GOODY, K.y. – Tonight the Belfry Pirates will try to continue their two game winning streak as they take on the Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds.
Belfry is back to back defending Class 3A state champions and are starting this season like they are hungry for a third state title. So far this season the Pirates have scored 98 points in only two ball games. The Pirates have only allowed 38 points against them. They have rushed for 505-yards and only allowed 113 rushing yards. Needless to say the Pirates are on track for another stellar season. The only visible flaw in Coach Phillip Haywood’s Machine is pass coverage. The Pirates have allowed opponents to complete 303 passing yards in the last two games.
Newport Central Catholic has started their season, less than perfect. The Thoroughbreds are 2-1 for the season. They lost to Scott and Cooper in the first two games of the year but pulled off an impressive win against Campbell County who is a Class 6A team. Head Coach Dan Wagner and the Thoroughbreds run an evenly distributed offense; they run as much as they pass. The Thoroughbreds running game is powered by senior running back John Harris. Harris has compiled 107 rushing yards and two touchdowns over the last three games. Their quarterback, Patrick Henschen has completed 30 out of his 56 passing attempts for a total of 253-yards.
The Thoroughbred offense will work the ball up the field any which way they can. Belfry will stick to their proven method of pounding the ball up the field six or seven yards at a time. It’s really a thing of magic to watch, once the Pirate ship sets sail there’s not much that can stop her.
The Pirates have had no shortage of dedicated rushers this season. The rushing workload has been evenly distributed among the four main running backs that coach Haywood uses. The Pirates have four rushers with over 100-yards rushing this season. Derek Wellman leads the pack with 218 total rushing yards on 18 attempts. Wellman also leads the team in touchdowns; he has scored 5 rushing touchdowns so far. Andrew Fletcher and Xondre Willis both have three touchdowns apiece.
Freshman quarterback Avery Browning got his first official high school start last game against Harlan County and proved he could handle the pressure. Browning led his team to a 43-0 victory over Harlan County. Browning completed both of his passing attempts for 83-yards last week.
The Pirates will play one more game without the help of veteran quarterback Noah Corbett and senior running back Xondre Willis however, the Pirates have plenty of other players who are taking advantage of the abscense and proving themselves worthy to play.
Cameron Catron is leading the Pirates in tackles so far this season, he has 19 total tackles. Ray Horton and Cole Bentley have kept the middle of the field clogged up. Opponents have had a great deal of difficulty running up the middle against the Pirates, and Catron keeps the outside locked down. The Thoroughbreds may have to utilize their passing game more against the Pirates.
Kickoff is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. at CAM stadium.
(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)