LOUISVILLE One of the youngest Paintsville fans summarized Friday's Class A semifinal between Paintsville and Kentucky Country Day.
“Grocery shopping!” Brayden Chirico said.
Brayden's dad, Tigers coach Joe Chirico, and the rest of the Tigers overwhelmingly earned their trip to Kroger Field by downing KCD, 44-20.
Paintsville thus meets Pikeville for the title next Friday at 2 p.m. at Kroger Field.
The Tigers didn't need to gain a yard through the air because they ran for 489. John Walker Phelps gashed and gored the Bearcats for 238 and three touchdowns, Jake Hyden added another 138 and a score, and Zach Thompson scored twice more.
Ask any of the Paintsville players about motivation; they'll likely tell you they did it for center Grant Ray, who suffered a gruesome ankle injury and spent the evening in the hospital.
“Our motto is, ‘One man down, next man stands up,’” Phelps said.
Ask Coach Chirico who enjoyed the win.
“We all do,” he said. “We all do.”
Here’s how dominant Paintsville's running game was: the Tigers averaged 9.9 yards for their 49 plays.
Phelps, who turned 18 Friday, and Hyden scored the touchdowns, but they should buy Karsten Poe whatever he wants next week — his two blocks sprang Phelps for scores of 45 and 68 yards on the same play “Flame Q Lead,” in which Phelps ran around left end.
“It's just reading the end,” Hyden said.
KCD coach Matthew Jones said Paintsville's offensive line pretty much crushed the Bearcats.
“They've got those big bodies in there,” Jones said. “That's what a big, strong team should do.'
KCD (13-1) got most of its offense from Dorian Heard. He ran for 174 yards and two touchdowns.
Pikeville edged Paintsville, 9-8, on Sept. 6 on the Tigers' field.
“Pikeville's a really good team, and we're just gonna have to prep for them,” Phelps said.
Ray was in the hospital, but that didn't prevent him from rejoicing. “Unbelievable!” Ray said via FaceTime. “It's crazy!”
PAINTSVILLE 6 12 13 13 – 44
KY. COUNTRY DAY 7 7 0 6 – 20
P-John Walker Phelps 2 run (kick failed), 6:03
KCD-Dorian Heard 2 run (Zach Schonwelter kick), 1:12
P-Phelps 45 run (run failed)
KCD-Drew Russell 61 run (Schonwelter kick),
P-Jake Hyden 40 run (run failed), 5:53
P-Zach Thompson 1 run (kick failed), 5:27
P-Phelps 68 run (Seth Trador kick), 2:58
P-Hyden 1 run (Trador kick) 11:53
P-Thompson 5 run (kick failed), 5:19
KCD-Heard 1 run (run failed), 1:13
First downs 11 8
Rushes-yards 49-489 41-264
Passes 0-6-0 INT 5-10-0 INT
Passing yards 0 36
Punting 1-48.0 3.38.0
Fumbles-lost 2-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 5-50 6-40
Paintsville rushing: Phelps 18-238, J. Hyden 13-138, 9-75, L. Hyden 9-38.
KCD rushing: Heard 25-174, Smith 8-14, Russellk 1-61, Caldwell 3-15, Russo 3-(minus-15).
Paintsville passing: J. Hyden 0-6-0.
KCD passing: Russ0 5-9-36, Heard 0-1-0
Paintsville receiving: None.
KCD receiving: Smith 3-14, Heard 2-12, Russell 1-10.