GOODY, Ky – T.J. Dotson and the Pirate defense shut down Lawrence County’s offense on Friday night to send the Pirates into the fourth round of the KHSSA playoffs.
Pond Creek nation seemed frozen over for a short time until the Pirates started putting points on the board. During the regular season Belfry and Lawrence County turned out to be the closest game the Pirates would have after the Bulldogs scored on the first play of the game and the Pirates caught the fumble bug. This time was different.
It didn’t take the Pirates long to get warmed up after quarterback Noah Corbett slipped into the end zone untouched on a keeper play with 10:48 left to play in the first quarter. Austin Woolum kicked the ball through the uprights and the Pirates took an early 7-0 lead.
The Bulldogs attempted to work the ball down the field passing until T.J. Dotson picked off a pass and rushed 37-yards in the other direction to pay dirt. Woolum added the extra point and the Pirates took a 14-0 lead over Lawrence County with 2:40 left to play in the first quarter.
Lawrence County made it clear they were determined to not let the game slip away when Tanner Black caught a long 43-yard pass and glided into the end zone with the Pirate defense behind him. The extra point kick was blocked by Belfry’s Xondre Willis but the Bulldogs had closed the Pirates lead bringing the score to 14-6.
With 8:46 left to play before halftime Corbett found some room to run again on an option play to the left side and scored from 9-yards out. Woolum added the extra point and the Pirates increased the lead to 21-6.
Timmy Dalton scored for Lawrence County with 8:18 left to play before halftime on a long post route that he caught and rushed into the end zone for a 36-yard score. The extra point kick was no good and the score stood at 21-12.
On the Pirates next offensive drive Willis weaved his way through the defense and rushed 73-yards to the Pirate end zone to add another score for the Pirates before halftime. Woolum added the extra point to make the score 28-12. Derek Wellman punched in the next score for the Pirates with 3:40 left to play before halftime from 3-yards out. Woolum nailed the extra point and the Pirates score increased to 35.
Dotson scored again for the Pirates after recovering a fumble on the Bulldogs next offensive drive and ran 7-yards into the end zone. Woolum added another extra point and the score jumped to 42-12. Then with 23.2 seconds left to play before the end of the first half Andrew Fletcher rushed into the end zone from 1-yard out to put the game way out of reach for Lawrence County and bring the Pirates score to 49.
Woolum scored the final points of the game on a 24-yard field goal with 3:51 left to play in the third quarter bring the final score of the ball game to 52-12.
Lawrence County proved to be no match for the Pirate defense after passing for 222-yards but only crossing the end zone twice. The Pirates finished the game with 333-yards rushing on 41 total carries and five rushing touchdowns.
Willis led the Pirates rushing attack with 157-yards on nine carries and one rushing touchdown. Fletcher finished second in rushing yards with 53-yards on nine carries and one rushing touchdown. Wellman scored one rushing touchdown and had 39-yards rushing. Corbett scored two rushing touchdowns and had 32-yards rushing.
The Belfry defense netted one fumble recovery for a touchdown and four interceptions; two by Devin Varney, one by Dotson for a touchdown and one by Cameron Catron who returned the pick 24-yards. Wellman led the team in tackles with nine total, Catron finished with 8 total tackles, and Dotson and Nate Sanger finished with six tackles a piece.
Belfry advances to the fourth round of the playoffs to face Corbin who defeated Bell County in a close 21-14 victory. The game will be played at CAM Stadium next Friday night.
B: 14, 35, 3, 0 52
LC: 0, 12, 0, 0, 12
(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 )