The Belfry Pirates, coming off of a season opening 37-12 win over Somerset in the Pike County Bowl, will hit the road this week taking on Harlan County.
Harlan County, ranked No. 3 in Class 5A, shutout Clay County 42-0 last week in the ARH Bowl and rolled over Madison Central 49-6 in the Roy Kidd Bowl the week prior to that. The Black Bears are already 2-0 heading into the home contest with Belfry.
“They are good. They’re a senior dominated team and play that way,” Belfry head coach Philip Haywood said. “They are very experienced and have a lot of depth.”
Harlan County is led by senior running back Carson Whitehead, who has rushed for 203 yards and four touchdowns in the first two games. Senior quarterback Scotty Bailey has rushed for a couple of TDs and also thrown for a pair of scores.
“They are very physical,” Haywood added. “We need to play someone like that. Our young guys will have to stand up to them. That’s the way you learn.”
The Pirates head into week two ranked No. 2 in Class 3A behind their state championship game nemesis Central of Louisville. Belfry did receive two first place votes in the prep poll.
Bailey throws to a variety of receivers, but the Black Bears like to keep the ball on the ground. Harlan County has rushed for 584 yards on the ground in their first two games. They have held their two opponents to a negative 59 yards on the ground.
Belfry was led by senior running back Trenity Carr who scored a pair of TDs and sophomore Austin Hatfield who rushed for a game high 110 yards. Freshman Andrew Fletcher had 79 yards, while senior Justin Johnson rushed for 102 yards and a score. Senior quarterback Sani Warren also rushed for a TD as Belfry amassed 375 yards on the ground. Freshman Austin Woolum kicked all of the extra points for the Pirates.
Belfry only led 14-12 at halftime in the Pike County Bowl against Somerset, but got things rolling in the second half to pull away. Coach Philip Haywood is starting a new offensive line with the exception of his senior center Macky Francis. He is also using several freshmen in the game, so even though the Pirates have some experience, they are also young at several positions.