Pinson Valley hobbled without offensive coordinator
By Erik Harris
KIMBERLY — For the first time since falling at McAdory, 34-17, in the Class 5A state playoffs in November, Pinson Valley took the field to hit someone wearing another color.
The bitter taste of defeat that’s plagued the Indians for six months wasn’t washed clean as Mortimer Jordan beat Pinson Valley 13-6 in the varsity session of the spring scrimmage Friday. Each team fielded their varsity for two 12-minute quarters.
“I just wanted to get our kids to play hard,” said Pinson Valley head coach Matt Glover.
Of the eyes not focused in on rising senior running back Nick Gibson, many landed on rising junior Errius Collins, who is first in line to replace Brooks Garrett at quarterback.
Collins had his highs: 9-of-15 for 90 yards and a touchdown; and his lows: three interceptions and -27 yards in sacks.
Pinson Valley worked through spring camp without its soon-to-be offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach who has yet to officially join the coaching staff and remains anonymous.
“We will be a totally different offensive football team next year,” Glover said.
Without the assistance of his OC, Glover kept his offensive attack vanilla. The unit, led by a new quarterback, accumulated 118 yards of total offense, but two red zone interceptions left a lot to be desired.
“I just told (the team) that they had the worst offensive coordinator in the nation calling plays because I had to do it this spring, so our offensive play calling was very limited,” Glover said.
Gibson, a four-star recruit, carried the ball six times for 55 yards. He also caught the ball four times for 18 yards. He accounted for 62 percent of the Indians’ offense.
A bright spot came in the form of Collins airing out a 35-yard touchdown pass to rising senior Trey Underwood on fourth and long. The slightly under-thrown ball was caught above a Blue Devil defender by Underwood and cut the Mortimer Jordan lead to 7-6 in the first quarter.
Collins also showed his ability to create a spark on the ground. On a do-or-die fourth-and-6 late in the contest, the quarterback eluded defenders in the backfield before escaping the pocket and out legging the defense for a 15-yard scamper to keep the Indians alive.
“I was going to run out of bounds, but then I saw an open hole so I just hit it and I was gone,” Collins said.
However, two plays later he threw his third interception of the game with only 49 seconds remaining on the clock to end the contest at 13-6 in favor of the hosts.
“We did a lot of experimentation this spring,” Glover said. “We have a lot of good players that play hard. We just have to get them in the right place and doing the right things.”