By: Delaney McGuire
Carter County Times
After a year for the books, East Carter finished its season Friday night with a 48-26 loss against Belfry. Within the first few minutes, the Raiders were able to get on the board with a toss to Charlie Terry for 28 yards. The Pirates, playing an old-school smashmouth style of football, responded immediately. It took a total of three plays for the Pirates to score a touchdown by Isaac Dixon, and after a three and out, it took two plays for Dixon to score again. The Raiders responded with a great return by Connor Goodman to the 44-yard line. Terry ended up fumbling, but luck was on the Raiders’ side as Goodman recovered the fumble inside the one-yard line. Terry busted through the line for a one-yard touchdown run right up the gut. After a failed two-point conversion, the quarter ended with a score of 14-12.
The Raiders opened the second quarter with a defensive stand, Terry blew down the sidelines on the second play of the next drive with a 75-yard score taking the lead 18-14. The Pirates went straight back to their smashmouth attack as Dre Young pushed his team through the endzone on the Raiders, making the score 20-18. After the kickoff return, the Raiders drove the ball down the field, but stalled inside the five-yard line, and Belfry was able to just push East Carter all the way down the field for another quick score. This ended the quarter with a score of 27-18 as the Belfry Pirates were up by nine at the break.
The second half started with the Pirates forcing their way down the field to the endzone, making the score 34-18. On the next series, the Raiders were able to cross the mid stripe, but after a grueling false start penalty, they ended up turning it over on downs. The Pirates used a little misdirection to get a 30-yard touchdown run by Zayne Hatfield. The score ballooned up to 41-18.
As the fourth quarter began, the Raiders got the first down on a great catch by Goodman at the six-yard line. They scored on a touchdown pass to the edge of the endzone to Isaac Boggs for three yards. Kanyon Kozee was able to scramble for the two-point conversation making it a 41-26 score. After a failed onside kick by the Raiders, the Pirates were able to push with their outstanding line and got another score. The Pirate touchdown made it 48-26 after the extra point. The Raiders ended up punting on their next possession, which signaled the end of their amazing run. Belfry kneeled with thirty seconds remaining, running out the clock, with the score showing 48-26 with the Pirates moving on to the Kentucky 3A championship game.
Though the Raiders may not be advancing to Kroger Field, they have plenty to celebrate, making their first-ever appearance in the semifinals and ending their season at 11-4. The Raiders senior offensive star Charlie Terry says he couldn’t have done it without the support of his teammates and coaches.
“It was an incredible season, definitely something we saw coming,” Terry said. “Making it to the semifinals was awesome and just shows that hard work pays off.”
For the game, quarterback Kanyon Kozee completed 9-17 passes for 126 yards, a touchdown, and one interception. He completed five passes to Goodman for 83 yards, three passes to Boggs for 31 yards and a score, and one pass to Hall for 12 yards. Terry led the way for the Raiders with 149 yards on 22 carries for three touchdowns, Kozee had 64 yards on six carries, Boggs had four carries for 50 yards, and Nikk Barnett had two carries for five yards.