GOODY, Ky. – It took a little over five minutes for the Pirates to get on the scoreboard but once they did, they lit it up!
Belfry defeated Fleming County 61-0 in the second round of the KHSAA playoffs but the biggest win for the Pirates was setting the running clock rule in place with 10:09 left to play before halftime.
Belfry dominated the visiting Panthers and scored 28 points in the first quarter. Fleming County took off like a rocket in the opening drive. Panther QB Josh Crump, when flushed out of the pocket by Belfry’s defensive pressure, was allusive and gained a couple of first downs leaving Pond Creek Nation to think this might be a closer game than expected. Except when Crump took a long shot downfield to a receiver Belfry cornerback Devin Varney got the interception and took away all of the Panthers momentum.
The Pirates took the ball early in the first quarter pinned on the 9-yard line in Panther territory. The Pirates put together a drive, mostly on the legs of running back Taveon Hunter, and was able to score. After Hunters running work landed the Pirates on their own 12-yard line Cameron Catron rushed in for the score with 6:53 left to play in the first, Austin Woolum added the extra point and Belfry took a 7-0 lead.
On Fleming County’s next position they met senior defensive end Ray Horton, who caused a fumble and blocked a pass from Crump which pinned the Panthers back to the 3-yard line. After a quick three and out the Panthers attempted to punt but the ball sailed straight up. While most of the players on the field were looking for the ball Catron caught the ball on a dead sprint, in traffic, and danced into the end zone giving Belfry another quick score. Woolum added another extra point kick and Belfry jumped ahead 14-0 with 5:51 left to play in the first quarter.
Fleming County was forced into another punt on their next possession but gained the ball back on a fumble from belfry QB Noah Corbett. The Panthers had little time celebrate and get something going as Catron hauled in an interception early in the drive setting up an Andrew Fletcher touchdown with 1:34 left to play in the first quarter. Woolum added another extra point kick to put the pirates up 21-0.
Derek Wellman scored once more for the Pirates with 30 seconds left before the second quarter when he punched it in from 3-yards out. Woolum nailed another extra point kick to give the pirates 28 points at the end of the first quarter.
Fleming County was forced into yet another punting situation and attempted to fake the punt. Fleming County’s Eugene Hamm was caught looking for a receiver and the Pirates gained the ball back on their own 11-yard line. Fletcher crossed the goal line again on an unexpected screen pass but a holding penalty took the score away and put the Pirates in a third and nine situations.
No worries; Corbett connected with Hunter for a 15-yard catch and score on a short streak down the middle. Hunter entered the end zone untouched, Woolum missed the extra point but Belfry jumped ahead 34-0.
With 10:09 Grayson Cook set the running clock rule in place when he crossed the goal line on a 37-yard pick six.
Peyton Hensley scored the final Pirate score before halftime from 1-yard out, Woolum added the extra point and Belfry went into the locker room with 48 points.
In the second half Hensley scored once more on a 53-yard TD and Avery Browning rushed in the Pirates final score from 4-yards out in the fourth quarter.
Hensley led the Pirates out of the backfield with 119-yards on seven carries and two rushing TDs. Hunter rushed four times for 70-yards, Wellman had five touches for 33-yards and a score. Catron scored on his lone touch of 12-yards and Fletcher punched in one score to add to his 45-yards on six carries.
Belfry finished the night gaining 372-yards on 36 rushes with six rushing scores and 16 rushing first downs.
On defense Belfry kept the Panther passing game in check with three interceptions, one from Varney, one from Catron , and one from Cook for a score.
Woolum went 6 for 7 on extra points and Cook nailed his only attempt.
Dalton Lowe finished the night leading Belfry on defense with five total tackles, Wellman finished with four tackles on the night.
The Pirate defense held Fleming County to 89-yards of total offense. The Panthers had 47-yards rushing on 19 carries and 42-yards receiving on 15 catches.
Somehow the Pirates have received home field advantage in the next game which will be against Russell who beat Pike Central 56-14 on Friday night. More on that game as the week rolls on.
Scores by quarters:
Fleming: 0 0 0 0 – 0
Belfry: 28 20 7 6 – 61
(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] on on twitter @sidplaster.)