WESTWOOD Punts and picks went Paintsville’s way on Friday night as the Tigers used a torrid start to put away Fairview, 56-0.
Paintsville partially blocked Fairview’s first punt attempt. Five plays later, paydirt.
After the Tigers forced a three-and-out, another punt problem occurred on Fairview’s part. John Walker Phelps scooped up the bouncing ball and weaved his way to a 36-yard touchdown return. He motored past the goal line for the ensuing two-point conversion to put the Tigers up, 15-0.
Thirty-six was the magic number again just 37 seconds later when Devin Hall snagged a Jake Hyden pass for a 36-yard score.
Paintsville needed just an additional 1:39 to shoot ahead by 36 points, prompting a mercy-rule running clock with 5:28 left in the first. Fairview coach Daniel Armstrong was scratching his head.
“Honestly, coming into this game, we knew that it was going to be a tall test for us,” Armstrong said. “Paintsville, outside of Pikeville, is probably the favorite to win Class A. But the bottom line is we didn’t execute, offensively or defensively. We just kinda did our own thing and that’s just not a good recipe against a quality team like Paintsville.”
Freshman Jonah Porter picked a pair of passes for the second consecutive week.
“He’s really finding the ball, tracking it well, covering it with his eyes really well,” said Tigers coach Joe Chirico.
Hall collected another two interceptions, including one he toted to the house, as Paintsville (5-2) racked up five takeaways in all.
Fairview put together a promising drive in the second quarter, reaching the Paintsville 6-yard line on a possession that began on its own 20. The Tigers, though, went with a mass substitution, re-inserting their starters. They caused a Fairview fumble on the next play, recovering at their own 5.
Hyden then hooked up with Karsten Poe for a 95-yard TD. It was the second Hyden-to-Poe connection of the quarter.
Hyden was 8 of 10 for 248 yards, all in the first half. Poe had three grabs for 147 yards.
Hyden returned after missing two games with a bruised AC joint. Freshman A.J. James had filled in admirably in a loss to Hazard and a defeat of Union (Virginia). James was 3 of 10 for 104 yards, including a 92-yard TD pass to Grayson Peters with 25 seconds left, on Friday.
Jaylyn Allen (sprained ankle) was back after two games out, too. He recorded three tackles for loss in the first three minutes.
“He was like a kid wanting to get outside where he ain’t been able to play,” Chirico said. “His first snaps back, he was excited to get a chance.”
Chirico complimented Armstrong and the Eagles (2-4), who will visit Raceland for another Class A, District 6 game next week.
“Fairview’s really young,” he said. “They’re going to get better, better and better. Their coach is doing a good job.”
Armstrong said he continues to preach strength-training as the Eagles face more stout competition.
“I told the kids it has to become like a second religion,” Armstrong said. “You have to eat, breathe, sleep and think weights because it prevents injury, it allows you to match up physically with people that might be more athletically talented than you are. (Former head coach) Brett Cooksey started to build it last year, but we’re just a couple years behind most of the local teams (in weights), but we’re looking to remedy that fairly quickly.”
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PAINTSVILLE 36 13 0 7 — 56
FAIRVIEW 0 0 0 0 — 0
P — Nick Keeton 2 pass from Jake Hyden (Seth Trador kick) 8:01
P — John W. Phelps 36 punt return (J. Phelps run) 7:44
P — Devin Hall 36 pass from Hyden (Trador kick) 7:07
P — J. Phelps 6 run (Trador kick) 6:49
P — Hall 21 int. return (Trador kick) 5:28
P — Karsten Poe 19 pass from Hyden (Kick failed) 11:29
P — Poe 95 pass from Hyden (Trador kick) 5:29
P — Grayson Peters 92 pass from A.J. James (Dylan Pugh kick) 0:25
First downs 12 8
Rushes-yards 13-53 10-3
Comp-att-int 11-20-0 15-32-4
Passing yards 352 147
Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-1
Penalties-yards 4-35 3-22
Punts-avg. 0-0 3-31
Paintsville rushing: Ramey 4-25, J. Phelps 2-11, L. Hyden 1-10, Thompson 2-8, H. Phelps 1-7, Marsillett 2-7, James 1-(minus-15).
Fairview rushing: Smith 6-19, McFann 1-(minus-6), Roy 3-(minus-10).
Paintsville passing: Hyden 8 of 10 for 248 yards; James 3 of 10 for 104 yards
Fairview passing: Roy 15 of 32 for 147 yards, 4 int.
Paintsville receiving: Poe 3-147, Peters 2-98, Thompson 2-50, Hall 1-36, J. Phelps 1-13, Porter 1-6, Keeton 1-2.
Fairview receiving: Smith 4-63, Harper 4-50, Miller 3-38, McFann 4-(minus-4).