View Poll Results: Who wins the Battle of Pike County?
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Sep 8, 18, 04:20 PM #1
The Battle of Pike CountyBelfry and Pikeville will tee it up this week in one of the longest running rivalries in the mountains.
Belfry has dominated this series since the turn of the century, winning 16 of the last 17. The lone win by Pikeville came against one of Belfry's better teams, though. The Panthers are playing arguably the best football they have played since the good old days, however, and are capable of handing Belfry a loss.
There is lots of history here, lots. These two schools want to beat each other, no matter what the competition. Pikeville week has always been an electric time in the halls of Belfry High School. I'm sure it is the same on Hambley Blvd for the Panthers. Like in a lot of rivalries, you can throw out the records and accolades when these two lace it up and expect just about anything to happen.
Pikeville shocked the Pirates in 2014, can the Panthers do it again?
I don't have the all-time records between the two at hand, but I will try and get them. I'll try to provide some video and commentary on some of the more memorable matchups along the way during this week and hopefully @ATLCat can do the same.Advertisement
Sep 9, 18, 10:47 AM #2Belfry and Pikeville have long been the pillars of football in Pike County, and in Eastern KY, for that matter. The two schools have played each other a total of 57 times. For a long portion of those games, Belfry was 3A and Pikeville was 1A, however the series was very even during those years. Although Belfry has taken a lead in this series, at the end of the 2000 season, the records stood Belfry 19 wins, Pikeville 18 wins, 3 ties.
Since then the Pirates have won 16 of the last 17 games, with the lone Pikeville victory coming in 2014, when they shocked the eventual 3A state champion Pirates 29-20 in a bruising physical contest on Pikeville's home field. Daric Pugh lead the way for Pikeville. See video in next post.
Belfry beat Pikeville the following year to return the favor as both the Panthers and Pirates won state championships in 2015.
Haywood's record vs Pikeville as Belfry's coach is 22-8
McNamee's record vs Belfry as Pikeville's coach is 3-11
Sep 9, 18, 10:55 AM #32014 Pikeville 29 Belfry 20 video highlights.
The first 2:15 or so is hype video, then the game highlights...
Sep 9, 18, 01:12 PM #4
I think this could be one of the best Belfry/Pikeville games in a long while. I would personally like to see this one be the 5 point super game on our pick 10 contest. I do think Belfry is still just a little better and probably a bit deeper, but would not be that surprised either way.
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Sep 9, 18, 02:21 PM #5
Sep 9, 18, 02:47 PM #6
Sep 9, 18, 02:53 PM #7
Sep 9, 18, 03:41 PM #8If I didn't have anything else to do this Friday, this is a game I'd love to see in person. On paper, this is probably about as even as these two teams have been in a long time.
I think Belfry's size and muscle on the offensive line will allow them to move the Panthers front seven around. The Pirates probably have an edge in depth, as well. Conversely, Pikeville's mobile QB and skill people could give Belfry fits, especially in the secondary.
We could be looking at a game where each team finds the endzone 4-5 times. These two never seem to engage in low scoring, war of attrition type games. As a neutral third party observer, I'm looking for a close game from start to finish with both sides trading haymakers and some edge of your seat tension late in the 4th quarter.
We'll find out a little something about each of these teams on Friday. But I'm looking hard at Pikeville, in particular. If they stay close to Belfry in a losing effort, they draw a little closer to Beechwood in 1A. And if they beat the Pirates, they are officially #1a to Beechwood's #1, imo.
Sep 10, 18, 09:27 AM #9Another notable game in this series was 1995. Pikeville was coached by the legendary Hillard Howard. Philip Haywood was about 10 years into his reign at Belfry. Pikeville had given Belfry a solid beating the year before 42-27. This series was about dead even then.
The week of the Pikeville game, Sept 22, arrived with a lot of rain, and the field at Belfry was a mud bowl. During that time this was the only field available and Belfry shared it with the local grade school, which played 4 games a week, plus JV and Freshman games. There never was much grass on the field to begin with, and all that use made it more of a dirt field, unless it rained, then it was just pure mud (and rocks).
The game was one of those muddy struggles, where neither team really had a lot of success moving the ball. Pikeville was led by their outstanding RB Brent Coleman, and he had their only score of the game in the 2nd quarter, giving Pikeville the 6-0 lead for the rest of regulation.
Late in the game, with under a minute to go, Pikeville had the ball on 4th and short, right about midfield. The Panthers elected not to punt, and went for the first down, which would have sealed the deal. Belfry's defense stopped Coleman short of the first down, and as he got up, he slammed the ball in frustration and received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. The 15 yards gave Belfry the ball on the Panther 36 yard line with 34 seconds on the clock.
Belfry threw 3 incomplete passes, and on 4th down, Pikeville was flagged for pass interference. Next play, another pass interference. Then as time expired, a third pass interference call was made giving the Pirates one last play from the 5 yd line with no time on the clock.
Belfry's QB Howard threw a TD to Brad Hatfield and the XP gave the Pirates a 7-6 victory.
The Panther faithful were not happy, and I heard the officials had to go undercover for a couple of weeks. lol
It is games like this, that REALLY add fuel to the fire of an already intense rivalry.
Sep 10, 18, 10:27 AM #10This one is all about the line of scrimmage and time of possession.
In year's past Belfry has dominated this series because they simply ate Pikeville up at the Line of Scrimmage and physically exhausted them with their depth.
This is not necessarily the case this year. Pikeville has huge Offensive and Defensive lines for a small school and should be better be able to compete at the Line of Scrimmage. Additionally, Pikeville has better depth across the board than they are accustomed to while Belfry subsequently is not quite as deep as usual, specifically at the skill spots where they have several players going both ways.
I think Pikeville's strengths present issues for Belfry. Connor Roberts is an exceptional athlete that can pass and run, that has been Belfry's kryptonite in years past and Burbage from Bryan Station is a shining example this season. The other issue is Jackson Hensley. Befry's DB's are exceeding expectations I had and improving every game, but they are still the most vulnerable position on the team and they lack great height. Hensley is a guy who can go up and out-jump people for a football and this poses issues.
I also think Pikeville's DB's present issues for Belfry's outside run game. The Panthers tackle very well in the open field and are quick and confident in their decisions when they choose to play aggressive.
At the end of the day I don't see a single position group match-up that I don't prefer Belfry, but I also don't see a position match-up where I think Belfry is able to exploit Pikeville.
Playing at Pikeville, against a team who is hungry to make a statement, and a team who has a Coaching Staff that knows how to defend Belfry and how to keep the sticks moving on Offense, I think this puts the game in the realm where whoever makes the fewest mistakes and whoever dials the right number when setting up a high risk/high reward type of play will be the winner.
Pikeville's game plan will be to keep the clock moving on Offense and to make Belfry have to earn their scores by putting long drives. Their hope is for every Belfry TD drive, there is also a Belfry fumble lost and with the game moving quick in the 4th Quarter if it is close the Panthers can make the key plays to win it. If Belfry dominates T.O.P. it will not bode well for Pikeville, the Pathers need to eat the clock equally as much for this to work.
I like Belfry, but I think this is going to be a war and if Pikeville wins I will not be surprised at all.
Sep 10, 18, 10:34 AM #11
What yuo see in that video was Pikeville owning the short passing game as an extension of their running game, you see Pikeville playing Belfry's Outside run game very well and making one on one tackles in the open field, and you see the Panthers getting enough push at the LOS with a numbers advantage to sustain their running game and the zone read specifically. You also see Belfry coughing it up.
Sep 10, 18, 01:11 PM #12
Sep 10, 18, 01:35 PM #13That '95 game I will vividly remember as the single loudest moment in Vipperman Stadium History
Was not the biggest crowd, but when that game winning TD happened the collective sound was deafening for that moment.
A couple of those PI's were 100% legit, but a couple were questionable to say the least.
That 1995 season was special one for Belfry football in terms of memories. Hatfield and Belfry had one more dramatic win with a last second TD up their sleeve as well. Belfry was a heavy underdog travelling to Bell County for the 2nd Round and after a 0-0 stalemate Hatfield scored the winning TD at the end of the game. 1995 was also the year of Tim Couch's record breaking Senior season. Belfry traveled twice to Leslie County and both times took an early lead to see Couch come from behind.
The second of which was the playoffs when he broke the National Passing record. Belfry looked to be in control of the game with all the momentum when the record was broke. After the game was stopped and Couch was honored Leslie took all the momentum and came back to win a great game. Two things I will always remember was a hit that DT Richie Blackburn put on Couch that nearly killed him, it was always rumored he finished the game with broken ribs. I also will always remember how it took nearly an hour and a half to get out of the parking lot because the crowd was so big.
Sep 10, 18, 02:16 PM #14Since we are being nostalgic, why not.
Here is a video about Couch's season/record. Too many highlights against Belfry, but that was a special moment when he broke the record. Belfry had jumped out to a 20-0 lead in that game, only to see the Eagles come back to win. Notice about the 1:25 mark when Couch broke the record, the game was stopped and the announcement was made. I remember being impressed that every member of Belfry's coaching staff went across the field to shake his hand.
That was an electric night, ESPN was there, helicopters filled the air, it was something else to watch.
Sep 10, 18, 05:17 PM #15
I was on that team and we dance under the lights at mall that night.
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