[Ed. Note: Who better to recap Belfry at Johnson Central than Mountain football expert Darrell McCoy? Darrell is one of our favorite KSR callers and kindly agreed to share his unique take on the clash of the reigning champs. You can see more of his work on David & Darryl Sports.]
Last Night’s KSR “Game of the Week” took us to the Mountains of Johnson County for one of the biggest games on the schedule this season, the 2019 3A Champion Belfry Pirates vs. the 2019 4A Champs Johnson Central. This game had all the star power one could handle. Belfry is led by Phillip Haywood who holds Kentucky’s all-time wins record with 454 career wins. Johnson Central is captained by Jim Matney who picked up his 300th career win earlier this season.
With Division-1 prospects peppered throughout both rosters, most folks predicted this game to be a dog fight and it was through two quarters; then Johnson Central exerted their dominance in the 2nd half, outscoring the Pirates 21-0 to end the game.
The game started with both defenses looking strong, then at the 5:33 mark of the 1st quarter the offenses got to rolling as Johnson Central quarterback Grant Rice ran the ball in for a 5-yard touchdown. PAT was good by Austin Ratliff. Belfry’s Isaac Dixon fumbled the ensuing kickoff, setting Golden Eagle star tailback Dillon Preston up for a 56-yard touchdown scurry and, after another Ratliff PAT, the Golden Eagles ended the opening quarter up 14-0.
The 2nd quarter started with Johnson Central forcing a Neal Copley fumble but Belfry’s defense held strong, getting the ball back for the Pirate offense. At the 7:58 mark of the 2nd quarter Belfry’s “Mr. Football” candidate Isaac Dixon hit the sideline for a 54-yard scamper to the end zone. Two possessions later, Belfry’s Kyle Webb put the ball on the ground again but after a strong Pirate defensive stand, Belfry would enter the half trailing 14-7.
The 3rd quarter started much like the 2nd quarter ended, with another Belfry fumble, its 4th of the game to this point. Johnson Central drove down to the 12-yard line and at 7:50 of the 3rd on a 12-yard rush Dillon Preston scored his 2nd touchdown of the game. Ratliff made it 21-7 with his extra point attempt. The very next possession, Belfry’s Isaac Dixon got loose again for a 64-yard touchdown run at the 7:38 mark and Gideon Ireson made it 21-14 with his PAT. It wouldn’t take Johnson Central long to answer. Less than 30 seconds later, Golden Eagle QB Grant Rice hit the end zone to make it 28-14 after Ratliff connected again on the PAT. The 3rd quarter ended with Johnson Central leading 28-14.
The 4th quarter wasn’t any different than the first three for the Pirates. The Johnson Central defense forced their 5th fumble of the game on the Belfry 48-yard line. A couple plays later Dylan Preston struck paydirt again, putting Johnson Central up 35-14 with Ratliff’s fifth PAT of the game. That would be the final score of this Mountain matchup.
Johnson Central Stats
Dylan Preston- 28 carries, 136 yds, 3 TDs
Grant Rice- 9 carries, 69 yards, 2 TDs
Mason Lawson- 7 carries, 31 yards
Matt Crum- 5 carries, 10 yards
Brayden Sexton- 2 carries, 15 yards
Zack McCort- 1 carry, 4 yards
Isaac Dixon- 13 carries, 121 yards, 2 TDs
“Bad News” Brett Coleman- 10 carries, 30 yards
Kyle Webb- 2 carries, 7 yards
Neal Copley- 2 carries, 7 yards
This gave Johnson Central Head Coach Jim Matney an 8-6 series lead over Belfry’s Phillip Haywood, but Belfry leads the series 29-8 all-time. Johnson Central ends their season 7-0 with an open date next week while the Pirates fall to 5-3 to close out their season.