The Class 2-A State Championship featured two teams with distinct looks of their own. Belfry, a powerhouse football program, likes to ram the ball down its opponents' throats. Owensboro Catholic looks to use its air attack, which is led by Marshall commit Zach Barnard.
Offense was the key word in this matchup, meaning, the numbers put up by both squads were quite frankly, offensive! Belfry racked up 526 yards on the ground alone. And yes, alone is the right word due to the fact that Belfry threw the ball three times for zero yards.
On the other side of the field, Owensboro Catholic relied heavily on standout quarterback, Zach Barnard, a Marshall commit. Barnard threw the ball 35 times, completing 22 of those passes for 383 yards and three touchdowns.
Belfry started the scoring in the ballgame on a 43-yard scamper by Doug Howard. Howard came into the game with 1790 yards on the season. He would surpass 2,000 yards by the start of the fourth quarter.
Zach Barnard completed a 65 yard strike to wideout Jacob Randolph to take the lead 7-6. That lead, however, would be short-lived as Belfry and Howard would march 70 yards to go up 14-7 after a David Jones 2-point conversion.
Now one would think that if a running back rushes the ball 27 times for 176 yards and a touchdown, like UK commit David Jones, he would be the star and statistical leader. One would be wrong. Doug Howard chewed up and devoured the artificial turf in the pizza box, running all over Owensboro Catholic for 278 yards.
Jones' only score came in the first half and put Belfry up 21-7 at halftime. Both Jones and Howard accrued over 100 yards in the first half, while Barnard threw for 201 yards.
Belfry took the second half kickoff and looked to literally run away with the ballgame after Howard's third touchdown, a 64 yard sweep to the right that seemed to crush any hopes of a state title for the Aces of Owensboro Catholic.
As dominant as Howard was in the first half, Barnard was just as impressive in the third frame. Barnard threw for 140 yards and two scores, pulling Owensboro Catholic within seven at 28-21.
Belfry failed to score again in the fourth quarter as turnovers seemed to keep giving the Aces life. Barnard would have two different opportunities late in the fourth quarter, but two interceptions on Owensboro Catholics' last two possessions would seal it for the Pirates of Belfry. Belfry would hang on to win 28-21 for its second consecutive state title.
Belfry coach Philip Haywood, when asked about the zero yards through the air, said, "Well we only threw the ball three times! That's a lot for us! Everytime we did throw the ball we heard it from our fans in the crowd, so we stopped doing it."
"Our running backs (Howard, Jones, and Gary Childers) mean so much to this team and not just because of the numbers they put up," Haywood continues, "Now they do put up great numbers, but these kids are seniors and they each stepped up when we needed them to," said Haywood when asked about his offense.
Stay tuned to KentuckyPrepReport.com for updates on Doug Howard, David Jones, and Zach Barnard.