Belfry comes from behind to beat Pike Central 56-34
Pirates trailed 26-14 at halftime
BUCKLEYS CREEK, Ky. – Unless a team can beat another once in a while, it is not considered a true rivalry. Pike Central has not had much success against local rival Belfry the last few seasons on the grid iron.
Belfry has dominated the district and has continually made deep runs into the playoffs the past few years.
However, things did not start out well for the Pirates and their ship was taking on water early in the game. But, coach Philip Haywood righted the ship and Belfry poured it on in the second half to pull away with a 56-34 win.
Pike County Central junior quarterback Mac Justice threw two early touchdown passes as the Hawks took an early 12-0 lead in the first quarter.
No doubt the Belfry fans were wondering what was going on. They saw their Pirates, who went into the game with an 8-0 record and ranked No. 1 in Class 3A in Kentucky, on the back of their heels.
Belfry had two turnovers in the first quarter in this district matchup.
Then Pike Central scored early in the second quarter and the extra point made it 19-0 with 10:35 left in the first half. Justice connected with Chris Wesley for another score. The Pat increased the lead and excited the hometown fans at the Hawks Nest.
Belfry actually had negative yards on the ground in the first half, something the powerful Pirate rushing attack is just not used to.
Coach John Chapman had a good game plan for the Hawks.
Belfry senior quarterback Sani Warren scored on a 12-yard run to give the Pirates their first score. Freshman Austin Woolum kicked the extra point to cut the lead to 19-7 with in the second quarter.
It was a 4-play, 70 yard surge for the Pirates on their first scoring drive.
Warren broke lose again for another TD run and hit pay-dirt from 24 yards out with 2:09 left in the half. Woolum’s kick made it 19-14 to cut into the PCC lead.
The Hawks did not lie down and quickly took the football downfield and scored another TD as Justice hit Brad Elkins on a long pass. Elkin’s kick made it 26-14 capping a 71 yard, 4-play drive with 45 seconds left in the opening half.
Pike Central then had a good defensive stand at the end of the first half to keep the Pirates out of the end zone.
Justice was 12-18 in the first half and threw for four touchdowns, two to Elkins and two to Chris Wesley.
Warren was 5-8 for 119 yards for Belfry and he rushed for 54 yards and two scores in the first half.
Belfry fumbled the pigskin three times in the first half, losing two of those in the opening half.
The Pirates blocked a field goal attempt by the Hawks early in the third quarter and took over with good field position at the PCC 46 yard line. Austin Hall picked the ball up and gained several yards for BHS.
Belfry took advantage of the situation as senior Davontae Dari ran the ball down to the 20. Then senior power back Trenity Carr ran the ball three straight times scoring a TD from eight yards out with 5:24 left in the third quarter. Woolum split the uprights to cut the Hawk lead to 26-21.
The Pirate defense stepped up again as Dakota Stanley picked off a Justice pass to give his team the football again and the interception was made possible as freshman Ray Horton put the pressure on the PCC quarterback.
Then, on the first play from scrimmage, senior tailback Justin Johnson scored from 24 yards out to give the Pirates a 27-26 lead. Once again Woolum kicked the PAT to give the visitors a 28-26 lead with 4:04 left in the third.
Belfry’s next possession, Carr broke loose from 34 yards out to increase the Pirates lead with his second TD of the night. The kick by Woolum made it 35-26.
The floodgates opened and the Red Sea covered the Hawks from this point.
The Pirates scored again as Dari reached the house for another Belfry TD.
After PCC took over on offense, Hayden Hatfield recovered a Pike Central fumble after a high snap over Justice’s head.
Once again Belfry took advantage of the miscue as Carr scored another TD to take a 48-26 lead after the Hawk turnover. The kick by Woolum made it 49-26.
The Pirates put an exclamation point on their comeback as Johnson hit pay-dirt again with less than a minute left in the game. Woolum’s kick made it 56-34. The score capped a 9-play, 59 yard drive. Carr led Belfry with 103 yards on 16 carries and three TDs, while Johnson had 86 yards and two scores. Warren had six carries for 65 yards and a pair of TDs, Dari had four tries for 30 yards and a TD, while Austin Hatfield rushed for 35 yards and six carries. Hatfield has been hampered by an ankle sprain.
Warren connected on 6-of-9 passes for 135 yards. Keaton Taylor caught two passes for 69 yards.
Belfry rushed for 326 yards on 47 carries and they picked up 25 first downs.
Woolum was a perfect 8-for-8 on his extra points.
The Pirates fumbled the ball four times, which certainly did not help their cause early in the game.
Senior Joey Duty led Belfry on defense with 13 tackles, five of those unassisted. Hatfield had 12 stops, Hall six and T. J. Dotson six. Belfry allowed 150 yards on the ground and 218 through the air. Johnson, Hall and Hatfield all recovered fumbles, while Kaleb Edwards and Dakota Stanley each had interceptions.
Justice completed 15-19 passes for 292 yards and four TDs, most of that was in the first half.
Belfry, now 9-0, will play host to Class 4A Johnson Central this Friday in the regular season finale. Coach Jim Matney’s team was ranked No. 4 last week in Class 4A.
The win gave Belfry another regular season district championship.
Pike County Central fell to 5-4 and will play Perry County Central this Friday before heading into the playoffs.