GOODY, Ky. – The Belfry Pirates are once again regular season district champs as they defeated Pike Central 48-12 Friday night at CAM Stadium.
Both teams went 3-and-out on their first possessions of the game. Defense was a key for both teams early in the game. The Hawks came up with a big goal line stand and kept the Pirates out of the end zone early in the second quarter.
Pike Central took over on downs just inside their own one yard line. However, this didn’t work out well for the Hawks. Two plays later the PCC coughed the ball up and Belfry senior defensive end Tony Messer recovered the pigskin on the 9-yard line with 6:08 left in the first quarter.
Three plays later sophomore fullback Austin Hatfield hit pay-dirt from one yard out for the first score of the game. The extra point by Trinity Carr hit the goal post, but Belfry had a 6-0 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff Pike County Central fumbled the ball and Belfry’s Zack Thompson recovered on the 26 yard line.
After a 6-play drive junior signal caller Sani Warren snuck it in from one yard out. Warren then connected with Josh Robinson for the 2-point conversion to give BHS at 14-0 lead with 2:12 left in the opening quarter.
PCC was unable to move the ball on offense and was forced to punt. However, Belfry fumbled the ball to give the Hawks great field position on the Pirate 37 yard line with 3.7 seconds left in the first quarter.
Three plays later, Belfry junior defensive back Cameron Johnson intercepted a Mack Justice pass, and returned it inside Hawk territory. Then Warren connected with senior split end Eli Huddle for a 46-yard TD pass. Carr’s kick made it 21-0 with 10:23 left in the first half.
However, Belfry was not through scoring in the opening half. On their next possession, Warren hit sophomore Keaton Taylor in stride and the speedy back raced 70 yards for another Pirate TD. The kick was no good, but BHS had a commanding 27-0 lead.
Pike Central continued to turn the ball over. Justice was picked off again. This time by Zack Thacker, and this set up another Belfry score.
After a short 4-play drive, Robinson broke free for a 30-yard touchdown run with 1:49 left in the half. Carr’s kick increased Belfry’s lead to 34-0 as the home team went into the dressing room on Parent Night with a huge lead.
Belfry came out of the gates in the third quarter to score again. Robinson scored his second TD of the evening capping a 6-play drive scoring from 12 yards out. The touchdown was set up by two good runs by Carr. The extra point kick by Carr made it 41-0.
After another Pike Central punt, Belfry’s Robinson returned the football to the 12 yard line. On the first play from scrimmage Hatfield scored his second TD of the night on a 12-yard run. Carr booted the kick to make it 48-0 with 3:48 left in the third quarter.
From that point the game clock ran continuously because of the KHSAA 45-point lead mercy rule.
Pike Central got two late touchdowns. Chris Wesley caught both TD passes from Justice. The conversions failed to make the final score 48-12.
Belfry cleared the bench in the final minutes playing their JV squad.
Warren was 3-of-4 passing for 129 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Carr rushed for 4 yards, Robinson for 62, Hatfield 36 and Taylor 19. Huddle, Messer and Taylor each caught a pass for the Pirates. Belfry unofficially had 181 rushing and 129 through the air for 310 yards of total offense.
The stingy Pirate defense was led by Madison Ghormley, Payton Mullins, Michael Barnes, Messer and a host of BHS defensive players. Ghormley had 14 tackles to lead his team in that stat.
Belfry is now 7-2 on the season and will play their final regular season game of the year on the road next Friday at Johnson Central. Pike Central is also 7-2 and will take on Prestonsburg for the second time this season on the road Friday night.
Score by quarters:
PCC … 0 0 0 12 - 12
BHS …14 20 14 0 - 48