GOODY, Ky. – One thing is for sure, Belfry High School doesn’t play an easy football schedule. Taking on a Class 6A school from Lexington is a good example.
On Friday night, Belfry committed some key turnovers, which directly led to points by visiting Lexington Henry Clay (LHC), and lost 40-20. It was the first home loss at CAM Stadium for the Pirates in a long time.
The game started with both team going 3-and out and punting the ball.
Then the Blue Devils scored first as Colby Barnes scored on a 39 yard pass from Rhoman James with 7:51 left in the opening quarter. Taylor Dunbar booted the extra point to give LHC a 7-0 lead.
Belfry jumped back quickly as Justin Johnson hit paydirt from 21 yards out at the 4:26 mark of the initial quarter. The Trinity Carr kick was wide right, but the Pirates cut the lead to 7-6.
On the ensuing kickoff, Henry Clay fumbled and it was recovered by Carr on the Blue Devil 48 yard line.
Then the Pirates took the lead with 11:51 left in the first half as Johnson scored his second TD of the night on a 26 yard run. The conversion run was stopped by the Blue Devils, but Belfry took a 12-7 lead
LHC began their next scoring drive with 10:45 left in the second quarter. The 8-play drive was capped by a Davion Jackson rushing TD from six yards out. The kick failed, but the Devils regained the lead 13-12.
On Belfry’s next drive, LHC forced a fumble and it was recovered by Jack Hellmann. The Devils took advantage of the turnover and scored three plays later as James connected with Austin Black for a 39 yard TD pass play. DeArion Jones ran in for the 2-point conversion and Henry Clay led 21-12 with 7:00 minutes left in the half.
The kick by the Blue Devils backed Belfry up to their own 9-yard line. Another fumble by the Pirates on the drive was recovered by Joe Tafolla on the 41, which would lead to another LHC score.
Henry Clay got into the end zone again. This time Davion Jackson, broke several tackles, reversed his field and dove in on what ended up being a long eight yard TD run. Dunbar’s kick failed, but the Blue Devils led 27-12 heading into the dressing room at the half.
The third quarter didn’t start out well for the home team. Belfry started out moving the football, but the drive eventually stalled. The Pirates were forced to punt and Henry Clay’s Elijah Bell raced 80 yards on the punt for another TD by the visitors from Lexington. Dunbar’s kick made it 34-12 with 8:34 left in the third quarter.
The Pirates didn’t quit and started their next drive with 8:22 left in the third. Josh Robinson returned the kickoff to the BHS 28. A facemask penalty put the ball on the 43 yard line. Then Belfry ended a nice 13-play drive on a Carr one yard run. Robinson ran in for the 2-point conversion, which cut the lead to 34-20.
The third quarter ended with Belfry trailing by 14 and the Pirates fans still had some hope.
However, Henry Clay was able to mount another strong drive, utilizing their speedy backs. The 6-play drive was capped off by a 6-yard touchdown run by Dearion Jones. The kick failed, but the Devils took a commanding 40-20 lead with 5:37 left in the game.
After another Belfry offensive possession, LHC was able to eat up the final minutes off the clock and make a happy bus trip back to Lexington.
Belfry ended the game with more first downs, 20 to 16 and more rushing yards, 336 to 160. The difference in the contest was the turnovers and the passing yardage. Henry Clay had 237 yards through the air, compared to 38 for the Pirates. Three lost fumbles hurt Belfry’s chances of keeping the game close.
In total yardage, Henry Clay had 397, compared to 374 for Belfry.
Johnson led Belfry with 168 yards on 18 carries, Carr had 112 yards on 21 tries, Robinson 36 on four carries and Austin Hatfield 23 yards on four attempts.
Sani Warren was 3-8 passing for 38 yards. James was 6-7 passing for the Blue Devils for 198 yards.
Bell led LHC with 85 yards on 12 carries, while Jackson had 47 on 10 tries. However, Bell had 77 yards on two receptions, Logan Gross 68 yards on two catches, Barnes had 53 yards on two catches and Black 39 yards on one catch.
Tony Messer led Belfry with five solo tackles, while Zack Thacker had four.
Hellman led LHC with nine tackles.
Belfry’s next game will be at home this Friday against and old nemesis the Prestonsburg Blackcats.
Score by quarters:
LHC (1-2) … 7 20 7 6 - 40
BHS (1-1) … 6 6 8 0 - 20
Penalties: Belfry 3-24, Henry Clay 6-49. Time of possession, Belfry 28:10, LHC 19:50.