GOODY, Ky. – The Belfry Pirates are one win away from reaching the state championship game.
Belfry and the “Pond Creek Nation” will host Bourbon County tonight at CAM Stadium in the Class 3A semi-finals.
Bourbon County defeated Mason County 55-13 last week. The Colonels will come into the game undefeated at 13-0 and ranked No. 1 in Triple-A.
Belfry, 11-2, topped previously undefeated Breathitt County 41-20 last Friday night.
The Pirates will be without the services of junior running back Justin Johnson, who suffered another concussion last week. Sophomore back Keaton Taylor has also been nursing a foot injury.
But, Belfry always has depth, especially at the skill positions. Trinity Carr can play fullback or halfback. Last week sophomore Austin Hatfield came into the game and gained 166 yards and had a TD. Senior Josh Robinson, a speedster, also gets carries for the balanced rushing attack.
Junior quarterback Sani Warren is a threat to run the ball and although Belfry does not throw the football as much as some teams. Warren is capable of connecting with his receivers.
Senior tight end Tony Messer and senior split end Eli Huddle, along with junior Cameron Johnson, are targets for Warren.
Belfry’s huge offensive line has been a big key for their powerful running game.
Messer, Madison Ghormley, Zack Thacker and Payton Mullins lead the stingy Pirate defense.
Bourbon County has been rolling up the 647 points this season for an average of about 50 points per game, so something will have to give. They only had one close game this year, a 28-27 double overtime win over Bath County.
“They’ve got a good football team,” Pirate coach Philip Haywood said. “They have some skill players.”
Haywood said the Colonels have five or six players that can score when they get the ball.
“We’ll really have to step up on defense,” he added.
The Colonels are led by running back Kentayvous Hopkins who has rushed for 1,935 yards and 27 touchdowns in 13 games. He averages 149 yards per contest. Dalton Pope is the quarterback. He has completed 64-104 passes for 1,488 yards and 22 TDs. Jaxson Hilander has hauled in eight TD passes for the Colonels, while Charles Johnson and Hopkins have hauled in six scoring passes. Bourbon County has other receivers and likes to spread the ball around.
The Colonels have topped the 60-point mark twice, the 50-point plateau four times and they scored 70 against Powell County. The Bourbon defense is giving up an average of about 12 points per game, but they have had a couple of shutouts and only gave up one touchdown in five of their 13 wins.
Belfry has rolled up 541 points in its 13 games for an average of about 42 per game. On defense the Pirates have only allowed 170 points this season for an average of 13 per game. The Pirates also have two shutouts this season and only gave up one touchdown in four games, and that was with the JV squad playing in the second half.
The winner of this game will head to the Class Triple-A championship game at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Ky. on Friday, November 30, at 3:00 p.m.
Belfry lost a heartbreaker last season in the title game by one point to Louisville Central.