Class A Region 3 championship: Williamsburg at Pikeville

Class A Playoffs

Region 3


Who: Williamsburg (8-3) at Pikeville (11-2)

Kickoff: Friday, November 19, 7:30 p.m.

Location: Hillard Howard Field, Hambley Athletic Complex, Pikeville.

Coaches: Williamsburg, Jerry Herron. Pikeville, Chris McNamee.

Notes: Williamsburg knocked off Pineville 49-13 last Friday night in the Class A playoffs, while Pikeville is coming off of a 28-6 win over Hazard.

Williamsburg’s three losses this season came against Middlesboro, 60-28 in Week 2. The Yellow Jackets fell to Sayre 35-17 in Week 5 and 35-21 to Perry Central in Week 11.

The Yellow Jackets knocked off Pineville 21-13 in the regular season before last week’s 49-13 win, so Williamsburg is improving.

Williamsburg quarterback Sydney Bowen leads the offense. Bowen is 89 for 180 passing for 1,606 yards and 19 TDs with four interceptions. He also leads the team in rushing with 472 yards and six TDs on 54 carries.

Jayden Rainwater has rushed for 459 yards and five TDs on 41 carries. Marty Gilley follows with 302 and four TDs on 46 carries.

Shannon Martin leads the Yellow Jacket wide receivers with 25 catches for 676 yards and nine TDs. Bryson Potter follows with 23 catches for 375 yards and five TDs. Rainwater has 22 catches for 327 yards and four TDs. Jordan Perkins has 10 catches for 154 yards and a TD.

(Sports Editor’s Note: Williamsburg only has stats up for seven games this season, so their stats are incomplete).

Williamsburg hasn’t played a difficult schedule this season. Their best wins are over Somerset (21-14) and Leslie County (62-14).

On the other hand, Pikeville has played a very difficult schedule.

The Panthers avenged its loss in the district championship round against Hazard last week, but don’t think they are overlooking Williamsburg.

Pikeville has championship hopes and won’t be caught looking ahead.

The Panther run game has been unstoppable all season.

Pikeville’s Blake Birchfield has rushed for 1,944 yards and 19 TDs this season on 219 carries.

He’s closing in on a 2,000 yard season.

He is currently ranked third in all classes in rushing.

A lot of his success has to go to his offensive line.

Pikeville’s offensive line is one of the best lines in the state regardless of class.

Last Friday against Hazard, Pikeville rushed for 265 yards.

Birchfield led the way with 189 yards and three TDs on 24 carries.

Quarterback Isaac McNamee rushed for 39 yards on 10 carries. McNamee was seven for 10 passing for 43 yards and a TD with an interception.

Carson Wright added 25 yards on the ground on four carries and Brenden Anthony added 12 yards on two carries.

Zac Lockhart led the wide receivers with four catches for 18 yards. Wade Hensley had two catches for 15 yards and a TD. Brandon Lowe added a 10-yard TD.

On defense, Luke Ray led the Panthers with 11 tackles. Devin DeRossett followed with eight tackles and Aaron Slone added six tackles.

Pikeville is playing well and their defense is flying to the ball.

After giving up the opening TD of the game to Hazard, the Panthers settled in and shutout the Bulldogs the rest of the game.

Pikeville is physical up front on both sides of the ball.

Their offensive line and run game helps set the tone for the playoffs.

Look for Pikeville to establish the run early and take shots in the passing game once things open up.

On defense, look for Pikeville to keep flying to the ball and putting pressure on the Williamsburg offense.

Who 2 Watch: For Pikeville, the secondary.

Williamsburg likes to throw the ball.

Pikeville’s secondary is really good.

Look for Pikeville to make some big plays and either come up with an interception or two or some big pass defenses.

Lockhart leads the team with four interceptions this season. Sam Wright follows with three. Deonte Stevens, Jeb Wilkerson, Birchfield, Isaac Coleman and Barrett Caudill all have interceptions.

Besides the guys with the picks, Hensley is a big strong physical defender and Logan Reed is a good cover corner.

If the Pikeville secondary comes up big, look for the Panthers to have a good chance at marching on to the Class A state semifinals.

Class 3A Region 4 championship: Belfry at Bell County

Class 3A Playoffs

Region 4


Who: Belfry (6-6) at Bell County (10-2)

Kickoff: Friday, November 19, 7:30 p.m.

Location: Dudley Hilton Stadium, Pineville.

Coaches: Belfry, Philip Haywood. Bell County, Dudley Hilton.

Notes: Belfry is coming off of a 21-14 win over Lawrence County, while Bell County picked up a 28-8 win over Rockcastle County in the Class 3A playoffs.

The two winningest coach’s all-time in the state will square off once again.

Philip Haywood and Dudley Hilton know each other well.

This will be the two teams’ third straight season meeting each other in the Class 3A playoffs. Last season, Belfry beat Bell County 42-0 at home in this same round and in 2019, in the Class 3A state championship game, Belfry won that contest 30-20.

Haywood leads the state in all time wins. Currently, his record is 463-147 all-time in 46 years. Hilton is currently 409-129 all-time.

Haywood is 7-6 in state championship games, while Hilton is 3-1 in state championship games with his only loss in a finals appearance coming two years ago against Haywood and Belfry.

Belfry jumped out to a 14-0 halftime lead over Lawrence County last week.

The Pirates looked like they were going to cruise to the win, but then Lawrence County fought back and tied things up at 14-14.

Belfry running back Isaac Dixon gave the Pirates the lead with 5:54 left in the game as he scored on a three-yard TD run.

Lawrence County answered by charging all the way to the Belfry 19-yard line.

Just as it looked like the Bulldogs were going to score and maybe either tie with an extra-point or take the lead with a two-point conversion, Belfry’s Braxton Hatfield came up with the play of the game. Hatfield came up with a game-sealing interception to end the Bulldogs’ chance at upsetting the Pirates.

Belfry was led by Dixon on offense. Dixon rushed for 152 yards and a TD on 21 carries. Hatfield was big on offense as well. He rushed for 37 yards and score on six carries. Dre Young added 18 yards on the ground on seven carries.

Belfry quarterback Caden Wollum was one for two passing for 26 yards and a TD. Cameron Varney caught the 26-yard TD from Woolum.

Belfry’s Gideon Ireson was three for three on extra-point kicks.

Brayden Spears led the Pirate defense with 16 tackles. Hatfield followed with 14 tackles and the big interception. Zach Savage added 12 tackles. Zayne Hatfield and Kade Justice each added 11 tackles. Isaiah Stanley, Noah Brown, Neal Copley and Alex Long each had 10 tackles on the night.

Bell County didn’t have as much trouble with Rockcastle County as Belfry did with Lawrence County.

Bobcat running back Dawson Woolum led the way for Bell County. He rushed for 196 yards and two TDs on 23 carries. Ethan Raby followed with 47 yards and two TDs on four carries. Cameron Burnett added 42 yards rushing on five carries.

Daniel Thomas led the Bobcat defense with 14 tackles and Raby followed with 10.

Carter McCune and Gauge Bauer each came up with interceptions against Rockcastle County.

The Bobcat defense held Rockcastle County to 250 yards of total offense.

Bell County was good against the run. The Bobcats held Rockcastle County to 52 yards rushing on 27 carries.

Rockcastle County did have success against the pass as the Bobcats gave up 198 yards through the air.

The Pirates and Bobcats are very similar.

Each team runs the ball almost every play.

They both want to win the battle up front and play strong aggressive defense.

Who 2 Watch: For Belfry, Braxton Hatfield.

Hatfield is a junior who has really come on throughout the season.

On offense he has rushed for 156 yards and two TDs on 20 carries. He also has a 16-yard catch.

On defense, he has 56 tackles and an interception.

If Hatfield can help run the ball on offense and take some of the workload off of Isaac Dixon it will be a big plus for the Pirates.

He will have to be a factor on defense as well.

Hatfield may be coming off of his biggest game with the game-sealing interception last week.

If he can carry that momentum over and have an impact on the game, the Pirates could leave Bell County with a big win.