Crittenden to try again after Panthers blast away Rocket win streak
By Jim Turner

Posted on November 12, 2021 9:50 AM


Three weeks after Russellville ended their longest losing streak ever to Crittenden County by a dominating 27-0 at Marion, the Rockets are going to try to reverse it tonight.

Crittenden County comes to Rhea Stadium for the Class 1A, District 1 championship game following the Rockets’ 60-16 win over Fulton County in the KHSAA playoffs’ opening round. The Panthers, who finished undefeated at 2-0 against those two teams, had a bye because there are only three teams in their district. There just aren’t many small schools left in Western Kentucky playing KHSAA football.

The Rockets had beaten RHS six straight times in either the regular season or playoffs before that Oct. 22 encounter.

Crittenden is one of three teams which the Panthers have beaten this year who are playing for district championships tonight. The other two are 4A schools Logan County and Franklin-Simpson. The Panthers’ lone loss in this remarkable 9-1 season has been to Glasgow, which is playing for a 3A district title tonight.

Four of Coach Mikie Benton's Panthers’ nine wins have come on running clocks, meaning they were at least 36 points ahead when the game clock quit stopping on usual stoppages. They cam against Butler County 45-0, Barren County 43-7, Fulton County 42-6 and Monroe County 49-14. They close with a 34-point margin at Warren East.

In that 27-0 win over Crittenden County, Chevis Elliott piled up 109 rushing yards on 9 carries and a touchdown. Jovari Gamble ran the ball 25 times for 89 yards and 2 touchdowns.

The Panther defense held the Rockets to only 59 yards total offense. Braxton Baptiste led the defense with 9 tackles, 8 of them solo. Even more impressive were his three sacks and one other tackle for loss. Josh McMurry’s 7 tackles included 3 tackles for losses and 3 more solos. Lennon Ries also was credited with 7 tackles, 4 of them solos. Five of Zach Dowlen’s 6 tackles were solos.

Anthony Woodard and Jackson Hampton each pulled in a pair of interceptions, and Woodard took one of them 80 yards the other direction for a touchdown. Monto Williams recovered a Rocket fumble.

Dustin Brown kicked three extra points.

Game time is at 7 p.m. Tickets will be available for $6 at the gate, but cash only will be accepted.

The game can be heard via late broadcast on WRUS at 1 p.m. Saturday with John Brett Reynolds and Chris McGinnis calling the action.

If the Panthers win again, they will host the regional championship game next week.

Panthers honored

Of the 24 spots on the All-SKY Small School first and second teams, over half went to the Panthers.

The 14 honorees include 12 seniors and a pair of juniors. They are:

1st Team Offense

Lennon Ries- QB

Jovari Gamble- RB

Josh Todd- OL

Dustin Brown- K

1st Team Defense

Braxton Baptiste- DL

Josh McMurry- LB

Chevis Elliott- DB

Jaquis Todd- DB

2nd Team Offense

Rooster Woodard- WR

Henry Graves- OL

Camden Phillips- OL

2nd Team Defense

Zach Dowlen- DL

Ben Allen- DL

Jackson Hampton -DB

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