Rockets tie Central Hopkins 20-20
Crittenden County’s full-backfield running game carried enough punch to keep Class 3A Central Hopkins guessing last Thursday as the Rockets finished up the preseason with a 20-20 tie at Morton’s Gap.
Offensively, Crittenden continued to show its capable assembly of running backs as sophomore Jeramie Sorina rushed for a scrimmage-high 67 yards on 115 carries, sophomore Rodney Robertson had 43 yards and a touchdown on seven carries and Gaige Courtney ran for 22 yards and a touchdown on four tries.
Freshman running back J.D. Gray only ran the ball twice for negative yardage before being knocked out of the game with a concussion. His injury status is day-to-day.
The Rockets employed a full-house backfield most of the time, working from the wishbone on most of its big plays.
Quarterback Taylon Polk looked as sharp as he has all preseason, connecting on 4-of-7 passes for 60 yards and one touchdown, a nine-yard strike to Courtney for Crittenden’s first touchdown. Polk had another TD pass early in the game to Gray called back for an illegal block. Jacob Courtney had one reception for 34 yards, Sorina one for 13, Gaige Courtney one for nine yards and Robertson one for four yards.
Crittenden rushed for 105 yards on 23 carries during the varsity portion of the scrimmage, but Polk was thrown for two sacks for minus-27 yards, or that figure would have been higher.
Central Hopkins’ varsity squad rushed for just 68 yards on 22 carries, but piled up 182 yards passing on 11-for-21 accuracy by its quarterback. The Rocket secondary took advantage of all the throwing and picked off two passes. Polk and Dustin McConnell each had interceptions.
Crittenden’s secondary was Jekyll and Hyde for much of the game. Those interceptions were highlights, but the pass defense was slow to react and slow to converge on the ball.
The Rocket second team ran three series each on offense and defense during the middle portion of the game. That’s when backup quarterback Jacob Courtney ran nine yards for the team’s final touchdown.
Crittenden led 20-7 when its varsity team took the field for the game’s final period. Hopkins Central scored twice late to close the gap.
Rocket coach Al Starnes was not as pleased with this scrimmage game as he was the one a week earlier against Muhlenberg South.
“We didn’t show the kind of progress that we should have between the first and second scrimmage,” Starnes said.
Depth continues to be a major concern, and youthful mistakes.
“I think we are going to be okay. We’re going to make those youthful mistakes, but that’s acceptable if they are making them while playing hard,” Starnes added. “I question whether all of our players are playing as tough or as hard they can.”
The Rockets open Friday, Aug. 25 at Caldwell County.