SAM COWAN – Sports Writer
The South Pittsburg Pirates beat the Copper Basin Cougars 67-0 on the road Friday for their third win of the season.
The Pirates put up 54 points in the first half alone and easily closed out the game from there to get a blowout victory in the regional matchup.
South Pittsburg head football coach Wes Stone said his team played well with the large lead providing an opportunity for a majority of the Pirates roster to see the field.
“Our older guys handled business and played a solid half of football, and in the second half, we got to get all of our twos and our threes in,” he said.
Stone added that getting his starters plenty of reps is always a top priority, but having the chance to bring backups into the game for varsity experience can also be beneficial down the road.
“Your starters are starters for a reason. Those guys have earned their opportunity to start. In a game like that, I always want to make sure that those guys are going to get a good half of football,” he said before then referring to his backups. “It’s crucial for those guys to get those varsity minutes to help prepare them because all of those guys who played in the second half, in the not-so-distant future, it’s going to be their time.”
The Pirates needed just two plays to score their first touchdown as JaMychal Buckner broke off a 52-yard touchdown run to make it a 7-0 game less than a minute after the opening kickoff.
The Pirates’ next score came on a 70-yard touchdown pass from Kamden Wellington to AJ Wallace to bring the early lead up to 14-0 with 8:36 left in the first quarter.
Wellington threw another passing touchdown later in the quarter as he connected with Racash Kelly on a 23-yard pass with 3:36 remaining in the opening period to grow the deficit to 21-0.
The Pirates got their first touchdown of the second quarter on an 11-yard run by Wellington, and Wellington called his own number again for another rushing score on South Pittsburg’s next drive to make it a 34-0 game with 10 minutes left in the first half.
The Pirates went back to their air attack for their next touchdown as Wellington found Jacob Bivens for a 14-yard score with seven minutes to go in the second quarter.
The offensive onslaught continued for the Pirates with Jamarion Farrior scoring on an 18-yard run to push the deficit to 47-0 with five minutes left in the half, and Farrior added another touchdown on a 59-yard run a few minutes later to bring their advantage up to more than 50 points.
They led 54-0 at halftime.
The Pirates added to the lead with their backups on the field in the second half with Anthony Gibbs rushing for a 12-yard touchdown with 5:25 left in the third quarter to make it a 61-0 game.
The final touchdown of the night came with about 8:14 remaining in the fourth quarter as Brandon Goldmsith found the end zone on a short run to put the final deficit at 67 points.
The Pirates concluded a dominant defensive showing by maintaining a shutout while holding the Cougars to just 16 yards of total offense.
Wellington ended the game with nine completions for 156 yards and two carries for 12 yards.
Buckner ran for 140 yards on just six carries while Farrior carried the ball twice for 77 yards.
Wallace had five catches for 123 yards on the day.
Kelly caught three passes for 19 yards and carried the ball once for 12 yards.
Bivens had one reception for 14 yards and intercepted a pass on the defensive end.
Ky Powell had two carries for 42 yards, and Gibb recorded 12 rushing yards on his lone carry for the game.
With the win, the Pirates improved to 3-0 on the season and 1-0 in regional play.
They will next play Friday at Sequatchie County High School. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.