The Paintsvile Tigers have gotten their football season off to a tremendous start so far. Opening the season with two games on the road is never easy, but the Tigers have picked up two big wins over two big opponents.
On August 23rd, Paintsville traveled just up the road to Lawrence County, and after falling behind 10-0 early on, the Tigers would rattle off 34 unanswered points en route to a 48-17 victory over the Class 3A Bulldogs.
However, it was this past Friday night that Paintsville got its biggest win of the young season, and a major boost going into this Friday night as they clipped the Beechwood Tigers 19-14 at historic Georgetown College. The Tigers were staring Goliath right in the face in Beechwood, but the Paintsville defense stopped the potent Tiger offense on nearly every possession. The team’s effort did not go unnoticed by Paintsville head coach Joe Chirico.
“I thank the good Lord for giving us the ability to go up there and stay focused and do what we needed to do to beat a good team like Beechwood,” Chirico said. “Beechwood is Beechwood, the name says it all.”
It was a much needed win for Paintsville, especially, over the defending Class A state champions. However, Beechwood moved up to Class 2A this season, so they will not be defending their title in Class A.
Paintsville’s defense took care of business as it held a usually potent Beechwood offense in check most of the night.
“It starts up front at the D-line,” Chirico said. “We just got a bunch of guys running to the football. It’s like I tell them all the time, ‘Just follow after the ball, and good things will happen’. We’ve got a lot of hard working kids that do what you ask them to do without question, that are just selfless guys.”
Even with the huge win against Beechwood, Paintsville has another big test coming again this Friday night as they welcome the Pikeville Panthers to Memorial Field for what is the Tigers home opener. Many feel that Pikeville is the best team in Class A this season, as the Panthers have already defeated bigger schools in Class 3A Bardstown 47-25 and dismantled Class AA Mingo Central, (W. Va.) in this past weekend’s Pike County Bowl.
This one should prove a pretty good test to see where the Tigers and Panthers fit into the outlook of Class A going forward. Kickoff for Friday night’s game against the Pikeville is slated for 7:30 p.m.