Friday, September 23, 2022

Keep-away game slips away from Rockets

 MARION, Ky. – At the halfway mark of the season, Crittenden County played perhaps its best football game of the year, but it wasn’t enough to pull off an upset against Class 3A’s third-ranked Union County.

Junior Tyler Belt got his first start at running
back and rushed for 17 yards.
The undefeated Braves scored once in each period and played an old-world game of keep away down the stretch to stymie the Rockets 25-6.

Crittenden County’s typically high-yardage passing attack wasn’t there against Union County’s athletic secondary. Rocket quarterback Micah Newcom went into the game averaging 23 passing attempts and 227 yards an outing. He threw only 10, including a second-quarter, 37-yard touchdown pass to freshman Caden Howard. It was Howard’s first varsity TD reception. 

Otherwise, the Rockets stayed on the ground, running the ball twice as many plays as it threw. However, there wasn’t much there either. CCHS had 73 yards rushing.

In fact, Union County hardly allowed Crittenden to play offense the entire second half. The Braves held the Rockets to nine offensive snaps on three possessions and just 14 yards after the break. 

Senior Seth Guess makes a tackle in the first half.
Union County dominated the ball in the final 13 minutes, allowing Crittenden not a single play from scrimmage. Most of that time was used up by a 72-yard drive that started late in the third period and ended on Kris Hughes’ third touchdown with just 2:20 to play. The drive included three fourth-down conversions, one finished in the end zone with Hughes’ 18-yard reception from Braves’ QB Cannon Sheffer.

The Rockets had no first downs in the second half. They misfired inside the red zone once in the first half.

Defensively, CCHS tackled and played well against one of the top teams in the state. Junior linebacker Bennett McDaniel played in his first regular-season game, helping shore up a lineup that has been riddled by injuries.

“That’s a really good football team,” Rocket coach Gaige Courtney said. “They wore us down in the second half, kept the ball away from us, went power-I and kind of pounded their bigger bodies on ours. It just kind of wore on us the second half.”

Courtney was proud of his team’s effort, and its performance despite the loss.

“We’re getting better. We are going to be all right,” he said. 

Crittenden will play another top 10 team next week when it travels to Bardstown to face fifth-ranked Class A Bethlehem.

Union County      7 6 6 6
Crittenden Co. 0 6 0 0

UC-Kris Hughes 38 run (Collin Nalley kick) 5:08, 1st
CC-Caden Howard 37 pass from Micah Newcom (kick failed) 6:43, 2nd
UC-Cannon Sheffer 4 run (kick blocked) 1:09, 2nd
UC-Hughes 67 run (kick failed) 4:47, 3rd
UC-Hughes 18 pass from Sheffer (pass failed) 2:20, 4th

First Downs: CCHS 5, UCHS 12
Penalties: CCHS 3-35, UCHS 10-110
Rushing: CCHS 19-73, UCHS 38-300
Passing: CCHS 6-10-0, 60, UCHS 7-13-0, 73
Total Yards: CCHS 133, UCHS 373
Fumbles/Lost: CCHS 1-1, UCHS 1-0


CCHS: Gattin Travis 5-37, Sam Impastato 1-4, Tyler Belt 5-17, Newcom 8-15. UCHS: Izaiah Manuel 2-6, Hughes 19-159, Duncan Mills 2-2, Kanye Pollard 8-65, Amare Black 3-13, Willem McPeake 6-46, Sheffer 4-9.
CCHS: Newcom 6-10-0, 60, UCHS: Sheffer 7-13-0, 73.
CCHS: Belt 2-5, Rowen Perkins 1-3, Kaleb Nesbitt 2-15, Howard 1-37.
Sammy Impastato 5 solos, 3 assits, 2 TFL; Case Gobin 4 solos, 5 assists; Rowen Perkins solo; Kaleb Nesbitt 4 solos, 4 assists, 1 TFL; Briley Berry 9 solos, 4 assists, sack; Seth Guess 7 solos, 3 assists; KeKoa Kuamoo 3 assists; Gabe Keller 3 solos; Gattin Travis 8 solos, 3 assists, TFL, sack; Tyler Belt solo, 2 assists.
Players of the Game: Offense Gattin Travis, Defense Briley Berry, Lineman Braydin Brandsasse, Special Teams Case Gobin. 
Records: CCHS 2-3, UCHS 6-0