In the end there was nothing weird about this game. Just a good hard fought contest between two good football teams.
As Hurricane's QB Nathan Roy took a knee in the "victory formation" the Redskins owned a longer winning streak in Paintsville than the Tigers, who had not lost at home since 2009.
Things did not start well for the 2nd straight week for Hurricane. As Winfield had done last week, Paintsville scored first on a touchdown pass to an open receiver to take an early 7-0 advantage.
Once again Hurricane had a quick answer. Roy was hot early and tied the score on a hook up to Dakota Williams for a 29 yard tying touchdown. The quarter ended in a 7-7 tie although Paintsville ran 21 plays, while Hurricane only had 7 snaps.
Paintsville was driving again when Matt Hartleben caused and recovered a fumble to give the Redskins the ball.
Just 2 plays later, it was once again Roy to Williams, this time on a 73 yard catch and run, and Hurricane had a 14-7 lead after Tim McCutchen remained perfect on his PATs.
Williams had his 2nd straight 100+ receiving yard game.
Roy completed his first 7 passes and was 8-10 for the half for 136 yards.
J.T. Cooper knocked down a 4th down Paintsville pass attempt, giving the Redskins back the ball. The offense converted on a 36 yard McCutchen field goal to head into the locker with a 17-7 lead.
Hurricane got he ball to open the 2nd half, and with 2nd and 1 from their own 30 yard line, they were unsuccessful 3 times in trying to pick up a first down. This was thanks to a tough Tiger defense, and some interesting spots of the ball courtesy of the 5 man officiating crew.
Paintsville took advantage of the great field position and drove the ball inside the Skins 10 yard line. However the Redskins held tough behind stops by Cooper, Payton Lunsford, and Cameron Kimble. On 4th down Paintsville attempted to pass but Cooper burst threw for a sack and the Skins had another stand.
Lunsford was a warrior on defense all night, and although defensive stats were not yet released, it would be a surprise if he did not lead the team in tackles on this night.
Unfortunately Hurricane's offense could not muster up much, and after a short punt, Paintsville was back in business. This times the Tigers found their way into the end zone, and after a missed PAT the score stood 17-13 after three quarters.
Both defenses proved tough in the final quarter and the teams exchanged punts. Paintsville's next drive stalled, and Hurricane took over with just over 7 minutes left. The Redskins ran onto the field knowing what needed to be done, the Tigers would never see the ball again.
The Skins' offensive line began to wear down Paintsville, and Christian Hill took over from there. Hill running hard picked up 2 first downs, but did cause the Redskins and the fans' hearts to skip a beat when he fumbled, only to fall on the ball and keep the drive alive.
Facing 3rd and 3 from the Paintsville 21 with 1:06 left in the game, Hill picked up the first down to seal the game.
A relived Coach Taylor credited Paintsville for a well played game. "Their defense was impressive, this team would compete very well in the MSAC." He went on to laugh "I told their coach we are not coming back here next year, and I'm not inviting him to Hurricane."
For a team that had just lost a hard fought and tough game, and were defeated at home for the first time in 9 seasons, Paintsville showed tremendous class. Several Tiger players thanked Hurricane for coming to play them and for making them better.
Who knows perhaps Coach Taylor will invite them to Redskin stadium next year.
Hurricane now 2-0 travels to Cabell Midland next Friday night.