Friday, September 3, 2021

Maroons wreck Rockets with strong running game

Teammates congratulate Kaleb Nesbitt on
his first of two TD catches at MHS.

MADISONVILLE, Ky. – First-year Crittenden County head coach Gaige Courtney knows defense like the back of his hand.

But it didn’t take a defensive genius to see that Class 4A Madisonville peeled back the Rockets with a bruising ground attack in a 33-20 win Friday. It was the Maroons' first home win since 2019.

“The energy just wasn’t there,” said Courtney, who admitted he recognized a lack of excitement in pre-game warmups.

Tandem running backs Lujuan McAdoo and Chris Price (the coach’s son) teamed up for 331 yards as the Maroons stayed almost exclusively on the ground while posting 409 yards of net offense.

“That falls back on me. As the defensive coordinator I have to figure out ways to stop the run and how to get our guys in position to do it,” said Courtney, who handles the defense after years playing on that side of the ball in high school and college, and and coaching it for several years before becoming head coach. 

“They just physically imposed their will on us. They’re fast and strong and were able to run all over us,” the skipper said.

The Maroons scored on six of their first eight possessions, including a pair of field goals. McAdoo, a junior, rushed for three touchdowns and 199 yards. He and Price carried the ball a combined 63 times. Half of their runs went for gainers of four or more yards, which kept the sticks moving downfield. Together the backs provided a sustained ground assault that controlled the ball and the momentum. The Maroons posted 21 first downs to the Rockets’ six.

The Rocket defense had a tough time stopping
Madisonville's Lujuan McAdoo.
“The hype wasn’t there. We weren’t ready, “ said senior first-year linebacker Coleman Stone. “They were running it down our throats all night and we decided we wanted to do something about it in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough.”

Defensive highlights were rare for the Rockets, but senior Logan Bailey blocked an extra-point attempt, senior Ben Evans recovered a Madisonville fumble and the unit played some of its best downs with its back to the wall in the red zone, forcing Madisonville to settle for three-pointers a couple of times.

Senior Rocket quarterback Luke Crider has been outstanding out of the chute in the first two weeks. In the season-opener he didn’t play the entire second half because the Rockets were mercy-ruling Webster with a running clock. This week, he didn’t make it though the second half because of an injury. Crider was roughed up making a tackle after throwing an interception to start the third period, and he wasn’t effective after that. He’d thrown two touchdown passes to keep the score close early. 

Back-up QB Micah Newcom, a sophomore, closed out the game, marching CCHS downfield for its last touchdown. He connected on a scoring strike with junior Kaleb Nesbitt with just under six minutes to play, which ended the game’s scoring.

Nesbitt caught two touchdown passes in the contest, and junior Preston Morgeson caught one for 63 yards in the first half from Crider.

Crittenden’s running game was non-existent as 14 carries went for negative yards. Starting running back Gattin Travis, who had gained almost 100 yards in his first career start a week earlier, was unavailable due to a non-COVID illness.

The Rockets will play rival Caldwell County at Marion next week. The Tigers beat Madisonville last week, but lost 34-14 to Hopkinsville on Friday.

Crittenden 6 7 0 7
Madisonville 7 9 10 7

M-Chris Price 3 run (Noah Jiminez kick) 5:55, 1st
C-Kaleb Nesbitt 23 pass from Luke Crider (pass failed) 0:00, 1st
M-Lujuan McAdooo 15 run (kick blocked) 6:38, 2nd
C-Preston Morgeson 63 pass from Crider (Morgeson kick) 5:24, 2nd
M-Jiminez 25 field goal, 3:03, 2nd
M-McAdoo 2 run (Jiminez kick) 8:57, 3rd
M-Jiminez 30 field goal, 3:03, 3rd
M-McAdoo 7 run (Jiminez kick) 10:28, 4th
C-Nesbitt 4 pass from Micah Newcom (Morgeson kick) 5:55, 4th

First Downs: CCHS 6, MHS 21
Penalties: CCHS 4-35, MHS 7-68
Rushing: CCHS 14-(-17), MHS 69-338
Passing: CCHS 13-24-1, 241, MHS 7-10-0, 71
Total Yards: CCHS 224, MHS 409
Fumbles/Lost: CCHS 3-1, MHS 2-1


Crittenden: Rowen Perkins 4-6, Brysen Baker 1-0, Morgeson 1-0, Newcom 1-(-11), Crider 7-(-12). Madisonville: McAdoo 39-199, Price 24-132, James Davis 2-1, Wyatt Coleman 4-6. 
Crittenden: Crider 8-16-1, 159, Newcom 5-7-0, 82, Morgeson 0-1-0. Madisonville: Coleman 7-10-0, 71.
Crittenden: Baker 3-56, Nesbitt 4-38, Morgeson 4-78, Derrington 1-36, Levi Piper 1-33. Madisonville: Trevin Smith 4-43, McAdoo 2-12, Javion Phillips 1-16.
Coleman Stone 3 solos, 2 assists; Tucker Sharp 2 assists; Holden Cooksey 2 solos, assist, TFL; Luke Mundy 3 solos, 6 assists; Luke Crider assist; Ben Evans fumble recovery; Trace Derrington 5 solos; Dylan Yates 9 solos, 3 assists; Logan Bailey 8 solos, 2 assists; Tanner Beverly solo, assist; Zech McGahan 13 solos, 7 assists; Hayden Adamson solo; Sam Impastato solo, 3 assists; Deacon Holliman assist; Case Gobin 11 solos, 4 assists, sack; Rowen Perkins solo; Kaleb Nesbitt solo, 2 assists; Briley Berry 9 solos, 5 assists; Preston Morgeson 2 solos, assist; Seth Guess 4 solos, 2 assists.
Players of the Game: Offense Preston Morgeson, Defense Briley Berry, Lineman Holden Cooksey, Special Teams Logan Bailey.
Records: CCHS 1-1, Madisonville 1-2