Featured Friday Night Match-up: Bryan Station at Belfry

Well the AP poll came out and Belfry slipped down the rankings a bit after opening up with a loss to Huntington High School (WV) in the Pike County Bowl 17-9. First of all, I would like to point out that Huntington High School is ranked the 5th best football team in the entire state of West Virginia, and the 4th highest regarded team in the State’s largest classification (3A). That being said, the margin and the competitive nature of the contest denotes to me Belfry may be better than I thought, coming into 2018, and I already had them highly regarded in every poll I published preseason. All of that aside, Belfry, an 0-1, Class 3A, District 6, football team and will play host to the Class 6A, District 7, 0-2, football team from Lexington, Bryan Station High School. The following is how we see this match-up fleshing out and, at the end, which team we see leaving the field with the victory…

First, for the visiting Defenders from Bryan Station…

Bryan Station went 1-10 a season ago. One of the more lopsided defeats which the Class 6A team would be forced to endure, in 2017, was delivered by the Belfry Pirates. Last season, Belfry beat the Defenders 40-19 in Lexington, Kentucky. Now, like Belfry, Bryan Station has one of the better offensive centers in Kentucky in the Class of 2021, All-Stater, Braden Ferguson. That being said, it probably doesn’t bode well for a football team when its marquee offensive threat is at center. Bryan Station has lost already to Lafayette 14-6 and to Simon Kenton 37-20. In those two games, the Defenders haven’t done the first thing remotely resembling defending against anyone, mascot be damned. I would call the first two week’s performance offensive, at least we found it offensive… Bryan Station surrendered 51 points, allowed 423 yards rushing in two games, while offensively, averaging only 206 yards of total defense over the two-game stretch. Now, Simon-Kenton figures to be a pretty good ball club, but Lafayette was 3-8 a year ago and doesn’t figure to be much improved this season. If we are coaching the Defenders, the fact we have allowed 423 rushing yards in two games against two offensive fronts not in the league with Belfry’s would certainly concern us as we get set to visit Pond Creek this Friday night.

Chris McKinley

Antoine Smith is the leading rusher for Bryan Station, thus far, with 128 yards rushing in the first two games. Smith has yet to find the end zone running from scrimmage. Jalen Burbage has completed 20 of his 32 passing attempts for 226 yards passing and 2 passing TDs. Burbage has yet to throw an interception. Burbage’s leading receiver is Dadrien Taylor who has 8 receptions for 88 yards receiving so far this season but has yet to catch a TD pass. Defensively, Christopher McKinley, Damiyan Ramirez, and Kyran Campbell have accounted for 44 of the team’s 78 solo tackles and 55 of the team’s 114 total stops. McKinley has 3 QB sacks in the first two games to lead the team. What has got to concern the Defender staff is the susceptibility the Defenders have shown to the offensive strength for which the Pirates are most known…running the football. The Defenders’ defense hasn’t shown they can stop the run, and running the football is the Pirate offense’s break and butter. 

For the homesteading Pirates…

Okay, the Pond Creek boys are 0-1 to start off the 2018 season. I suppose the saying so what immediately comes to mind. First of all, the Pirates will likely not see a team as good as Huntington, WV, but for maybe twice the rest of the season. Those two times will be when visiting Pikeville, September 15th, and when Johnson Central comes to Pond Creek, October 27th. In addition to that, neither Pikeville nor Johnson Central, who are both excellent teams, boast the type of FBS level talent which dots the Huntington High School roster year in and year out. Huntington had a player on the roster Friday night offered by Alabama, Tennessee, Ohio State, and West Virginia and ranked both a 5 star prospect and the country’s very best offensive tackle in the Class of 2019. That player, Darnell Wright, together with another offensive lineman, whom has been offered by Marshall (Max Howell), are just two examples of the FBS level talent playing football for Huntington High School. With all of that said, Belfry, behind its outstanding offensive front, banged out 198 yards rushing against Huntington while only attempting one pass that it didn’t even complete. Allow me to put the achievement into better perspective for you. Everyone in the world knows Belfry doesn’t throw the football and that they are going to run the ball right at you. Huntington has some of the best talent on its roster of any team in this part of the United States. Huntington still couldn’t prevent the Pirates offensive line, led by Ethan, Big E, Wolford at center and Dagan Rash at guard, together with the rest of the talented cast, from gaining 198 yards rushing on the night in 37 attempts for an average of 5.35 yards a carry. The running success made even more impressive by Huntington’s knowing damn well, like everyone who plays Belfry, the Pirates were going to run the football, every single snap.

On defense for the Pirates, Austin Fields tallied 13 tackles with Justin Barker contributing 10. Grayson Cook threw in 8 stops of his own and the Pond Creek Punisher, Seth Mounts, contributed seven tackles from his post.

Here’s how we see it…

Belfry is going to run the ball against a front not in the league with what they were able to gouge a week ago for 198 yards rushing on 37 rushing attempts. Here’s a free scout for the Defenders, hey, Bryan Station, Belfry is going to run it right at you. From what the Defenders have done, thus far, it will be a game plan they will be powerless to stop even knowing its definitely coming.

Belfry    54                         Lexington Bryan Station 6

Reporting for KPGFootball, this is Fletcher Long reminding all of you ballers out there that #WeGotUCovered and to PLAY THROUGH THE WHISTLE.

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About Fletcher Long 1536 Articles
Two-time winner of Kentucky Press Association awards for excellence in writing and reporting news stories while Managing Editor of the Jackson (KY) Times-Voice

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