September 11, 2019The Crawford County Wolfpack football team, loaded with freshmen and sophomores, has been through a rough start to the season with inexperience and injuries. Their first three games haven't been kind, but Crawford County did show promise during Friday's game against visiting Perry Central.
While Perry Central scored most of its points in the first half, Crawford County came back with a much better second half in a 50-6 loss to the Commodores.
Crawford County sophomore quarterback Keith Brooks runs for a first down in the Wolfpack's Patoka Lake Conference game against Perry Central. Photo By Wade Bell
"It wasn't bad," Crawford County coach Jeremy Reynolds said. "Once they put subs in, we had a team full of freshmen and sophomores and a couple of kids sprinkled in there. ... That's a team we can compete with. It's good to see, once that happens, our kids can play with them and, hopefully, they can gain some confidence and go from there."
Crawford County was limited from the start with just 19 players dressing for the game due to injuries and ineligible players. Crawford County received Perry Central's kickoff and returned the ball to the 19-yard line. A penalty and yardage lost, however, pushed the Wolfpack back to the 8. A bad snap on the next play put quarterback Keith Brooks into the end zone, and the Commodores made their first big defensive stop for a safety and two quick points.
Perry Central expanded that lead on its next possession. After receiving the kick, it took three plays for the Commodores to score again as Levi Rainbolt ran in from the 19. Crawford County turned the ball over on its next possession on an interception by Cameron Bland. Three plays later Perry Central was in the end zone again, this time Kayden Winter getting the call on a 10-yard run, creating a 16-0 lead.
Crawford County failed to get past the 10-yard-line on its next possesion and had to boot the ball away. Three more plays and the Commodores scored again, with Rainbolt getting his second TD of the game. Reece Davis missed the extra-point, but Perry Central's lead ballooned to 23-0. The Commodores scored one more time in the period when Crawford County had another costly snap go bad with Perry Central lineman Will Morgan picking up the ball and traveling five yards to score for a 30-0 first-quarter advantage.
In the second period, Perry Central scored twice while the Wolfpack struggled to get the big play they needed to score. Josh Stillwell had the biggest play of the first half when he ran 48 yards to score. After Crawford County was forced to give up the ball again, the Commodores needed five plays to score again, this time with Bland scoring on a 6-yard run for a 43-0 first-half lead.
"What I was disappointed with in the first half, we had a couple of bad snaps that probably gave them 16 points," Reynolds said. "We need to clean that up. We need to figure out a way to stop doing that. If you take those points away, it's 36-6. It's nothing to write home about, but you look at it and 'No, it's not too bad.' No one feels too bad about that score."
The second half began with a running clock, and Crawford County came back out of the locker room determined to play better. The Commodores, however, began the third quarter with the biggest play of the game when Rainbolt ran a full 90 yards down the left side on the return to score for a 50-0 lead.
Despite the lopsided score, the Wolfpack didn't giving up. Their next drive went farther than their first-half possessions before having to give the ball up again. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Commodores fumbled the ball over to Crawford on the Perry Central 29.
The Wolfpack kept the ball on the ground with Brooks, Garrett Stout and Brayden Casper moving the ball down to the 10. Brooks scored on the next play, and Crawford County was finally on the board for six. Perry Central ran out the clock for the remainder of the game and took home the 50-6 win.
"It's all progress. We'll get there," Reynolds said. "On our offensive line, we had two freshmen out there in the second half. We've got two guys who are juniors that have never played before, and we've got a sophomore that's not really played before. Once they were on equal footing, then our sophomore quarterback and our sophomore running back and our other sophomore running back looked pretty good running the ball."
Keith Brooks had 120 yards on 15 carries for the Wolfpack, while Brayden Casper ran five plays for 37 yards.
"Keith runs hard," Reynolds said of the sophomore. "He actually throws the ball OK. I wish we had more targets for him to throw to but right now we don't. We're going to work on that. We've got to find some more running backs we can depend on. Right now we just don't have very many, especially when Casper went down. He had the wind knocked out of him. He wasn't hurt. We've got to try to find some guys we can depend on to throw in there and do something. We're going to work on that real heavy next week during practice. Hopefully, next week we'll make another step in a positive direction."
"You could tell (Casper) got some confidence late in that first half," the coach said. "He had a couple of big hits on their quarterback, and all of a sudden he's running harder. I know he didn't play for us last year. He played in seventh grade at Paoli, and that was the last time he's played so he's not played in a while. As he goes and the season progresses, he's looking better and that's what you want."
Rainbolt had 43 yards rushing plus the 90-yard kickoff return for 133 yards of offense. Stillwell had 53 yards on two carries and Winter had three carries for 40 yards.
Reynolds said he was glad to see his team continue to play hard the entire game despite the lopsided score.
"Last week (at West Washington), we were very intimidated and we kind of laid down," he said. "I was really glad we didn't do that this week. Against West Washington, you can kind of understand. Some of them were intimidated, but we didn't in this game."
Perry Central 30 13 7 0 – 50
Crawford County 0 0 0 6 – 6
PC – Safety; PC – Levi Rainbolt 19 run (Reece Davis kick); PC – Kayden Winter 10 run (Davis kick); PC – Rainbolt 7 run (Davis kick); PC – Will Morgan 5 fumble return (Davis kick); PC – Josh Stillwell 48 un (kick failed); PC – Cameron Bland 6 run (Davis kick); PC – Rainbolt 90 kickoff return (Davis kick); CC – Keith Brooks 10 run (conv. failed).