Friday, September 22, 2023

Rockets succumb to No. 3 Catholics

MARION, Ky. – Down 21-12 Friday with the ball in their hands in the first half thanks to a couple of passes the Rockets stole from highly-touted Owensboro Catholic quarterback Brady Atwell, Crittenden County’s “street cred” was rising against the No. 3 team in Class 2A.

Rocket Grayson James (51) makes a play on
O'Cath running back Miles Edge.
Then the hatches broke loose and Crittenden went from being in a nice place few might have expected to facing killer beasts in the Roman Colosseum. Subsequently the undefeated Catholics left Marion with a 62-12 victory. O'Cath was heavily favored in the contest.

Like mana from heaven, two of Atwell’s first-half passes fell into the hands of CCHS defenders. Senior Gabe Keller returned one for a touchdown and sophomore Brayden Poindexter snared another, giving the Rockets the ball near midfield and a chance to make it a one-possession game before halftime.

However, Crittenden’s offense could muster nothing and was forced to punt. From there, the Aces scored four more times in the first half, including three TDs in the last 56 seconds of the second period. Catholic led by 36 at the break and forced a running clock for the last two quarters. They tacked on two more scores down the stretch.

CCHS senior Lane West tries to bat down a
pass by O'Catch QB Brady Atwell.
The Rockets could neither move the ball nor get pressure on Atwell. In the first half, CCHS had no first downs and lost two fumbles. Their special teams gave up the ball twice, allowed a punt return with no time on the clock and Crittenden went into halftime trailing 48-12.

The homecoming game had turned on a dime.

“We came out early and made some plays and were able to get a couple of turnovers,” CCHS coach Gaige Courtney said. “But we made too many mistakes of our own. We can’t turn over the ball and go into the half with that kind of margin. That’s a really good football team.”

Atwell, the O’Cath quarterback, is the nephew of former Mr. Kentucky Football Travis Atwell, who the Rockets faced three times in the late 1990s. CCHS was 1-2 against the father. The son threw 31 passes in the first half and completed many of them with its ball-control spread offense. Crittenden changed its coverage a bit in the secondary and forced Atwell into a couple of picks, but he recovered to pass for 245 yards, including five touchdowns. He rushed for two more as the Aces improved to 6-0. 

Ranked No. 10 in Class 2A, Crittenden (2-3) will open district play next week at home against No. 5 Murray. The Tigers are 5-1 after beating McCracken County 38-35 Friday. Their only loss was to Union County 27-7.

Owensboro Catholic 21 27 7 7
Crittenden County         6 6 0 0

OC-Brady Atwell 2 run (Andrew Garvin kick) 8:45, 1st
OC-Waryn Ebelhar 3 pass from Atwell (Garvin kick) 7:00, 1st
OC-Tutt Carrico 9 pass from Atwell (Garvin kick) 2:29, 1st
CC-Caden Howard 70 pass from Micah Newcom (Newcom kick failed) 2:12, 1st
CC-Gabe Keller 18 interception (pass failed) 11:39, 2nd
OC-Atwell 10 run (Garvin kick) 4:55, 2nd
OC-Mitchell Sims 13 pass from Atwell (Garvin kick) :56, 2nd
OC-Eblher 22 pass from Atwell (Garvin kick) :44, 2nd
OC-Noah Rhinerson 60 punt return (kick failed) :00, 2nd
OC-Tutt Carrico 13 pass from Atwell (Garvin kick) 1:01, 3rd
OC-Rhinerson 34 pass from Dremail Carothers (Garvin kick) 8:50, 4th

First Downs: CCHS 3, OCHS 18
Penalties: CCHS 3-30, OCHS 10-95
Rushing: CCHS 14-21, OCHS 17-192
Passing: CCHS 11-16-1, 203; OCHS 29-40-2, 279
Total Yards: CCHS 224, OCHS 471
Fumbles/Lost: CCHS 2-2, OCHS 0-0

CCHS: Tyler Belt 1-0, Gattin Travis 1-1, Jacob Carder 6-6, Caden Howard 1-5, Quinn Summers 1-11, Micah Newcom 3-(-5), Bobby Hazel 1-3. OCHS: Elijah Blair 1-9, Miles Edge 3-21, Tutt Carrico 2-34, Vince Carrico 3-19, Noah Rhinerson 1-3, Kail Kabalen 1-5, Brady Atwell 6-101.
CCHS: Newcom 8-10-0, 188; Summers 3-6-1, 15. OCHS: Atwell 28-39-2, 245; Carothers 1-1-0, 34.
CCHS: Carder 1-7, Belt 3-105, Howard 2-76, Gabe Keller 2-0, Dakota Sosh 2-14, Trae Taylor 1-1. OCHS: Blair 4-50, Edge 7-62, Rhinerson 5-67, T.Carrico 5-61, V.Carrico 1-0, Waryn Ebelhar 3-28, Mitchell Sims 3-26, Houston Lynn 1-5.
Keller 6 solos, 2 assists, interception; Levi Piper 4 solos, 4 assists; Braden Mahnke assist; G. Travis solo, 3 assists; Howard 5 solos, 2 assists; Bennett McDaniel solo, 2 assists; Cam'Ron Belcher solo; Casey Cates 6 solos; Brayden Poindexter 5 solos, 3 assists, interception; Carder solo; French 2 assists; T. Belt 5 solos; Sosh solo; Grayson James solo; Lane West 2 solos; Jason Millikan solo.
Players of the Game: Offense Micah Newcom, Defense Gabe Keller, Lineman Keagan Young-Pierson, Special Teams Braden Mahnke
CCHS 2-3, OCHS 6-0