BUCKLEY’S CREEK — The Belfry Pirates overcame a fast start by the Pike County Central Hawks on Friday night in The Hawks Nest to win what was a key district game by a final score of 55-14.
The Hawks (7-2) would draw first blood on their first play from scrimmage as senior quarterback Tyler Hunt called his own number and dashed 55-yards to the endzone with 11:42 left in the first quarter. Senior kicker Issac Hunt’s PAT attempt was good, and Pike Central lead 7-0.
Just two plays into Belfry’s first drive of the night, star junior tailback Issac Dixon would add a 55-yard touchdown run of his own. Senior kicker Grayson Cook’s extra point was no good, and Pike Central remained in the lead at 7-6 with 10:57 left in the first quarter.
The hosts would respond on the next drive, however. They capped off an eight play, 80-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown pass on fourth and goal from Hunt to junior wide receiver Keegan Bentley. Hunt’s PAT was good, and with 5:42 left in the first quarter, the Hawks would extend their lead to 14-6.
The Pirates would score again on their next possession. Senior tailback Peyton Hensley would find pay dirt with a run from 28-yards away with 1:29 left in the first quarter. On the two-point conversion attempt, junior quarterback Brett Coleman tried to keep it himself, but he fumbled the ball and it was recovered in the endzone by junior offensive lineman Aidan Smith, and the score was now tied at 14-14.
With 7:29 left in the first half, Belfry’s trio of starting tailbacks all had a touchdown added to their statistics on the night as senior Ben Bentley took a handoff and went 20 yards to the house. Cook’s PAT was good, and Belfry jumped into the lead, 21-14.
Pike Central would turn the ball over on downs on their next drive, and the Red and White would capitalize. It took just one play for them to get on the scoreboard again as yet another Belfry tailback would find the endzone on a touchdown run, as this time it was senior Isaiah Birchfield on a 44-yard run. Cook’s PAT try was successful, and Belfry pushed the margin to 28-14 with 4:42 left in the second quarter.
After a Hawks three-and-out, the road team would pad it’s lead again before halftime. With just 20.2 seconds left in the quarter, Coleman would connect with Dixon on a 32-yard touchdown pass. Cook’s PAT was again good, and the Pirates took the 35-14 lead into halftime.
Hensley would get Belfry on the board again just one minute and 44 seconds into the third quarter as he ran the ball in for a score from one yard out. Cook’s PAT was good, and the Pirates’ lead was propelled to 42-14 with 10:16 left in the third quarter.
After another Pike Central drive stalled, BHS would again take advantage of it. With 4:55 left in the third quarter, Coleman would call his own number and score a rushing touchdown from 19 yards out.
The two-point conversion try was unsuccessful, but Belfry’s lead swelled to 48-14.
Hensley wasn’t done finding the endzone. With 2:01 left in the third quarter, the Red and White went 52 yards in five plays as he would score on yet another touchdown scamper, this time from 19 yards away.
The extra point attempt by Cook was good, and Belfry’s lead now stood at the final tally of 55-14, starting the running clock.
After scoring touchdowns on their first two drives of the second half, the Hawks couldn’t find much on offense the rest of the night as they were held scoreless by the Belfry defense from that point on.
Coach Philip Haywood’s club outgained the Hawks in total offense, 465-158, with 404 of those being rushing yards. Hensley carried the ball 15 times for 122 yards and three touchdowns, while Dixon and Bentley both added a rushing score and ran for 85 and 75 yards, respectively.
Birchfield also added a score on the ground, rushing four times for 67 yards. Coleman was 2-4 passing the ball and threw for 61 yards and a touchdown, and he also found pay dirt one time on the ground.
Belfry improved to 6-2 with the win and 29-0 all-time against the Hawks.
They will look to build off the victory as they gear up for a big showdown with Class 4A No. 1 and unbeaten Johnson Central on Friday night at CAM Stadium.
Belfry leads the all-time series against JC 29-6 and have won three of the last four meetings. The Eagles did win last year however 34-21 in Paintsville.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. in what is the final game of the regular season for both teams.
Score by quarters
BHS (6-2): 14 21 20 0
PCCHS (7-2): 14 0 0 0
PCCHS: 55-yard run Hunt (PAT good by Hunt) 11:42
BHS: 55-yard run Dixon (PAT no good) 10:57
PCCHS: 5-yard catch Bentley (PAT good by Hunt) 5:42
BHS: 28-yard run Hensley (Two-point by Smith) 1:29
BHS: 20-yard run Bentley (PAT good by Cook) 7:29
BHS: 44-yard run Birchfield (PAT good by Cook) 4:42
BHS: 32-yard catch Dixon (PAT good by Cook) 0:20
BHS: 1-yard run Hensley (PAT good by Cook) 10:16
BHS: 19-yard run Coleman (Two-point no good) 4:55
BHS: 19-yard run Hensley (PAT good by Cook) 2:01
Cameron Maynard is a freelance reporter for the Williamson Daily News. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.