Friday, September 6, 2019

Rockets test weaponry in 50-6 win at Ballard

The defense was stifling at Ballard. Here Tyler Boone
and Justin Phillips smother a ball carrier.
LA CENTER, Ky. – For the fifth-ranked Rockets, the trip to Ballard Memorial Friday night was as much about sharpening their tools as it was about winning what most expected might be a lopsided affair.

Both boiled to fruition as Crittenden County breezed by the Bombers 50-6 in a game that featured a merciful running clock less than three minutes into the second period, and Rocket coach Sean Thompson was able perform a litmus test with some new weapons – namely sophomore receiver Brysen Baker and junior running back Eli Moss. Neither had factored into the Rockets' previous wins, but at Ballard they got some touches and didn’t disappoint. 

Baker, a 6-2 receiver, caught two passes for 60 yards and nearly scored twice. His first reception went for 55 yards before he was tackled at the three-yard line to set up CCHS’s first touchdown. Another would-be TD was called back because of a penalty. Baker was a key player in middle school but sat out last season as a freshman. Moss is the fastest player on the team, but had never played football until this season. The first carry of his career went for a 14-yard touchdown as he turned the right corner and sprinted into the end zone untouched. 

The usual characters filled their roles as expected. Junior Caden McCalister, figuring more predominantly in the offense with starting running back Xander Tabor sidelined, scored three times – twice on a pass and he had one of the Rockets’ two punt returns. It was the first time in team history that CCHS had returned two punts for touchdowns in one game. Both came in the first period and freshman Preston Morgeson had the longest at 69 yards.

Freshman Preston Morgeson scored twice at Ballard.
Quarterback Hunter Jones completed more passes in this game than he had the two previous combined, finishing 8-for-12 with three touchdowns. Coach Thompson said he’d have liked to have worked on the passing game a bit more, but the score got lopsided quickly partly because of the two kick returns, forcing him to change those plans.

“With those special teams touchdowns the score kind of got out of hand early and I don’t like to throw it down field when it’s like that,” the coach explained.

Crittenden will need to have all of its weaponry honed to near perfection next week as the Rockets go home for the first time this season to face Caldwell County, the third-ranked team in Class 2A. The Tigers (2-1) lost to Hopkinsville 42-14 Friday.

Crittenden County 29 14 7 0
Ballard Memorial 0 0 0 6

C-Preston Morgeson 3 run (Caden McCalister run) 11:31, 1st
C-McCalister 25 punt return (Noah Perkins kick) 9:13, 1st
C-Morgeson 69 punt return (Perkins kick) 4:23, 1st
C-McCalister 9 pass from Hunter Jones (Perkins kick) :00, 1st
C-Travis Guess 44 pass from Jones (Perkins kick) 9:22, 2nd
C-McCalister 6 pass from Jones (Perkins kick) 1:47, 2nd
C-Eli Moss 14 run (Perkins kick) 1:16, 3rd
B-Trenton Howard 20 run (run failed) 5:00, 4th

First Downs: Crittenden 8, Ballard 6
Penalties: Crittenden 2-10, Ballard 3-30
Rushing: Crittenden 17-109, Ballard 29-113
Passing: Crittenden 10-14-0, 179 yds., Ballard 1-3-0, 11 yds.
Total Yards: Crittenden 288, Ballard 124
Fumbles/Lost: Crittenden 3-2, Ballard 2-2

Crittenden: Morgeson 5-42, Keifer Marshall 5-33, Moss 4-29, Jones 2-8, Luke Crider 1-(-3). Ballard: Trenton Howard 5-32, #48 1-0, Logan Hargrove 12-67, Ayden Riley 4-5, Trevor Howard 2-14, Parker Rathman 5-(-5).
Crittenden: Jones 9-12-0, 173 yds., Crider 1-2-0, 6 yds. Ballard: Rathman 1-2-0, 11 yds., Trevor Howard 0-1-0.
Crittenden: Brysen Baker 2-60, Tyler Boone 3-53, McCalister 2-15, Guess 1-44, Preston Turley 1-1, Kaleb Nesbitt 1-6. Ballard: Trenton Howard 1-11.
Guess 2 solos; Jones 2 solos, assist; Phillips 3 solos, 2 assists, TFL, fumble recovery; Urbanowski solo; Boone 3 solos, 2 assists, TFL; Easley 5 solos, 3 assists, 2 TFL; McCalister 3 solos, 4 assists, caused fumble; McGowan caused fumbled; Turley 3 solos, 2 assists, TFL; Baker assist; Crider solo, 2 assists, fumble recovery; Mundy 5 solos; Stone solo, assist; Yates 2 solos, assist, sack; Burnes assist; Holliman solo, TFL; Morgeson solo, assist; Nesbitt 2 solos, assist.
Players of the Game

Offense Hunter Jones. Defense Lathan Easley. Lineman Ian Ellington.
Crittenden 3-0, Ballard 0-2.