PAINTSVILLE GAME PREVIEW
There may come a day, somewhere off in our football future where we will look back and pinpoint a time in our history that was a turning point, a time when we took a giant leap forward, and took our program to the next level, and that turning point may well be identified as “the night we hosted Paintsville”, and it might not even have to come as a win.
I’m not sure that any of our 50 players suiting up Friday night have ever heard of Paintsville, or know of their 1996 State Champion basketball team, or who John Pelphery even is/was. During that era, everyone knew that Billy Mike Runyon was the basketball coach. He was so popular then, that he is still the Mayor of Paintsville today. Paintsville has been in the football business since 1921 and they have only won one State Championship, but that title came just two seasons ago and it seems like them, Pikeville, Kentucky Country Day, and Raceland are always in the mix.
I’m sure that many of those Paintsville Tigers will wonder what in the world they are doing on a bus coming to play a team that many are not familiar with. Normally if it is November and they are on a bus, they are either going to Raceland or Kroger Field to play in a State Championship game. Since 2015 when they play in November it has been at home – 19 times. In that timespan, they have only been on a bus 5 times in November for a playoff game – in 2015 to Paris, once to Hazard to play the 2016 State Runner-Up Bulldogs, once in 2019 to Kentucky Country Day to play the State Champs, and twice to Raceland. Friday night they will get on a bus and come to play Bishop Brossart.
They come into Friday night’s game with a 5-5 record, but don’t be deceived, their losses this year were to Beechwood, and we all know about them, a loss to 8-2 Pikeville who expect to be in Lexington in December, an overtime loss to Somerset, a 2 point loss to Perry County Central, and a loss to Raceland, with whom they share a district, and who put them on this bus. The Raceland Rams also plan on being in Lexington on the first Saturday in December, and have only taken a single loss, and that was to Highlands in Fort Thomas, and we know all about them also.
There have been times this week that I’ve inwardly chuckled that for this week of practice down in the mountains, the Paintsville Tigers are preparing for us. That is a good thing. We are now running with the big dogs. I’m going to give you a name to remember – Harris Phelps. He’s easy to spot, he wears Number 1, and is probably the guy carrying the ball. While many members of this team probably do not remember much about their championship game in 2020, Phelps certainly does. As a sophomore he was the game’s MVP. In his four year career, Phelps has run for 3,473 yards and scored 57 touchdowns. Putting things in perspective, had Mr. Phelps taken the transfer bus and had it dropped him off at Brossart High School and had he matched the numbers put up so far at Paintsville, he would hold our Touchdowns in a Career record by 29 touchdowns. Our record is 28. He would also presently be our career leading rusher, by about 600 yards. This is obviously going to be a major challenge. Our defense is presently ranked Number Four in all of Class 1A, and that includes Paintsville who holds down the Number 20 spot. It is certainly asking a lot, but we have asked and the defense has delivered with each new challenge.
This is a great opportunity for us, should be a big crowd if the weather gods will cooperate, and a big time atmosphere. It should be – It’s a Big Time game.
REPLAY OF THE BB-PAINTSVILLE GAME
The Paintsville Tigers, traveling outside of Paintsville for only the fifth time in their last twenty post-season games, arrived Friday evening November 11th in Alexandria, to take on our Brossart Mustangs in the second round of the KHSAA 2022 State Class 1A Playoffs.
Departing Paintsville at 11am en route to Alexandria with a stop at GRC for a walk-through, followed by lunch in Lexington, the Tigers made a day of the trip to Alexandria, yet still got caught in traffic on the AA Highway, causing the game to be delayed until 8pm.
Once we got underway, the Tigers blasted out to a 14-0 lead as Harris Phelps scored the first two of his four touchdowns that he would score on the night. However in true 2022 Mustangs style, our guys were up to the challenge. Evan Orth would connect with Nate Schalk in the end zone on a Fullback pass play that cut the Tigers’ lead in half, and when Tyler Smith connected on a 29 yard field-goal, the Tigers saw their lead shrink to 4 points at the half, and we had a ballgame.
We kicked off to the Tigers to start the second half, and like a team on a mission, it took them only three minutes to re-extend the lead to 21-10 on a 19 yard pass play from Fredrick James to Austin Allen, and Paintsville was on to the next round of the playoffs, and our Mustangs were heading to the off-season. A pair of Phelps touchdowns would put the game out of reach. With 1:03 remaining in our season Evan Orth scored the ninth and final rushing touchdown of his career, as the curtain dropped on our 9-3 2022 football season – another major overachievement.
In the post-season our coach, Paul Wiggins, has been named a Cincinnati Bengals Greater Cincinnati Coach of the Week.
Tim Cooper Photos
Evan Orth Doing What He Does Best
Patty Goering Photos
Evan Orth The Ball Carrier