Bobcats fall to Belfry in 3A regional finals


Misty Dean

Bell County’s Dawson Woolum, pictured in action earlier this season, ran for 47 yards on Friday in the Bobcats loss to Belfry in the regional finals.

By John Henson, Managing Editor

A second straight Bell County season ended at the hands of the Belfry Pirates in a 42-0 loss Friday.
Unlike a season ago when the two eastern Kentucky powers met in the 3A state finals at Kroger Field in Lexington, this year’s matchup was in the regional finals at Belfry and the Pirates used a strong running game that rolled up 319 yards and won convincingly despite not completing a pass.
“We didn’t stay strong this year. We had to get out of the weight room, and that really hurts a teams like ours that can’t get in the weight room, being a county school,” Bell County coach Dudley Hilton said. “I thought Belfry’s strength was so much better than ours this time of year. They have a better opportunity to be in the weight room. I think if we played them earlier in the year, we’d have been more competitive. They just got stronger, and we didn’t do a great job of handling this corona situation..”
Senior running back Isaac Dixon scored four touchdowns to lead Belfry’s ground attack, including touchdown runs of 18 and 70 in the first quarter and 55 and 38 yards in the second period. Brayden Rash added a 21-yard TD run in the first quarter. Brett Coleman’s two-point conversion after the fifth touchdown started a running clock in the second half.
Rash closed the scoring with a 21-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
The 8-3 Pirates will travel to Ashland Blazer on Friday in the 3A state semifinals.
Bell County finished the season with a 6-4 record and claimed the district championship. The Bobcats played without star tailback Brandon Baker, who suffered a knee injury late in last week’s win at Rockcastle County.
Daniel Thomas, a freshman, led the Bell offense with 111 yards on 15 carries. Dawson Woolum ran for 47 yards on 14 carries. Ethan Raby contributed 30 yards on six carries. Cameron Burnett ran for seven yards and the Bobcats completed three of seven passes for 18 yards.
Johnathan Langford led the Bell defense with seven tackles, along with a forced fumble and fumble recovery. Raby and Burnett had two tackles each.
“We missed some early opportunities,” Hilton said. “We dropped a pass we had, then got a turnover on the 15 and couldn’t move it in. Once they got up 21-0, they just kind of took over. It doesn’t help when you lose your 1,500-yard running back, but no excuses. They have a heck of a football program over there. I don’t know where they get them all from. I was proud of my kids though. They fought hard.”