Friday, September 18, 2020

Rockets win at Union in COVID-pocked week

Senior RB Xander Tabor rushed for his second
straight game of more than 100 yards.

MORGANFIELD, Ky. – In a football week capsized by COVID-19, the Rockets were quick to diagnose what Union County carried onto the field Friday when Crittenden and the Braves squared off in an impromptu game that wasn’t supposed to happen until seven days later.

Yes, the virus has a way of turning things upside down, yet the football Rockets knew exactly how to treat the acute suffering that had plagued their psyche for the previous week after losing the season opener at Caldwell County.

Incredible defense, a steady dose of Xander Tabor and a somewhat rejuvenated passing game was enough for CCHS to beat the Braves 28-12.

Crittenden was originally set to play No. 2 Paintsville at Marion, but a spike in coronavirus in the county turned the Tigers off. So, the Rockets offered to drive across the state to keep their date. That plan was on go for a few days before the whole thing was called off two days before kickoff.

During these trying pandemic times, everyone is expected to be responsive. And that’s what Crittenden County pulled from its medicine bag. They offered to play Union County a week earlier than scheduled in order to not miss a Friday night opportunity.

Tabor, the Rockets’ senior running back, rushed for two touchdowns and 125 yards and quarterback Luke Crider threw for two touchdowns and 132 yards despite a couple of interceptions. 
Rocket DB Caden McCalister covers as pass to
Union County's Ben Shreve.

Union County’s offense is built around senior running back Corinthian Seeles-Portee, and when the Rocket defense nixed that idea, the Braves tried to work something through the air. mostly underneath the Rocket secondary. 

Crittenden held the Braves to just five yards of net rushing. In two weeks, the rushing defense has given up just 71 yards.

Union was able to stretch the CCHS secondary a bit, but couldn’t muster enough to beat a Rocket squad hungry for a win. Crittenden junior defensive back Logan Bailey intercepted one pass and he recovered a muffed punt on spacial teams that probably helped break the Braves’ back. The Rockets scored right after the turnover to take a 28-6 lead late in the third period.

Crittenden recovered another muffed punt and a Union County fumble late in the second quarter that quashed a Brave threat. 

Rocket coach Sean Thompson was pleased with the way his team bounced back after losing the first week of the season and commended its response to Union County’s offensive adjustments when the Braves running game fell flat.

“We had a short week to prepare for them so we just worked on some things we knew they did against us last year,” Thompson said.

The Rockets will fill next Friday with a home game it scheduled on the fly against Murray High. The Tigers have one of the best players in this part of the state, defensive lineman Sebastian Lawrence. Murray is 2-0 with a couple of easy wins so far over Trigg and Webster counties. 

Crittenden       7   14   7    0
Union Co. 0    0   12   0

CC-Preston Morgeson 21 pass from Luke Crider (Noah Perkins kick) 5:42, 1st
CC-Xander Tabor 2 run (Perkins kick) 5:21, 2nd
CC-Tabor 3 run (Perkins kick) :32, 2nd
UC-Kris Hughes 12 pass from Cannon Sheffer (kick failed) 10:02, 3rd
CC-Preston Turley 26 pass from Crider (Perkins kick) 1:06, 3rd
UC-Ben Shreve 10 pass from Sheffer (run failed) :04, 3rd

First Downs: CCHS 13, UCHS 6
Penalties: CCHS 6-75, UCHS 15-108
Rushing: CCHS 36-147, UCHS 18-5
Passing: CCHS 13-22-2, 132 yds., UCHS 16-34-1, 197 yds.
Total Yards: CCHS 279, UCHS 202
Fumbles/Lost: CCHS 0-0, UCHS 3-3


Crittenden: Tabor 32-125, Kaleb Nesbitt 2-15, Braxton Winders 1-1, Crider 1-6. Union: Corinthian Seales-Portee 10-15, Hughes 3-17, Sheffer 5-(-27).
Crittenden: Crider 13-22-2, 132 yds. Union: Sheffer 16-34-1, 197 yds.
Crittenden: Morgeson 5-65, Turley 1-26, Ian Ellington 1-7, Brysen Baker 2-27, Tabor 2-(-6), Nesbitt 2-13. Union: Shreve 9-114, Hughes 3-31, Kanye Pollard 3-42, Allen Elam 1-5.
Noah McGowan 5 solos, sack; Preston Turley 3 solos, 3 assists; Noah Perkins 2 solos, assist; Ben Dobyns assist; Braxton Winders solo, 3 assists; Tyler Boone 7 solos, assist, 4 TFL; Caden McCalister 3 solos, 4 assists, TFL, sack; Lathen Easley solo, 2 assists, TFL, fumble recovery; Coleman Stone solo; Luke Mundy solo; Luke Crider solo; Trace Derrington 2 solos, fumble recovery; Dylan Yates 3 solos, 2 assists, 2 sacks, caused fumble; Maddox Carlson solo; Rowen Perkins solo; Kaleb Nesbitt 2 solos; Preston Morgeson 5 solos.
Records: Crittenden 1-1, Union 0-1