HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Panthers rally past Pirates in Battle of Pike County, 20-14

Friday night’s matchup between defending Class 1 champion Pikeville and Class 3A champion Belfry lived up to all the hype at Hillard Howard Field.

Pikeville (2-0) overcame an eight-point, first half deficit to come-from-behind to knock off the Pirates, 20-14.

It marked the first time Pikeville has won back-to-back games against Belfry since 1999-20.

The game was tied 14-all at halftime and the Panthers scored the only points of the second half on Zac Lockhart’s five-yard pass from quarterback Isaac McNamee with 10 minutes, 21 seconds left to play.

Belfry, now 1-1, had scored on their first two possessions of the game but was held scoreless the rest of the way.

Pirate running back Isaac Dixon scored on an eight-yard run in the first period to put the Pirates up 7-0.

The Panthers came back and closed to within one at 7-6 on Blake Birchfield’s 2-yard run.

Belfry pushed its lead out to 14-6 with one minute, five seconds left in the first quarter.

The key play of the game came when Birchfield scooped up Dixon’s fumble at the 22-yard and retuned it for a score with 5:16 left before the break. His two-point conversion run pulled the panthers even.

Pikeville’s defense held Belfry inside the Panthers 20-yard line with 3:29 to play.

The Panthers are idle next week while the Pirates visit Magoffin County.

At Pikeville


BF (1-1)….14  0  0  0 – 14

PK (2-0)…..6   8  0  6 – 20


First Quarter

BF – Isaac Dixon, 8-yard run (Gideon Ireson kick), 6:19

PK – Blake Birchfield, 2-yard run (kick blocked), 2:39

BF – Isaac Dixon, 68-yard pass from Brett Coleman (Gideon Ireson kick), 1:05

Second Quarter

PK – Blake Birchfield, 22-yard fumble return (Blake Birchfield run), 5:16

Third Quarter

No scoring

Fourth Quarter

PK – Zac Lockhart, 5-yard pass from Isaac McNamee (kick failed), 10:21

Next up: Belfry (1-1) at Magoffin County (2-0), 7:30 p.m., Sept. 25; Pikeville (2-0) at Campbell County (1-1), 6 p.m., Oct. 2.