PAINTSVILLE A surefire way to bring a smile to the face of Paintsville coach Joe Chirico is mention the name Phelps, and Thursday night was no different.
The duo brothers Harris and John Walker Phelps combined for four touchdowns and more than 200 yards rushing in the Tigers’ 67-0 rout of Fairview in round one of the KHSAA Class A playoffs.
Harris, a freshman running back, toted the pigskin six times for 125 yards, while senior John Walker only needed four carries to gain 83 yards.
“Those Phelps boys are special,” said a smiling Chirico. “Every year I have been here, I have had a Phelps.”
To say the Tigers used a quick-strike offense in the first quarter would be an understatement. Paintsville ran a total of 11 plays for 278 yards and 41 points in the initial stanza.
Harris Phelps started the scoring with a 54-yard touchdown only 43 seconds into the game. John Walker Phelps joined in the fun by ripping off two touchdown runs of 37 and 13 yards to give the Tigers a 20-0 lead at the 7:19 mark of the first quarter.
Quarterback Jake Hyden then found his favorite target, Karsten Poe, for back to back touchdown passes of 40 and 38 yards to stretch the lead to 34-0. After another Fairview punt, Hyden took a botched snap from center and scampered 40 yards to paydirt and the Tigers led 41-0 late in the first quarter.
Harris Phelps capped the first-half scoring with a 1-yard run that capped the Tigers’ longest drive of the half: four plays.
The Tigers defense was also lights-out in the 47-0 half of football. Eagle quarterback Jack Roy was repeatedly harassed by the trio of Luke Hyden, Jaylyn Allen and Nick Keeton. The Tigers allowed only 46 yards of offense and kept the Eagles out of the end zone, just as they did in their first matchup in Westwood in October.
Justin Ramey tacked on a couple of touchdown runs in the second half, coupled with a 4-yard touchdown run by Jonah Porter, to make the final score 67-0 in favor of the homestanding Tigers.
Despite the lopsided loss, Fairview coach Daniel Armstrong was pleased with the effort of three Eagle players that return next season.
“I felt like Gracin Smith, Brant McFann, and Gage Crooks showed a lot of fight and effort throughout the game,” he said.
Smith finished the season with more than 100 tackles.
The Eagles, coming off a winless 2018 campaign, finish the season with a 3-8 mark. Armstrong felt like the season had its share of positives.
“I feel like we set the foundation for future success,” Armstrong said. “Our senior class helped to build that foundation. Now it is up to the returning players to buy into our weight program in the offseason and build on the success we did have this season.”
The 8-3 Tigers now turn their attention to a likely matchup next Friday against a familiar opponent in Raceland. Chirico has great respect for the Rams.
“They are a great team,” Chirico said. “They have gotten us two years in a row in the playoffs when it matters. Coach (Michael) Salmons does such a good job. We will just try to get better every day and see what happens.”
The Tigers own a 19-15 win over the Rams two weeks ago.
FAIRVIEW 0 0 0 0 — 0
PAINTSVILLE 41 6 7 13 — 67
P — Harris Phelps 54 run (Seth Trador kick), 11:17
P — John Walker Phelps 37 run (Trador kick), 8:21
P — J. Phelps 13 run (kick fails), 7:19
P — Karsten Poe 40 pass from Jake Hyden (Trador kick), 5:22
P — Poe 38 pass from Hyden (Trador kick), 2:48
P — Hyden 40 run (Trador kick), 1:21
P — H. Phelps 1 run (kick fails), 6:40
P — Justin Ramey 14 run (Trador kick), 8:17
P — Jonah Porter 4 run (Dylan Pugh kick), 8:00
P — Ramey 55 run, :40
First Downs 3 19
Rushing Yards 26 357
Comp-Att 6-25 4-4
Passing Yards 20 108
Penalties 3-26 6-65
Fairview rushing: Smith 8-31, Ferguson 1-(-1), Roy 4-(-3)
Paintsville rushing: H. Phelps 6-125, J. Phelps 4-83, Ramey 4-72, Porter 4-26, Hyden 2-25, Allen 3-4, Thompson 1-11.
Fairview passing: Roy 6 of 25 for 20 yards.
Paintsville passing: Hyden 3 of 3 for 80 yards, Frederick 1 of 1 for 28 yards.
Fairview receiving: Smith 4-15, Ferguson 2-5.
Paintsville receiving: Poe 3-80, Peters 1-28.