Friday, September 17, 2021

Rockets rule grass in 27-14 win at No. 6 Hancock

Preston Morgeson had a career rushing night
at Hancock County Friday.
HAWESVILLE, Ky. – With a firm recommitment to the running game, Crittenden County beat a Top 10 team going away Friday night on its home turf.

Behind junior running back Preston Morgeson, the 1A Rockets rushed for 223 yards to beat Hancock County 27-14. The Hornets, which had lost just once in the past two regular seasons, was ranked No. 6 in Class 2A.

Morgeson had run the ball only six times for six yards in the previous three games, but this week he got 29 touches for a career-high 192 rushing and 22 yards receiving. 

The Rockets had struggled on the ground in the last two weeks, netting minus-6 yards.

“I was proud of them. (Hancock) is a tough team built on physicality, running the football and stopping the run,” said Rocket first-year head coach Gaige Courtney, whose team improved to 2-2.

The skipper credited his offensive coordinator Austin Berry (a former CCHS quarterback) for putting together a game plan that was committed to earning its stripes on the ground. 

Crittenden scored first when quarterback Luke Crider threw to Brysen Baker on the team’s second series, but the next three touchdowns were all on the grass. Morgeson rushed for two and Crider one. Morgeson scored on a pivotal final drive as the Rockets moved the chains from midfield to the end zone, getting two key first downs and chewing up the last three and a half minutes of the game. 

Brysen Baker heads toward the end zone
for a first-quarter touchdown.
That last touchdown was set up by senior linebacker Zech McGahan’s interception. Hornets starting QB Cole Dixon was shaken up early in the second half and didn’t play much down the stretch. Backup quarterback Kaleb Keown threw the pick.

“This was a big game,” Courtney said. “We hate to say that this early in the year, but we needed to get this one with a tough schedule coming up.”

After a fumble and interception in the first half, Crittenden made an adjustment to its rushing attack in the last two periods, tightening down its receivers and using them as extra blockers. 

“We were able to get our receivers in there, maybe smaller guys, but pack them in tight, run the ball and run the clock out,” Courtney explained. “We knew we had to run the ball. Morgeson ran the ball well, the line blocked well and our receivers were in there blocking well. It was a team effort.”

Crittenden led 14-0 early but Hancock (4-1) struck twice in the second period. The Rockets controlled the ball and the game’s tempo in the second half while their defense kept the Hornets’ big running back in check. Logan Willis, who had rushed for nearly 800 yards in the first four games, netted 95 in the opening half, but finished with only 37 more.

“We just packed everyone in there and said we’re going to stop it,” the coach added.

Crittenden County will play at 3A No. 3 Union County next week. The Braves were upset 24-14 by Caldwell County this week.


Crittenden 14 0 7 6
Hancock Co. 0 14 0 0

C-Brysen Baker 20 pass from Luke Crider (Preston Morgeson kick) 4:43, 1st
C-Morgeson 18 run (Morgeson kick) 2:14, 1st
H-Logan Willis 4 run (Willis run) 7:52, 2nd
Noah Mize 11 run (run failed) :52, 2nd
C-Crider 6 run (Morgeson kick) 1:45, 3rd
C-Morgeson 13 run (kick failed) :39, 4th

First Downs: CCHS 13, HCHS 11
Penalties: CCHS 4-38, HCHS 0-0
Rushing: CCHS 34-223, HCHS 50-174
Passing: CCHS 11-16-1, 113 yds. HCHS 2-6-1, 19 yds.
Total Yards: CCHS 336, HCHS 193
Fumbles/Lost: CCHS 1-1, HCHS 2-1


CCHS: Morgeson 27-192, Crider 6-32, Kaleb Nesbitt 1-(-1). HCHS: Willis 36-132, Mize 3-9, Aiden Weatherholt 1-8, Kaleb Keown 3-(-3), Cole Dixon 7-28.
CCHS: Crider 11-16-1, 113 yds. HCHS: Dixon 1-4-0, 3 yds., Keown 1-2-1, 16 yds.
CCHS: Baker 4-52, Nesbitt 1-(-2), Hayden Adamson 1-12, Morgeson 2-22, Trace Derrington 1-8, Logan Bailey 2-21. HCHS: Austin Volocko 1-16, Keown 1-3.
Coleman Stone 5 solos, 2 assists, 2 TFLs, caused fumble; Tucker Sharp solo, TFL; Luke Mundy 2 assists; Trace Derrington 4 solos, assist; Dylan Yates 6 solos, 6 assists, TFL, sack; Logan Bailey 6 solos, 2 assists; Tanner Beverly 4 solos; Zech McGahan 4 solos, 3 assists, interception; Sam Impastato 5 solos, 5 assist; Case Gobin 8 solos, 2 assist, TFL; Kaleb Nesbitt 5 solos, TFL, 4 assists; Briley Berry 8 solos, 7 assist; Seth Guess 2 solos, 2 assists, TFL.
Players of the Game Defense Dylan Yates, Offense Preston Morgeson, Lineman Tucker Sharp, Special Teams Tanner Tabor.
Records: CCHS 2-2, HCHS 4-1