6A State Championship Preview: Pinson Valley vs. Saraland
By Damian Mitchell
PINSON — Pinson Valley will face Saraland this Friday for the 6A state championship in Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium. This will be both teams’ second appearance in a state championship game, with Saraland coming in at 0-1 after a 2014 loss to Clay-Chalkville and Pinson looking to go back-to-back in state championships with their win over Wetumpka last season.
This is the first matuchup between the teams in their history. Saraland comes into the game after defeating Wetumpka 22-21 in their semifinal contest, while Pinson Valley gets a chance to repeat as state champion after defeating Clay-Chalkville 28-20.
The pressure of stopping Indian’s quarterback Bo Nix and the offense has been no easy feat for anyone this season and the Spartans will have a full plate to handle come Friday night. Clay-Chalkville had some success in flustering Nix in the pocket but was unable to maintain the level of pressure to result in a win.
The wide receiving corps of Demarion Holloman, Keyonteze Johnson, Geordan Pollard, Ga’Quincy “Kool-aid” McKinstry are all weapons no matter where they are on the field. The key to the Spartans to have a chance is to be fundamentally sound in their technique against these shifty receivers.
Johnson had 208 receiving yards last week in the semifinal game. He was the go-to guy, but any one of them have the capability to take the control of the air attack and put up similar numbers.
The Spartan offense has averaged 31.7 points per game and looks to use their explosive offense to help bring thier first championship in school history. They will be introduced to the Indian defense that has only given up 21 points to one team in 6A other than Clay-Chalkville this season.
The Pinson defensive line looks to continue their dominating performance with Kam Griggs and Joel Parker holding down their spots across the front. The secondary will need to turn things around as Clay-Chalkville was able to find some big open holes in the passing game. Look for safety Rashaan Christian to lead his guys in the secondary and make sure things are in order to keep the Spartans out of the endzone and secure their second championship.