GOODY, Ky – The Belfry Pirates defeated Bath County in the opening round of the KHSAA Gridiron Bowl by a score of 62-0 and advance to the second round to face Russell.
The forecast called for rain during the contest but the only rain seen was Belfry, raining down touchdowns against the Wildcats. Belfry kicked off to the Wildcats to start the game and the Pirate defense took the field. During the first play of the game Bath County dropped back to pass and threw the ball over to the right sideline where it landed right in the hands of cornerback Austin Woolum who returned the interception into the end zone untouched for the first Pirate score. Woolum also added the extra point and the Pirates took a quick 7-0 lead over Bath County with 11:46 left to play in the first quarter.
Andrew Fletcher rushed into the end zone next for the Pirates after a quick three and out forced the Wildcats to punt the ball back to the Pirates. Xondre Willis returned the ball back to the Pirates 10-yard line. Fletcher busted through a huge whole on the left side of the line and crossed the goal line standing straight up with 9:30 left to play in the first quarter. Woolum added the extra point and Belfry took control of a two score lead early in the game.
On the next possession for the Wildcats the ball was picked off by Belfry’s Devin Varney and returned down the visiting sideline for a score. Varney added six points to the Pirates score with 8:05 left to play in the first quarter. Woolum added the extra point and the score stood at 21-0.
Fletcher found pay dirt again on a 37-yard rush into the end zone with 5:28 left to play in the first quarter. Woolum added another extra point and Belfry stayed way ahead with a score of 28-0.
The Pirates used a different formula on the next score when Cole Bentley moved into the tight-end position and caught a 14-yard pass from Noah Corbett with 2:55 left to play in the first quarter to put six points on the board for Belfry. Woolum nailed the extra point and the score stood at 35-0.
Later on in the second quarter Willis caught a pass thrown by Corbett and scored on a 20-yard catch and score with 9:02 left to play before halftime. Woolum booted in another extra point and the continuous clock rule moved into effect.
Second string quarterback Avery Browning scored the next goal for the Pirates on a quarterback sneak from 3-yards out to send the Pirates into halftime with a 49-0 lead after Wollum added the extra point.
To start off the third quarter Tyler Gannon punched in the first, second half score for the Pirates from one yard out. Woolum added the extra point and the Pirates sailed away with an untouchable lead of 56-0. The Pirates would score one more time in the game when Dalton Lowe picked up a fumble and rumbled 65-yards the other way to Belfry’s end zone with 6:07 left to play in the game. The Pirates tried a two point conversion but were unsuccessful and the game ended with a final score of 62-0.
The Pirates got some younger players involved early in the game to help them gain experience that could come in handy as they advance onto the next round.
Gannon led the Pirates rushing attack with 58-yards on 15 carries and one rushing touchdown. Fletcher followed closely behind with 49-yards on three carries with two rushing touchdowns. Derek Holbrook rushed for 38-yards on seven carries and Taveon Hunter rushed seven times for 23-yards.
Braxton Miller led the Pirates on defense with seven total tackles, Nate Sanger finished second with six total tackles. Belfry’s defense held Bath County to only 39-yards rushing throughout the entire game.
The Belfry Pirates will advance to face Russell in the next round of the playoffs. Russell defeated neighboring Pike County Central in their first round game by a score of 43-13. The Winner of Belfry and Russell will play the winner of West Carter and Lawrence County in the third round game.
Belfry: 35, 14, 7, 6, – 62
Bath Co: 0, 0, 0, 0, – 0
(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)