MARION, Ky. – Unpacking Crittenden County’s football season after 10 games, it's clear that second-year skipper Gaige Courtney’s crew has saved its best for last as the Rockets turn their attention to the playoffs.
|QB Micah Newcom threw for|
289 yards against DeSales
Injuries have been a challenge for the Rockets this fall, but a patchwork offensive linemen has held firm down the stretch. Meanwhile quarterback Micah Newcom and his able receiving corps has shredded secondaries with near-perfect precision the last few weeks. DeSales was no match for the Rockets’ spread offense as Newcom completed 23 of 30 passes for 289 yards. Senior receiver Kaleb Nesbitt caught three scoring strikes among his nine catches for 159 yards. The yardage was the fifth most in a single game for a receiver in school history.
Nesbitt caught two first-half TDs and Casey Cates grabbed another as CCHS led the winless Colts 21-0 at the break.
DeSales, which Coach Courtney described as a dangerous team when it gets going, found some rhythm in the second half with a determined running attack behind its monstrous front five and some big passes to Garrett Price in narrow seams downfield. The Colts hoofed their way back into the ballgame with two third-quarter touchdowns before safety Tyler Belt threw cold water on their comeback plans.
|The Rocket defense kept DeSales in check|
DeSales was threatening to score again late in the third period and Crittenden’s back was pressed against its own goal post. Trailing 27-13 on fourth-down-and-three from the Rockets’ four-yard line, DeSales quarterback Peyton Molter threw a ball over the middle that Belt intercepted in the end zone, spoiling the guests’ hopes of making it a one-possession game.
“We had a whole lot of momentum going into the half… then special teams woes kind of got us with those two onside kicks and the momentum shifted completely,” Courtney said. “They really had us on our heels down there on the goal line and Tyler Belt steps up and makes a big pick.”
From there, the Rockets regrouped and marched 80 yards, punctuated by Nesbitt’s third TD catch of the game. Following another interception by Rocket senior linebacker Briley Berry, Crittenden scored on Newcom’s fourth touchdown pass of the game, 21-yard strike to Nesbitt – his third. Preston Morgeson caught a Newcom's fifth TD pass of the game with just over four minutes to play, giving him a share of the all-time touchdown reception record.
After losing four of the first six games this season and having to reshuffle the lineup due to injuries, Crittenden County has gained a measure of energy heading into the playoffs where it can host at least the first two games. A win next week over Fort Knox (3-6) would pit the Rockets against Bethlehem in round two at Marion. Crittenden lost a regular-season matchup 63-35 at Bethlehem (8-2) in Week 6. Now, the Rockets are playing for a chance at a rematch on friendlier soil with a state quarterfinal berth at stake.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Louisville DeSales 0 0 13 0
Crittenden County 6 15 6 13
C-Kaleb Nesbitt 3 pass from Micah Newcom (Morgeson kick blocked) 1:34, 1st
C-Nesbitt 8 pass from Newcom (Newcom run) 7:57, 2nd
C-Casey Cates 19 pass from Newcom (Morgeson kick) :32, 2nd
D-Garrett Price 30 pass from Peyton Molter (Logan Givens kick) 10:06, 3rd
C-Case Gobin 2 run (Morgeson kick blocked) 7:28, 3rd
D-Price 11 pass from Molter (kick blocked) 2:59, 3rd
C-Nesbitt 12 pass from Newcom (Morgeson kick) 6:38, 4th
C-Morgeson 21 pass from Newcom (Keagen Young-Pearson kick failed) 4:31, 4th
First Downs: CCHS 14, DeSales 11
Penalties: CCHS 12-122, DeSales 6-45
Rushing: CCHS 20-99, DeSales 23-84
Passing: CCHS 23-30-0, 289; DeSales 12-23-3, 112
Total Yards: CCHS 388, DeSales 196
Fumbles/Lost: CCHS 0-0, DeSales 2-2
CCHS: Gattin Travis 10-33, T.Belt 3-5, Morgeson 1-46, Nesbitt 1-3, Newcom 4-10, Gobin 1-2. DeSales: Kaleb Adkins 17-83, Marshall Miller 1-5, DaVon Martin 4-1, Molter 1-(-5).
CCHS: Newcom 23-30-0, 289. DeSales: Molter 12-21-2, 112; Martin 0-2-1.
CCHS: Nesbitt 9-159, Caden Howard 1-12, T.Belt 3-24, Morgeson 6-29, Cates 1-19, Travis 1-27, Rowen Perkins 2-19. DeSales: Price 6-93, Adkins 3-8, Luke Pfaadt 1-14, Trenton Gohl 1-(-1), Martin 1-(-2).
Seth Guess 2 solos, 4 assists; Nesbitt 2 solos, 2 assists; KeKoa Kuamoo interception; C.Gobin 5 solos, 4 assists, fumble recovery, TFL; Howard 2 solos, 2 assists, blocked kick; Impastato 3 solos, 3 assists, fumble recovery, TFL; Bennett McDaniel 2 solos, 3 assists; Evan Belt 2 solos, assist; Perkins solo, sack; Morgeson solo; Levi Piper 2 assists; T.Belt solo, 2 assists, interception; Berry 10 solos, 3 assists, interception, TFL; Travis 2 solos, assist; Grayson James 2 solos, TFL.
Players of the Game: Offense Micah Newcom and Kaleb Nesbitt, Defense Briley Berry, Lineman Lane West, Special Teams Case Gobin.
Records: Crittenden 6-4, DeSales 0-10.