Panthers pick off Pirates, 22-21

Pikeville’s Issac McNamee crosses the goal line for his first rushing touchdown of the season from three yards out. The Panthers made a second half come back to pick up a 22-21 win over the Pirates for the first time since 2014.

BELFRY — It came down to Pikeville taking a shot on a two-point conversion early in the first quarter Friday night.

That two point-conversion helped Panthers do something that they haven’t been able to pull off since 2014 as Pikeville came away with a hard fought 22-21 win over rival Belfry.

Both defenses showed up ready to play in the first half. Pikeville received the opening kickoff, but the Pirates held the Panthers to a quick three and out.

Belfry took over after the Panther punt, but Pikeville’s defense was looking to get the ball back and the Panthers were able to force a fumble. Pikeville’s Nate Collins came up with the fumble recovery for the Panthers on their own 38-yard line.

The Pirates were able to hold Pikeville for a second time after the turnover.

Belfry was first on the board when Peyton Hensley found the end zone from two yards out with 9:22 left in the first half. Grayson Cook’s extra-point put the Pirates on top 7-0.

The Belfry defense kept on holding the Panthers in the second quarter. The Pirates found pay dirt once more, this time with 5:54 left on the clock when Ben Bentley made his way across the goal line to extend the Belfry lead 14-0.

Pikeville’s first score came with 2:39 left in the second quarter. Issac McNamee used his feet for his first rushing TD on the season from just three yards out.

The Panthers were able to draw Belfry offsides leading to a Cody Raines two-point conversion to keep the Panthers within range of the Pirates going into the locker room at the half, 14-8.

Belfry didn’t let the Pikeville TD stutter the offense though as Peyton Hensley made his way into the end zone for the second time on the night with 8:36 left in the third stretching the Pirate lead 21-8.

Pikeville’s offense started to explode with 3:36 left to go in the third when McNamee was able to find Seth Pugh for the first time on the night from 14 yards out to inch closer to the Pirates, 21-15.

Pikeville was not done there. With 8:34 left in the ballgame, McNamee went back to Pugh; this time for a 32-yard TD and with Tanner Hamiltons kick, Pikeville was able to take their first lead on the night 22-21.

The Pirates attempting to get the lead back fumbled for the second time on the night with 5:21 left and Pikeville recovered.

The Panthers had to punt, though.

It wasn’t over for Belfry just yet.

The Pirates were able to come up with a big stop on defense to get the ball back with just around four minutes.

Pikeville had to come up with a big stop and with 1:18 on the clock, the Pirates took to the air. Belfry quarterback Brett Coleman looked for his receiver downfield, but the throw was just off and Pikeville’s Connor Wright came up with the pick to give the Panthers their first win over the Pirates since 2014, 22-21.

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