Tigers escape  Hazard with win

Paintsville quarterback Jake Hyden runs with the ball as a Hazard defender tries to drag him down from behind. The Tigers escaped Hazard with a 38-37 win.

In a game that came down to the final minute, the Paintsville Tigers were able to pull off a miraculous win, clawing past the Hazard Bulldogs 38-37.

Hazard started off the game strong scoring early in the first quarter, but the Tigers soon caught up tying the game 7-7 with 5:35 left in the first.

Both teams’ defenses held strong and neither was able to make it onto the board with the remaining time, and the second quarter opened up with Paintsville punting away the ball.

But the Bulldogs didn’t have the ball for long as Hazard’s Bailey Blair threw a pick to Paintsville’s Jake Hyden, who returned the interception for a TD putting the Tigers ahead for the first time on the night with 10:59 left in the half.

Blair ended the night going nine for 20 passing for 150 yards and an interception.

With the ball back in Hazard’s possession, the Bulldogs made use of their trusty running back Skylar Pelfry, who worked the ball up the middle to even things up with 7:00 to go in the first half.

Pelfry ended the night with 116 yards on 17 carries and a TD. Defensively, he had four tackles.

The Tigers ended up slashing through the defense the rest of the half, heading to the break with a 28-14 lead.

Hazard’s Trajon Campbell returned the ball to the 35-yard line to open  the second half of the game, that was followed with a huge 50-yard run by Pelfry in their second drive of the half.

With the score 31-21 Paintsville, action picked back up in the fourth quarter after Hazard’s Isaiah Stupart made an interception that he returned into the red-zone that the Bulldogs were able to turn into a field goal to cut the lead to 31-24.

But Paintsville’s Chris Allen broke loose with the ball on their possession for huge gains moving them into the red zone as well.

The Tigers faced fourth and goal and they attempted the field goal, but it hit the goal post and was no good.

Blair then managed to score in the final minutes of the game, tying the two teams 31-31.

But Paintsville’s Jake Hyden was not done and made two huge runs that resulted in a TD with 1:59 left to play to give the Tigers a 38-31 lead with time running out in the game.

Hazard attempted to work the ball up the middle, but a series of penalties against both teams moved the ball back-and-forth up the field more than the actual plays.

Finally, Blair found luck with Andy Baker. Baker scored Hazard’s final TD of the game with 0:33 left to play.

That put the game to 38-37, where a successful extra-point kick would send the game into overtime, and a two-point conversion would mean a win for Hazard. 

Hazard appeared to go for the kick, but it was a fake and the pass was intercepted by the Tigers, ending the ball game.

The loss moved Hazard’s record to 4-3 for the season and improved the Tigers’ record to 7-2.

Hazard will go up against the Leslie County Eagles this Friday in their Homecoming game. Kickoff for that game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

The Paintsville Tigers will play their final game of the season on the road against Raceland. That game is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 19, with kickoff at 7:30 p.m. The game will decide who wins the Class A District 6 title.

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