The Craig defense gang tackles the ball carrier at Bath County. Photo by Donna Deplazes

The Craig County football team didn’t get in gear until the second half in Hot Springs last Friday, and that likely cost the Rockets a win. Host Bath County took a 20-14 win in a Pioneer District game.

Bath led 20-0 at the half. The Chargers came out strong and dominated play early in the game.

“It’s tough,” said Craig coach Mark Harrison. “We did not come out to play at all at the beginning of the game. You go over technique every day in practice and then when game time comes they forget all about it. If you watched the game you’d think we didn’t teach them anything.”

The second half was a different story.

“We gave them a little encouragement at halftime and they came out rockin’ and rollin’,” said Harrison. “If they’d played like that the first half we would have won the game. We have to learn to be mentally and physically strong for the whole game. You have two kinds of football players, ones that hesitate and ones that accelerate, and we need more of the latter.”

The Rockets got a third quarter touchdown on a one yard run by Dakota Henderson, who then passed to Dalton McPherson for a two point conversion to make it 20-8. Dakota passed to Dalton Henderson for a late TD but the two point conversion failed with 20 seconds on the clock. Craig tried an onsides kick but couldn’t get the ball back and Bath ran out the clock.

“We took it down to the last play,” said Harrison. “I’m really proud of our kids. They never gave up and fought until the end.”

Craig had two injuries in the game, as Ben Deplazes and David Smith both were taken to the hospital. Deplazes will likely be back this week but Smith will probably miss the Narrows game.

Craig got a good defensive game from Jacob Bradford, who had 11 tackles, including one for a loss, and three assists. Dakota Henderson had nine tackles and five assists and Chase Huffman had a tackle for a loss.

The loss dropped Craig to 0-7 and it won’t get any easier Friday with Narrows coming to town. The Green Wave is 6-1 after a 35-14 win over Eastern Montgomery last week.

“They’re big and strong, probably the best team we’ll play all year,” said Harrison. “I’m still waiting for us to put a whole game together like we played in the second half at Bath.”

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