GOODY, Ky. – The Belfry Pirates sailed past Knott County Central 54-13 in first round Class 3A playoff action Friday night at CAM Stadium.
It was work as usual for Coach Philip Haywood’s squad on a cold night at CAM Stadium, using their strong ground game and mixing in an occasional pass to roll up 420 total yards of offense. BHS had 360 on the ground and 60 through the air.
Belfry scored early and often to take a 41-0 lead after one quarter of play.
Justin Johnson, who had sit out the past three games because of a concussion, scored the first three times he touched the football against the Patriots.
Belfry’s Cody Bostic took the opening kickoff to the Knott County 33 yard line. Then on the first play from scrimmage Johnson scored from 33 yards out. Trinity Carr kicked the extra point to take a 7-0 lead with 11:39 left in the opening quarter.
Sani Warren intercepted a Patriot pass on their first offensive possession. Belfry took over on the 45 yard line. Two plays later, Johnson raced untouched from 48 yards away, for his second TD. Carr’s kick made it 14-0 at the 9:26 mark of the first quarter.
Belfry’s tough defense forced Knott County into a 3-and-out. Senior Josh Robinson fielded the punt and returned it 60 yards for a touchdown. Carr booted the extra point to make it 21-0.
The Pirates held the Patriots again and forced another punt. Then with junior quarterback Sani Warren hit Johnson on a screen pass and he went 45 yards for his third TD of the night. Carr kicked the extra point to make it 28-0.
Belfry’s stingy defense, led by senior linebacker Madison Ghormley, forced another punt. On the first play from scrimmage sophomore Keaton Taylor hit pay-dirt from 55 yards out with 2:11 left in the first quarter. The extra point was kicked by Keilan Carr to make it 35-0.
On Knott Central’s next possession, Austin Hatfield intercepted a Patriot pass. Then it was Davontae Dari, a junior running back, who got into the end zone on a 20-yard TD run. K. Carr’s kick was not good, but Belfry led 41-0 after only one quarter of play.
Belfry got the football back again and this time Zack Thompson, a junior tailback, scored on a 6-yard rush. K. Carr’s kick made it 48-0.
The Pirates went into the dressing room at the half with a huge lead and head coach Philip Haywood and his staff had already played several reserves in the second quarter.
With Belfry’s junior varsity playing the rest of the way, Knott County still struggled to move the football. However, with the clock continuing to run, Patriot running back Jaylen Williams scored on a 64-yard run as time ran out in the third quarter. The conversion failed, but the visitors avoided the shutout.
Belfry got one final score as freshman Xondre Willis hit pay-dirt from 12-yards out for his first career varsity touchdown late in the fourth quarter. The kick failed, but Belfry extended the lead to 54-6.
The Patriots got one final score and kicked the extra point with the final seconds ticking off the clock in the final quarter.
Johnson only rushed two times, but had 76 yards. He caught the one pass for 45 yards. He scored each time he had the football.
Williams had 105 yards and at TD for the Patriots.
Belfry will host another playoff game next Friday on Haywood Field. The Lawrence County Bulldogs will be in town to take on the Pirates after they defeated Morgan County Friday night to advance.
Score by quarters:
KCC …. 0 0 6 7 - 13
BHS …. 41 7 0 6 - 54