Beshear 5-(-11).
Crittenden: Jones 9-21-1, 116 yds. Caldwell: Beshear 14-19-1, 116 yds.
Crittenden: Turley 3-87, Boone 6-34. Caldwell: Branch 6-48, VanHooser 2-25, Wells 1-8, Hollowell 3-17, Smiley 2-16, Max Ashley 1-1.
Jones solo, 2 assists; Phillips solo, assist; Boone 9 solos, 3 assists, TFL, fumble recovery; Easley 5 solos, 3 assists, TFL, 2 sacks; Ellington 2 solos, sack; McGowan solo, 2 assists; Perkins solo, assist; Tabor 3 solos, interception; Turley assist; Winders 3 solos, 3 assist; Carlson solo; Derrington 2 solos; Stone assist; Yates 2 solos, assist, TFL, C.Gobin assist, Morgeson 5 solos, 2 assists; R.Perkins solo. 
Records: Crittenden 3-1, Caldwell 3-1
Players of the Game
Offense Preston Turley, Defense Tyler Boone, Lineman Ian Ellington, Special Teams Xander Tabor.