Cards score 37 unanswered points to sink Belfry

Published 4:15 pm Monday, August 28, 2023

At Pike County for the annual Pike County Bowl, the George Rogers Clark High School football team prevailed over Belfry 53-27 on Friday night to improve their record to 1-1 on the young season.

Early on, it looked like they might be in for a struggle as the Pirates (1-1) scored on just their second play of the game via a 47-yard touchdown run from running back Caden Woolum.

GRC was able to move the ball to the goal line, but a stand by Belfry kept them from finding the endzone.

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However, they came up with a solid defensive play.

After a fumble, linebacker Jones Howard recovered in the endzone with just under five minutes remaining in the opening quarter.

A two-point conversion run made the score 8-7 in favor of the Cards.

However, the Pirates would score twice to open the second quarter and build a 21-8 lead on an 18-yard touchdown run from Dre Young and a 16-yard touchdown run from Woolum.

On 4th down and one yard to go during their ensuing possession, QB Sam Clements narrowed the Cards’ deficit to 21-16 when he scored on a 17-yard TD run and ran in the two-point conversion.

The Pirates looked like they would go into halftime with momentum, as Jonah Adkins scored on a 4-yard TD run with just 29 seconds remaining before halftime for a 27-16 Belfry lead.

However, the Cards would steal the momentum heading into the locker room.

Following a solid kick return past midfield by Mahni John, GRC found the endzone with just 11 seconds remaining in the second quarter as Clements connected for a 48-yard touchdown pass with Bryce Chestnut via a hook-and-ladder play.

At halftime, Belfry led by a narrow 27-22 score.

Offensively, the Cards took control early in the second half.

On their opening possession, GRC methodically marched downfield and scored when Chestnut ran in from five yards out for a touchdown and two-point conversion that provided a 30-27 lead less than three minutes into the third quarter.

After forcing a turnover on downs, the Cards’ offense then concluded a 91-yard drive with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Clements to receiver Hayden Cecil and a two-point conversion run by Chestnut for a 38-27 lead just ten seconds into the 4th quarter.

After Hayden Heath recovered a Belfry fumble, GRC scored again via a 3-yard touchdown and two-point conversion run by Chestnut for a 46-27 lead with 5:17 left in the 4th quarter.

Jones Howard recovered his second fumble of the game on the ensuing kickoff, and the Cards ended the scoring for the evening when freshman Landon Belcher scored on a 3-yard TD run following a handoff from fellow freshman Trey Davis.

An extra point with just over three minutes remaining made the final score 53-27 in favor of the Cards.

Defensively, the Cards held the Pirates scoreless in the second half and came up with their first touchdown of the season as a unit.

On offense, quarterback Sam Clements shined by completing 15 of 21 passes for 213 yards with two touchdowns. He also rushed nine times for 70 yards with one touchdown and ran in a pair of two-point conversions.

Bryce Chestnut rushed 20 times for 116 yards with two rushing touchdowns.