GOODY, Ky. — The Belfry Pirates were handed their third defeat of the season on Friday night as undefeated Johnson Central came into Cam Stadium and won by a final score of 53-16.
Johnson Central (10-0) took command of the game from the opening kickoff as they wasted no time finding the endzone when senior Cody Rice broke a 64-yard run untouched with just 11:11 on the clock.
After a three and out on the first Belfry possession, the Eagles got the ball back and mounted another drive into Pirate territory.
Belfry (6-3) was able to make a goal line stand however as junior linebacker Seth Mount made back-to-back tackles in the backfield to force JC into a 23-yard field goal. The kick was good and the Eagles moved their lead to 10-0.
After a personal foul on Belfry was enforced on the kickoff, the Eagles were kicking off at the BHS 45-yard line and coach Jim Matney attempted a short squib quick. The ball was bobbled by one of the Pirate special teamers and JC scooped it up to take over deep in Belfry territory.
Just a few plays later, senior quarterback Riley Preece ran the ball in for the Eagles from six yards away. Headly’s PAT was good and JCHS took the 17-0 lead with 20 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
After another three and out by coach Philip Haywood’s squad forced a Grayson Cook punt, Johnson Central hit their second big play of the day on the ensuing drive as Preece went play-action and found senior Devin Johnson for a 49-yard touchdown strike. Headly’s PAT was good once again and JCHS took the commanding 24-0 lead.
Belfry finally got some momentum on their next drive as they went to the air to move the ball down the field. Junior quarterback Brett Coleman found junior Isaac Dixon on a nice strike from near midfield to set up 1st and goal for Belfry with time winding down in the first half.
A couple plays later, Coleman went to the air again and found senior Ben Bentley out of the backfield for a 7-yard score with 38.3 seconds to go. Fullback Peyton Hensley powered across the two-point try and the Pirates trimmed the lead to two possessions at 24-8.
On the ensuing Belfry kickoff, Johnson Central was able to break a long return down the Belfry sideline to give them a chance to score again before the end of the half. They did just that, as Preece found the endzone on an 18-yard scramble with just 16 seconds to go in the half.
Preece also punched in the two-point try and the Eagles took the 32-8 halftime lead.
Coming out of the locker rooms, the Pirates got the ball first and looked to cut back into the lead. They were able to do so as Bentley broke free from 56 yards out and raced to the endzone for the score. Hensley again punched in the two-point try and Belfry again trailed at two possessions at 32-16.
JC would immediately answer back with a big play of their own however on their next drive as fullback Bryce Tackett broke free up the middle and went 51-yards to the house for the score. Preece’s two-point run was good and the Eagle lead was extended to 40-16.
The rest of the game was all Johnson Central as Belfry could not muster another point the rest of the way while the Eagles punched across two more scores to reach the final tally of 53-16.
The Eagles outgained Belfry on the night with 498 total yards compared to 230 for Belfry. JC gained 447 of their 498 yards on the ground while Belfry gained 171 via the run game.
Johnson led JCHS with 166 yards on 17 carries while Rice also topped the century mark running for 133 yards on 11 carries. Tackett added another 90 yards on eight carries while Preece ran six times for 44 yards and finished 2-3 passing for 51 yards.
The Pirates were led by Bentley who had nine carries for 83 yards and a score and also added the seven-yard receiving TD. Hensley added 14 carries and 49 yards, Coleman 23 yards on five carries, and Dixon was held to only four yards on seven carries. Dixon did add three catches for 52 yards, as Coleman finished 4-7 passing for 59 yards, one TD, and two interceptions.
The loss for Belfry closes out their regular season with a record of 6-3 and is one of the more lopsided home losses for the Pirates in recent memory as it marks the first time they have allowed 50 or more points at home in a losing effort since 1972. That was a 55-14 loss to Boyd County at Williamson’s Lefty Hamilton Park under coach Paul Dotson. That season Belfry played five out of their six home games at Lefty Hamilton Park while a new field was being built for the Pirates.
Coach Haywood’s club will start their journey to Kroger Field in Lexington this week as they host Floyd Central in the first round of the Class AAA KHSAA playoffs.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in a rare Thursday night game against the Jaguars.The game was moved to Thursday due to the Floyd Central volleyball team appearing in the state tournament on Friday.
Score by quarters
JCHS (10-0): 17 15 8 15 — 53
BHS (6-3): 0 8 8 0 — 16
JCHS: 64-yard run Rice (Headly PAT good) 11:11
JCHS: 23-yard field goal Headly 3:15
JCHS: 6-yard run Preece (Headly PAT good) 20.2
JCHS: 49-yard pass Preece to Johnson (Headly PAT good) 7:58
BHS: 7-yard pass Coleman to Bentley (Hensley run good) 38.3
JCHS: 18-yard run Preece (Preece run good) 16.1
BHS: 56-yard run Bentley (Hensley run good) 10:13
JCHS 51-yard run Tackett (Preece run good) 8:56
JCHS: 2-yard run Johnson (Preece run no good) 8:27
JCHS: 7-yard run Goss (Headly PAT good) 2:22
Jarrid McCormick is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. He can be reached by email at jmccormick@HDMediaLLC.com.