MARION, Ky. – The Rockets' "No-Run Zone" set up shop at home for the first time this season and gave their COVID-limited crowd a front-row seat to its relentless defensive display, turning back seventh-ranked Murray High 35-14 in a showdown between two top 10 western Kentucky teams.
|DB Maddox Carlson gets a hand full of|
mask as he and Tyler Boone chase down
Murray's Charvelle McCallister.
Crittenden County (2-1), ranked No. 7 in Class A, has demonstrated a savage style of defensive vigor so far this football year, particularly against the run. The Rockets quickly packaged up Class 2A Murray's heralded running attack, soundly dispatching the Tigers (2-1) for the first time since 2002. Murray – a former district foe when CCHS was in Class 2A – had beaten the Rockets their last seven meetings. It was Crittenden’s biggest win ever against Murray, a team that holds a 19-4-1 advantage in the series that dates back to 1963.
There was no disputing which team was superior at Rocket Stadium Friday night. Crittenden County’s defense chewed up the Tigers and its offense grew up a great deal, scoring four times against a Tiger defensive that is pretty darn good by its own right.
In three games this season, Crittenden has yielded just 167 on the ground, an average of 55 per game.
“Our first thing is to stop the the run,” said defensive end Dylan Yates, who had a few tackles for loss, a sack and batted down a Murray pass. “We have to be better than them, be nastier than them every play.”
Indeed, that was the case. Murray scored on its first two possessions of the game, then the door closed. By the second half, Crittenden appeared to have worn the Tigers to a frazzle with its nonstop defensive pressure. Murray ran the ball 15 times the second half, and Crittenden threw the Tigers for a los on eight of them.
|RB Caden McCalister chews up clock and|
ground late in the fourth quarter.
“We played a really good, physical Murray team and really just took it to them,” said Rocket coach Sean Thompson. “Three weeks into the season, we go out and get a signature win.”
The Rockets fell behind 14-7 in the first period, but second-quarter touchdowns by Xander Tabor on the ground and a 54-yard strike from quarterback Luke Crider to Kaleb Nesbitt put the Rockets ahead for good 21-14 just before the half.
Crittenden scored two more times in the last half on a pass play to Preston Turley and a rushing TD by Caden McCalister.
Defensive back Preston Morgeson had two interceptions for the Rockets and Caden McCalister and Ben Dobyns had one apiece. Murray also fumbled two times. Crittenden scored twice following Murray turnovers. Logan Bailey recovered a muff punt for the second straight game for Crittenden.
There was not much skating room on the ground for either team. Senior Rocket running back Xander Tabor was held under 100 yards for the first time this season. He finished with 63 yards on 20 carries.
There were 28 penalties assessed and a handful of other offsetting penalties. The Rockets were docked 138 yards in the game and Murray 130.
Crittenden will be on the road next week to face Trigg County.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Murray High 14 0 0 0
Crittenden 7 14 7 7
M-Charvelle McCalister 15 run (kick blocked) 7:15, 1st
C-Xander Tabor 1 run (Noah Perkins kick) 6:33, 1st
M-Daniel Klukan 28 pass from Rowdy Sokolowski (Klukan pass from McCallister) 4:24, 1st
C-Tabor 10 run (Perkins kick) 9:32, 2nd
C-Kaleb Nesbitt 54 pass from Luke Crider (Perkins kick) :36, 2nd
C-Preston Turley 46 pass from Crider (Perkins kick) 8:42, 3rd
C-Caden McCalister 9 run (Perkins kick) 1:59, 4th
First Downs: CCHS 8, MHS 16
Penalties: CCHS 15-138, MHS 13-130
Rushing: CCHS 29-102, MHS 35-96
Passing: CCHS 9-21-2, 157 yds., MHS 17-33-4, 215 yds.
Total Yards: CCHS 259, MHS 311
Fumbles/Lost: CCHS 0-0, MHS 4-2
CCHS: Tabor 20-63, McCalister 6-47, Braxton Winders 1-2, Crider 2-(-10). MHS: McCallister 18-72, Brendan Dahncke 2-27, Sabastian Lawrence 2-(-6), Sokolowski 13-3.
CCHS: Crider 9-21-2, 157 yds. MHS: Sokolowski 17-33-3, 215 yds.
CCHS: Turley 3-77, Nesbitt 3-73, Tabor 1-(-2), Preston Morgeson 1-9, Brysen Baker 1-0. MHS: McCallister 3-20, Klukan 5-64, Dahncke 2-22, Dijon Miles 6-100, Xavier Biggers 1-9.
Noah McGowan 3 solos, 3 assists, fumble recovery; Preston Turley assist; Noah Perkins 4 solos, 2 assists; Ben Dobyns solo, 2 assists, interception; Braxton Winders 5 solos, 2 assists, sack; Tyler Boone 8 solos, 2 assists, 4 TFL, sack; Caden McCalister 6 solos, 4 assists, interception; Lathen Easley 5 solos, 3 assists, TFL, sack; Luke Mundy 4 solos, assist; Dalton Wood assist; Trace Derrington 2 solos; Dylan Yates 5 solos, assist, TFL, sack, caused fumble; Logan Bailey 5 solos, assist, fumble recovery; Maddox Carlson 2 solos, 3 assists, TFL; Rowen Perkins assist; Kaleb Nesbit solo, assist; Preston Morgeson 9 solos, assist, 2 interceptions; Seth Guess 2 assists;
Records: CCHS 2-1, Murray 2-1