GOODY, Ky – The Belfry Pirates face the Cabell Midland Knights this week and Pond Creek nation can expect a different game from last year.
Last season the Knights handed Belfry their only loss of the season. The rumor mill says that Coach Haywood does not like to enter a championship game undefeated; every time Haywood and the Pirates have entered a championship game undefeated they have loss. The evidence for this theory goes all the way back to the late 80’s. The Pirates have not had an undefeated season in some years so there is no need for panic.
This year the loss comes from last week’s game against Knoxville Catholic were the Pirates lost 45-20. Cabell was the loss in 2015, Pikeville was the loss in 2014, and Johnson Central was the loss in 2013.
On to this season; the Pirates were on a roll until they rolled into Knoxville last week. The game against the Knights from last year still ruminates with Pond Creek Nation but the Pirates will not be facing the same team this year. Over the offseason the knights graduated 23 seniors. What they are left with is a team that has a record of 2-3. The West Virginia class-AAA power house has fell on a bad year and the Pirates, despite last week’s loss, are still a force to be reckoned with.
Cabell Midland does not have much of a passing game this year. QB Jake Gooderham has played two games with only one touchdown. The surprise is that Gooderham caught the touchdown which was thrown by receiver Isiah Duncan.
The Knights rushing game is the foundation of the team with three talented rushers. Ivan Vaughn leads the pack with 384-yards rushing on 42 carries with eight TD’s. Drew Keeton comes in second with 183-yards rushing on 39 carries with six TD’s and Korah Booker-Hill is the third with 129-yards on only 12 carries with six TD’s as well. That hint points to the fact that Booker-Hill is fast and can strike the end zone quickly if he can get into striking distance.
The receiving game is only highlighted by Gooderham and his lone TD. The defense is lacking as well with only two players with 20 or more tackles through four games. The rest of the team hovers around 5-7 tackles. The Knights have only recorded two sacks this season.
So far the knights have faced Capital, South Charleston, and Woodrow Wilson; which is a team usually met by the teams across the river. The Knights lost big time to Capital but pulled off wins against South Charleston and Woodrow Wilson.
The Pirates have a few injuries looming after the loss to Knoxville Catholic. Lineman Austin Dotson entered the game with a nagging injury and cornerback Devin Varney had an injury as well. Neither player is expected to miss much time, maybe only one game.
The Pirate offense is still lethal but needs to bounce back from last week’s game that had nine fumbles by Pirate players. Through five games, the Pirates have nine players who have rushed into the end zone and only two players who have scored receiving TD’s.
The Pirates announce that Friday night’s home game against Cabell Midland will also be Coal Miner Appreciation Night. If you present you Miners card at the gate you will receive one dollar off of you ticket price and they encourage everyone to wear their Mining hats and Shirts and join the pre-game tunnel. (The discount is only applicable to card holders and the discount does not apply to season ticket holders.)
The game is scheduled 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] on on twitter @sidplaster.)