Week 0 Prep Preview: Paintsville at Lawrence County

Paintsville senior John Walker Phelps runs with the ball against Somerset last Friday evening in the Tigers’ final scrimmage before the season starts. The Tigers will take on Lawrence County at 7:30 p.m. Friday on the road.

Who: Paintsville (0-0) at Lawrence County (0-0)

Kickoff: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Location: Luke Varney Athletic Complex, Louisa.

Coaches: Painstville, Joe Chirico. Lawrence County, Alan Short, II.

Notes: Paintsville is coming off of a solid 10-3 record last season. The Tigers advanced to the Class A Region 3 championship before falling to district rival Raceland to end its season.

Lawrence County was knocked out of the second round of the Class 3A playoffs against Boyle County last season. The Bulldogs finished last season with a 7-5 record.

Paintsville picked up a 21-6 win over Lawrence County last season.

The Tigers return a lot of talent from last season and should be in the hunt in Class A.

Paintsville will return Jake Hyden. Hyden will be a three-year starting quarterback as a junior.

Hyden is a dual-threat quarterback. He can throw the ball and run it effectively.

Paintsville should be solid up front on both sides of the ball.

The biggest question is who the running back will be for the Tigers?

John Walker Phelps will be one of the guys who look to help carry the load.

If the Tigers want to make an extended run, they will have to have someone emerge in the backfield to lighten running load from Hyden.

Defensively, Paintsville should be solid as well.

Lawrence County like the rest of Class 3A District 8 will be chasing Belfry this season.

The Bulldogs will have to replace quarterback Noah West.

West handled the bulk of the load for the Bulldogs on offense.

He rushed for 2,000 yards last season.

Who 2 Watch: Paintsville’s backfield.

Jake Hyden will be a major factor.

But who is going to help shoulder the load?

John Walker Phelps will be the top candidate. He can also catch the ball out of the backfield and be used many different ways.

Look for junior Zach Thompson to get some work as well. But don’t be surprised if freshman Harris Phelps has some opportunities as well.

If the Tigers want to pull off a big season-opening win on the road, the backfield will have to help Hyden with the work load.

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