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Belfry at Pikeville Predictions/Updates

Belfry Pirates at Pikeville Panthers  

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  1. 1. Who Wins?

    • Belfry (1-0)
    • Pikeville (1-0)


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One of Eastern Kentucky's best rivalries will be renewed when the defending 3A Champions from Belfry make the trip down US 119 to face the defending 1A Champion Pikeville Panthers.

Pikeville stunned Belfry with a Second Half comeback and a key two-point conversion in 2019, jump starting their path toward a perfect 14-0 season in the process. The 22-21 win ended a 4-game win streak for Belfry in the series, the Pirates have won 17 of the past 19 games in the series with the other Panther victory coming in 2014.

Belfry looked strong against Pulaski County with Mr. Football candidate Isaac Dixon amassing over 200 yards from scrimmage. Dixon will be looking to make a statement as he missed last year's game with an injury. Speaking of key injuries in 2019, LB Seth Mounts missed last season's 2nd Half and proved to be a key factor. Mounts injured his arm against Pulaski County and most likely will miss the 2020 game in it's entirety. 

Pikeville's toughest adversary Friday proved to be Mother Nature. Multiple weather delays hampered the flow of the game, but ultimately Pikeville made enough plays on the ground led by QB Isaac MacNamee and RB Blake Birchfield to pull away from a pesky Raceland team. Pikeville has their own major injury question mark entering the tilt with the Pirates. Sensational Sophomore RB Carson Wright did not get any snaps on the offensive side of the ball as he recovers from an injury. He is expected to be a key piece in the Pikeville offense and would be a mighty help to beat Belfry for a second time.

Expect Special Teams to play a role as well. Belfry missed four different PAT attempts and also had some lackluster kick coverage. Pikeville has used key special teams moments in their two previous wins against the Pirates and may look to capitalize once more in this department.

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Dixon was out for this game last year, or else Belfry would probably be looking to make it six in a row over the Panthers. He's a special player that I think puts the Pirates over the top on Friday. Pikeville has a strong team again this year, but they're strong in different ways compared to last season. I think the make-up of this year's Pikeville squad plays more into Belfry's strengths.

I see the Pirates taking this one by a couple of scores. Something like, 34-21.

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The one major question I see with this Belfry team in general is I am not sure they are as stout in the backfield, spots 1 thru 4, as they have been in recent years.

Dixon may be an all-timer at HB1 and Coleman is a fine threat at QB.... with that said, there isn't that workhorse Fullback you can hand it to 30 times or that second HB threat like a Ben Bentley, Cameron Catron, Taveon Hunter, etc that can go off for 150 yards themselves if you focus on Dixon.

Defensively, I don't expect Mounts to play and he is a shortlist LB in KY. Belfry plays a bend but don't break defense against spread teams and dare them to be impatient. Usually it works, but if the opposing team is content taking 12-14 plays to score and don't get greedy, usually they can sustain success. Pikeville has proven they are very content doing this.

It comes down to turnovers and blown coverages ultimately. If Belfry holds on to the ball and doesn't give "freebie" big plays they win. I think Pikeville's Defense is going to hold up well.

I will say Belfry 26-21.

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Anyone want some History?

There is a great website called http://www.fourseasonsfootball.com/ that has been putting in great work trying to locate and document historical games.

As of the last time I synced my records with what they have:

 

All-Time Series:

Belfry leads 38-24-2

Haywood is 30-15 all-time against Pikeville. He is 27-9 while at Belfry, he was 3-6 in his time at Prestonsburg.

Chris McNamee is 3-20 all-time against Belfry. He is 3-13 while at Pikeville, he was 0-7 in his time at Pike Central. All games were against Philip Haywood coached teams at Belfry.

 

Notes:

- Pikeville has defeated Belfry twice since the Pirates great run they are currently are on began in 2003. Belfry has gone 15-2 against the rival Panthers in that time frame and outscored Pikeville 705-237 during that stretch (41.5-14.0 Average Final Score). 

- The statistical key to success? Only four times since 2003 has Belfry failed to break 30 points against the Panthers, they are 2-2 in those games with the three closest margins being among those four games. When Belfry scores over 30 points they win and win big. In the thirteen games Belfry has broken 30+ point in that stretch only once was the final margin less than a 20+ point delta.

- The last time Pikeville won back to back games against Belfry in the series was 1999 and 2000. That was actually the end of a three-year win streak. The Panthers longest win streak in the series was 4 years from 1980-1983. Belfry had a four year win streak snapped last season, their longest win streak was 13 straight years between 2001-2013.

- Pikeville, being a smaller classification school, is the only smaller school to defeat Belfry since 2010. Prestonsburg defeated Belfry that year and 2009. Since 2000, those are the only four times Belfry has lost when "playing down" in Classification.

- Belfry is 122-27 all-time against other teams from within Pike County boundaries.

- Pikeville and Johnson Central went on to win state titles in 2019, Belfry was 0-2 against them. All told, Belfry is 6-23 when facing teams that would go on to win a State Title (including Belfry's seven Runner-Up Finishes). When facing those teams in the regular season they are 6-8 in those games, including a 2-3 record against Pikeville. They are 3-1 against the Panthers the year following their State Title wins. Belfry is 13-14 all-time against teams who go on to State Runner-Up finishes (including their seven State Titles). They are 5-5 in the regular season against eventual Runner-Up teams including a 2-1 record against Pikeville.

- Belfry is 810-297-14 All-Time against teams from "EKY"

- Last week's victory over Pulaski County improved Belfry's record to 12-0 from teams from Pulaski County.

 

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22 minutes ago, ATLCat said:

- Belfry is 810-297-14 All-Time against teams from "EKY"

I'm assuming some numbers got mixed up here?

Great historical info, ATL. These are the two most decorated programs in eastern Kentucky history - Belfry has 7 titles/7 runner-ups, Pikeville has 5 titles/4 runner-ups - and both come in ranked #1.

Surely this game will be streamed somewhere. 

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On 9/15/2020 at 5:25 PM, DevilMayCare said:

Surely this game will be streamed somewhere. 

After some digging, I found a live stream for the game. It's a pay-per-view broadcast, though. It'll be $15.90 for just the Pikeville/Belfry game, unless you're really into Pikeville sports and want to purchase a season pass for $127.20. It looks like the season pass gets you more than just football.

https://mountain-toplive.com/

Audio broadcast: http://player.listenlive.co/42141

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On 9/15/2020 at 4:51 PM, ATLCat said:

Anyone want some History?

There is a great website called http://www.fourseasonsfootball.com/ that has been putting in great work trying to locate and document historical games.

I mean, I'd like to get at least a little work done today but you have ruined that! That's an awesome site. Thanks for sharing!

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Belfry holds after a couple Pikeville 1st Downs

Belfry uses a big option gain of 51 to Rash. 1st and Goal at 8.

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8 yard TD by Dixon

7-0 Belfry

6:19 in 1st

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Couple chunk plays and Pikeville enters Pirate territory.

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Busted coverage and Pikeville 1st and Goal at 6.

 

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Birchfield 2-yard TD Pikeville. XP blocked.

Easy 78 yard drive.

7-6 Belfry.

2:37 in 1st

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3rd and 11

Coleman 68 yard TD pass to Dixon on a Pikeville bust.

Ireson kick good.

Belfry 14-6

1:05 in 1st

 

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Pikeville 1st and 10 at Belfry 26.

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