Belfry plays host to strong Johnson Central team
by By Kyle Lovern
GOODY, Ky. – Former Belfry player Jim Matney, a Pirate hall of famer, brings his highly ranked Johnson Central Golden Eagles into CAM Stadium this Friday night.
Matney’s squad is ranked No. 3 in Class 4A and has an undefeated record. Belfry is ranked No. 1 in Class 3A and is also undefeated with a record of 9-0.
Something has to give in the final regular season game of the season for both schools.
Johnson Central defeated the Pirates last season by a score of 17 to 12.
Coach Philip Haywood’s team has had some tough games this season, but has continued to find ways to come out on top.
Last week some early turnovers saw Belfry fall behind 26-14. They headed into the dressing room at halftime trailing district rival Pike Central, but a second half surge brought the Pirates back and they ended the game with a 56-34 victory.
Haywood knows that his team can ill afford a repeat first half performance like they had last week against Johnson Central.
“It will be a tough game,” Haywood said. “They have a huge offensive line and some big, strong running backs.”
Haywood said JCHS is primarily a running team, but they will pick their spots to throw the football too.
“This will be a good competitive game and we like to have that at the end of the season. It will be a good test for us,” Haywood said of the strong opponent. “They also have good size on their defensive line. We can’t afford to make any mistakes.”
Last week the Golden Eagles rolled over Ashland Paul Blazer 42-7. Matney’s teams have scored over 60 points twice, over 70 once and over 50 points four times in their nine wins this season. The lowest scoring total JCHS had was a 36-14 win over Class 5A Harlan County. Belfry defeated that same team 21-12 earlier in the season. That was the only common opponent the two teams had this year. The other wins Johnson Central had this season were 67-7 over Holy Trinity of Ontario Canada, 72-28 over Noblesville, IN, 53-7 over Perry County Central, 69-14 over Boyd County, 56-14 over Ironton, Ohio, 54-0 over Greenup County and 59-10 over Rowan County.
Belfry started the season with a 37-12 win over Somerset in the Community Trust Pike County Bowl, then hit the road to beat both Harlan County (21-12) and Southwestern (Pulaski Co.) 38-27. The Pirates then dominated Class 1A Pikeville at home 56-20, rolled over Sheldon Clark 56-20 at Inez, defeated Gallia Academy of Ohio 41-19, went to Knoxville, TN to beat Christian Academy 27 – 21, beat Lawrence County at home 35 – 12 and then Pike County Central last week.
The Pirates are led on offense by seniors Trenity Carr, Justin Johnson and Sani Warren. Junior Austin Hatfield, who has been nursing a badly sprained ankle and senior Davontae Dari will also see action, while junior Keaton Taylor is the primary target when Belfry passes the ball.
On defense BHS has bee led by seniors Hayden Hatfield, Joey Duty and Michael Barnes. Several underclassmen have also played well on the defensive side of the football including Dakota Stanley, Ray Horton, Zack Thompson, Austin Hall and many others have contributed to Belfry’s strong defense.
Belfry already knows its Friday, November 8 playoff opponent. They will take on Jackson County at home on Haywood Field in the Class 3A KHSAA Commonwealth post season. However, first things first – and they are not looking ahead. Haywood and his staff know you want to take them one game at a time.
If you can’t make it out to the game you can hear all the exciting action on WDHR 93.1 FM with Bobby Norman and Steve Mickey.
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