Sunday, November 2, 2008

PLAYOFFS: Crockett at Country Day

**O'Neil Swanson runs for a handful of his 122 yards**
**Chris Eddins was all over Crockett**
**Tony Lippett races for a first down**
**Bennie Fowler had the Rockets missing all day long**

Beverly Hills- The Yellowjackets knew coming in that they would have their hands full against Crockett. Last year Country Day was able to sneak pass Crockett 7-0 in the district finals. So when the going got tough Saturday afternoon Country Day tightened up their chin straps and decided to play smash mouth football on their way to a 17-7 win.

Country Day took advantage of a Rocket fumble on the Crockett's own 23 yard line, a few plays later Bennie Fowler took an end around to the house for a 7-0 lead with 7:06 to play in the first quarter. Country Day appeared to have built the lead in the second quarter when sophomore Josh Harris connected with tight end Jason Ray who dove for the left pylon but was whistled just inches short. On the very next play Harris tried to sneak the ball across the goal line but the ball was knocked loose and Crockett retained possession to end the threat keeping the score 7-0 at the half.

The Rockets got a big play from Ashton Gaines in the third quarter when the sophomore blocked a Yellowjacket punt giving Crockett the short field. Crockett took advantage and tied the game on a 15 yard pass from Tony Lippett to Gaines with 8:52 to play in the third.

Crockett repaid the favor late in the third quarter when Lippett was sacked and fumbled, Country day recovered the ball on Crockett's 22 yard line. A few plays later O'Neil Swanson scored from 5 yards out to take a 14-7 lead.

The Yellowjackets sealed the win in the fourth quarter by sticking to the run game and running nearly 10 minutes off of the clock while moving 75 yards down field. Country Day tacked on a field goal with 55 seconds left in the game to make the final 17-7.


Country Day-
I like how Country Day matched the physical play of Crockett in the second half. They tightened up the formation and ran it right down the Rocket's throat. Country Day's young secondary has grown up and they are also playing extremely well- especially junior Jason Ray and sophomores Lee Bailey and Kenny Knight.

the Rocketts were talented enough to pull off the upset and I was particularly impressed with how physical and hard hitting the Rockets were. But they had too many mental miscues and turnovers that cost them the game.

Offensive MVP: Bennie Fowler, CD-
while Swanson carried the load, it was the big play ability of Fowler that keyed the win. Fowler forced Crockett to bite on every ball fake and when he did touch the ball he produced first downs.

Defensive MVP: Chris Eddins, CD-
I just love how Eddins takes advantage of his size and speed over opponents. The 6-5/ 250 pound D-end and D-tackle gets off the ball fast and has a speedy pass rush. He chased Lippett all over the field and Lippett never got comfortable sitting in the pocket.

O'Neil Swanson, CD-
usually excels in the open field but he got the job done running hard between the tackles for a total of 141 yards and a TD on 28 carries.

Aaron McCord, Crockett-
I knew the the CMU commit had great athleticism at D-tackle but I was also impressed with the aggression he plays with. He excels at both run stopping and pass rushing.

Ashton Gaines, Crockett-
the 2011 corner/receiver made big plays in all three aspects of the game. His blocked punt help set up his own TD reception, where he did a good job of keeping his feet in bounds. But Gaines shines at corner and was phenomenal all day in pass coverage.

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