Bulldogs knock off Tigers

Hazard’s Reece Fletcher goes airborne trying to avoid a Paintsville tackle last Friday night at Hazard. The Bulldogs pulled off a big 23-14 win over the Tigers.

HAZARD — Reece Fletcher had a game.

Fletcher was all over the field for the Bulldogs on offense and defense.

Fletcher helped lead the Bulldogs to a 23-14 win over Class A powerhouse Paintsville.

The win helped the Bulldogs jump to No. 3 in the Associated Press Class A Top 10.

Fletcher rushed for 114 yards and a TD. He hauled in a 30-yard TD. And for good measure, he came up with an interception late to seal the win for the Bulldogs.

Also — Fletcher had 12 total tackles and became the school’s all-time leader in tackles.

Hazard got on the scoreboard first as kicker Jonah Helm knocked down a field goal with 4:49 left in the first quarter to give the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead.

Paintsville answered with 11:52 left in the first half as Harris Phelps broke a nearly 30-yard run for a TD to give the Tigers a 7-3 lead.

Hazard answered with 6:28 left in the first half as quarterback Garrett Miller found Reece Fletcher for a TD pass to put the Bulldogs back on top 10-7.

The Tigers were moving the ball deep into Hazard territory. That’s when Paintsville backup quarterback Frederick James threw an interception to Mason Collins. Collins took the ball nearly 70-yard for a TD to put the Bulldogs up 17-7 with 3:49 left in the first half.

The game stayed 17-7 until John Walker Phelps scored on a 61-yard TD in the third quarter to cut the lead to 17-14.

Fletcher broke a 33-yard TD run for Hazard to push the lead to 23-14 with 6:10 left in the game.

Fletcher came up with a big interception to help the Bulldogs seal the win over Paintsville.

Hazard (4-1) is scheduled to host Class 2A’s No. 1 team in this week’s Associated Press’s Top 10 Poll.

Paintsville (3-2) is scheduled to visit Union next Friday at 7:30 p.m.

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