Rocket football run ends at Boone County

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By Todd Martin

A game full of miscues, missteps and unfortunate penalties cost the Rockets a football regional championship Friday in a 45-35 loss at Boone County.

Like a persistent fly, the bad luck couldn't be swatted away.

"It seemed like every time something positive happened a negative followed," SCHS head coach Todd Shipley said. "We've got Boone in a third-and-long and quarterback scramble for a first down. We get a bad snap on a punt, then get a great goal-line stand, but then fumble on a bad snap. We get a fumble recovery right before the half, and then we get an illegal man downfield that wipes out a touchdown. We recover an onsides kick and then throw an interception. It was just one thing after another."

Despite the problems, the Rockets never seemed out of the game.

Down 45-29 with 3:45 remaining in the game quarterback Alex Matthews hit Matt Page for a 47-yard gain, setting up an 11-yard TD pass to Kyle Marston with 2:29 to play.

But the bug hit again.

On the two-point conversion Matthews connected with Coty Minnis, but the score was waived off on a holding call and the Rockets couldn't convert on the second attempt.

Then, on the ensuing kick-off the Rockets tried an onsides kick and everything appeared perfect, but the Rebels somehow maintained possession.

"It comes down to the fact that we just didn't play well overall," Shipley said. "It wasn't that Boone County made a bunch of fantastic plays, we just didn't convert when we had chances. Any time you're in a region championship game, the team that makes the least mistakes is going to win -- you just can't give the ball up six times."

Three plays in particular stand out as missed opportunities for the Rockets -- the missed touchdown right before the half, a strip and Boone County recovery at the end of a 52-yard reception and the lost two-point conversion. That's approximately 16 points (with made extra-points after touchdowns.)

"We just didn't play well," Shipley reiterated. "Add to that the fact that Boone County is a quality football team, and we came up short."

Matthews finished the game with 403 yards, completing 27 of 53 passes with five touchdowns, along with three interceptions. Jordan Burk continued his hot streak receiving, finishing with 11 catches for 161 yards and three scores, Minnis had nine catches for 168 yards and Marston and Otheus Beach each had two catches and one touchdown apiece.

"Playing in the region championship is a great experience, and hopefully it's a sign of good things to come," Shipley said. "Of course we'd like to have that one back again, but we want to get to the point where postseason runs and eight-plus win seasons are common."

Boone County will play at Trinity this week in the Class 6A State semifinals. Trinity beat Henry Clay 50-14. The other half of the bracket will have St. Xavier play host to Meade County. St. X won 65-0 at Marshall County and Meade County won 25-3 at Male.