|Preston Turley gains ground after catching a pass.|
Crittenden County cleaned out the bag Friday to open Class A First District play, beating Caverna with eight touchdowns and filing some rough edges off a passing game that hadn’t been effective or used much in the past couple of weeks.
Senior quarterback Hunter Jones threw with confidence for 201 yards, completing 10 of 13 passes and two touchdowns. He tracked down four receivers in the first half to rack up all of those numbers as Crittenden scored early and often en route to a 54-0 victory.
The Rockets improved to 5-2 on the season and 1-0 in league play, but more importantly they got some things honed down to hard-edge sharpness, particularly the passing game. Jones came out slinging it around in the first period as the Rockets built a 19-0 lead.
Although Crittenden rushed for five first-half touchdowns, its passing game set up a good portion of those.
Junior running back Xander Tabor rushed for 117 yards on just five carries and scored three times, twice on rushes and once on a 20-yard pass from Jones.
Crittenden, which had been plagued by double-digit penalties the last few games, got that monkey off its back, too, drawing just three whistles for 25 yards.
The defense was incredible once again, recording its second straight shutout for only the third time in school history – other back-to-back blankings were in 1975 and 1999.. It held Caverna to minus-6 yards on the ground over four quarters, and the Colonels managed just 13 yards passing in the first half against the Rocket first-teamers.
Crittenden got a rare zero-yards punt return when sophomore Maddox Carlson recovered a Caverna punt in the end zone for a second-quarter touchdown. That has happened only once before in Rocket football history. The Caverna punt ricocheted off a Colonel up-back and Carlson snagged it for six points.
The Rockets play on the road next week at Fulton County in what many will bill as an integral matchup in First District play. The Pilots are 0-1 in league play – after a narrow loss to Russellville last week – but have won five games this season.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Caverna 0 0 0 0
Crittenden 19 28 7 0
C-Hunter Jones 5 run (Noah Perkins kick) 7:56, 1st
C-Tyler Boone 22 pass from Jones (run failed) 5:36, 1st
C-Xander Tabor 20 pass from Jones (pass failed) 1:23, 1st
C-Tabor 5 run (Perkins kick) 9:53, 2nd
C-Maddox Carlson 0 punt return recovered in end zone (Perkins kick) 8:20, 2nd
C-Tabor 27 run (Perkins kick) 7:31, 2nd
C-Jones 11 run (Perkins kick) 1:14, 2nd
C-Logan Bailey 14 pass from Luke Crider (Perkins kick) 0:00, 3rd
First Downs: Crittenden 9, Caverna 4
Penalties: Crittenden 3-25, Caverna 5-35
Rushing: Crittenden 11-140, Caverna 16-(-6)
Passing: Crittenden 12-15-0, 246 yds., Caverna 7-23-1, 67 yds.
Total Yards: Crittenden 386, Caverna 61
Fumbles/Lost: Crittenden 2-1, Caverna 1-0
Crittenden: Tabor 5-117, Preston Morgeson 1-4, Keifer Marshall 2-2, Jones 3-17. Caverna: Drew Rhodes 11-3, Zyler Yates 1-0, Mark Webb 4-(-9).
Crittenden: Jones 10-13-0, 201 yds., Crider 2-2-0, 45 yds. Caverna: Rhodes 7-23-1, 67 yds.
Crittenden: Caden McCalister 2-51, Boone 2-49, Preston Turley 2-41, Tabor 3-34, Morgeson 1-26, Bailey 1-14, Trace Derrington 1-31. Caverna: Yates 4-43, #88 1-1, Caleb Edwards 2-23.
Phillips assist; Boone solo, TFL; Easley 3 solos, assist, TFL, sack; Moss assist; Tabor solo, 2 assists; Turley 2 solos, assist, TFL; Winders 2 solos, assist, TFL, sack; Carlson solo; Derrington solo, assist; Mundy 3 solos, sack; Sigler assists; Wood solo, interception; Yates 2 solos, blocked kick, TFL; Counts solo, TFL; Guess 2 solos, TFL; Morgeson solo; Nesbitt solo, assist; R.Perkins 2 solos.