Jake Hyden puts defenders on an island with a tough choice…stay on him or slide to the ‘option.’
This article will not be the first time KPGFootball has used this particular analogy. We can’t help it, it is pretty much our favorite adage.
There is an old Indian proverb, and we probably won’t be getting this totally right, but it goes something like this…the only thing scarier then riding on the back of a Tiger is the prospect of the dismount.
That maxim is just so descriptive, so accurate, so very poignant. Defenders preparing to play the Paintsville Tigers face a similar dilemma in 2020.
Consider, Jake Hyden, Class of 2021, over his junior year (2019) was the team’s leading passer. Statistically, Hyden completed 106 passes of his 206 passing attempts for 1,609-yards, 15 TDs, against 10 thrown interceptions.
Hyden was the team’s 2nd leading rusher a year ago, behind the departed, Johns Phelps. The leading, returning, ground-gainer picked up 776- yards in 128 carries with 10-rushing TDs.
Hyden enters 2020, the leading returning scorer. He trailed, in 2019, you guessed it…John Phelps.
If we stopped right there, with his nearly 2,400-yards, passing and running, and the 25-TDs for which he accounted through the air or on the ground last season, he has a legitimate argument for being the best dual-threat QB in Kentucky’s upcoming senior class. That would be true if he didn’t even play defense. Well, he can flat play defense too.
Hyden had nearly 40-tackles from DB, a fumble recovery, a sack, and 6, count them…SIX, interceptions. Obviously, he was the team’s leader in the “interceptions” statistic in 2019, making him the leading returner there too.
So how do you properly quantify one player, on a state finalist ball club in the 1A classification, who enters 2020 the top returning, passer, rusher, scorer, and back-four defender? That’s a Tiger with a lot of claws so to speak. That is one dangerous Tiger to jump on, carrying the opening analogy through to the end of this feature.
So, imagine you’re playing end against Paintsville and Jake Hyden comes sprinting out right at you with a RB in “pitch relation.” What do you do?
Do you ride (figuratively) Hyden and risk getting “torn up” in open space? Do you dismount and try to slide out to the “pitch man” and risk looking even more foolish?
If you have Paintsville on the schedule, that is the proverbial sixty-four (64) dollar question, isn’t it. Good luck with whatever you decide. We’re just glad not to be you.
This is Coach HB Lyon, reporting for KPGFootball, and we’re JUST CALLING IT LIKE WE SEE IT!
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