GOODY, Ky.- The ship has sailed and Pirate football season is officially underway. The Belfry Pirates hosted the Tates Creek Commodores on Friday night at CAM stadium for the second game of the 31st Annual Pike County Bowl. Belfry won by a score of 55 – 38.
Head Coach Phillip Haywood continued with his normal routine and used the ground game to work the ball up the field and score the points, and what a ground game it was. Senior Xondre Willis and sophomore Derek Wellman led the Pirates to victory with spectacular rushing performances.
The game started off relatively slow, the Commodores won the toss and elected to receive, they got the ball and quickly punted after three unsuccessful gains. The Pirates grabbed the ball and had an impressive 30 yard drive moving forward until an unfortunate fumble returned the ball to Tates Creek with seven minutes and 34 seconds left to go in the first quarter.
Tates Creek took advantage of the situation and passed the ball fluidly down the field, they worked their way down to Belfry’s two yard line. They scored on a two yard pass completion with five minutes and nine seconds left to go in the first quarter. The Commodores lined up for the extra-point in an odd formation, everyone was lined up on the left side of the field, but Head Coach Antoine Sims burned the first timeout and reevaluated the situation and decided to play it safe. They made the extra point kick.
The Pirates quickly answered back with three minutes and fifty-four seconds left to go in the first quarter by a hard fought 20 yard run to pay dirt by quarterback Noah Corbett. They made the extra point kick.
Tates Creek refused to be outdone and came back out with momentum until an illegal formation penalty forced the Commodores to punt the ball back to Belfry. The punt was received by Cameron Catron.
The Pirates score the second touchdown of the game by a great run from junior Andrew Fletcher. They made the extra point kick to make the score 14-7 in favor of the Pirates.
Tates Creek answered back by passing the ball down the field and ultimately scoring on the drive. The Commodores completed a one yard pass to tie the ball game up 14-14 with six minutes and 45 seconds left to go in the second quarter.
The Pirates scored just before the half with 38.6 seconds left on the clock, Wellman punched in the score from 12 yards out to make the score at the half 21-14 after the extra point attempt was made by kicker Blake Mendoza.
At the half, Belfry assistant Coach David Jones was awarded the Pike County Bowl Legend award for his upstanding contributions to the community and his past accolades as a football player.
After the half Belfry running back Derek Wellman scored again for the Pirates, bringing the score to 28-14 in favor of Belfry. The second half was entirely the Belfry running game. Tates Creek tried valiantly to defend the increasing Points difference but the Pirate run game devoured too much yardage and time to be competed with.
The Pirates finished the game with 62 rushing attempts for a team total of 505 yard yards. They had eight rushing touchdowns and 20 first downs. Andrew Fletcher finished with 18 rushing attempts for 73 yards and two touchdowns. Derek Wellman finished with 16 rushing attempts for 166 yards and three touchdowns. Xondre Willis finished with 10 rushing attempts for 158 yards and three touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the ball the “pillars of destruction,” Ray Horton and Cole Bentley both finished with nine tackles apiece, while teammate T.J. Dotson earned 12 tackles on the outside, and Nate Sanger and Cameron Catron both earned 10 tackles for the Pirates.
It was a great start to the season for the Pirates, this season looks to smooth sailing from here on out.
(William Plaster is the sports reporter for the Williamson Daily News, he can be reached at 304-235-4242 ext. 2274 or at [email protected] or on twitter @sidplaster)