By Gary Lloyd
For The Tribune
Robert Greene is not a fan of the radio.
Friday night’s game between Class 6A No. 2 Clay-Chalkville and Class 5A Pinson Valley was broadcast live on a local station, and commercials kept him waiting, prolonging a 26-yard field goal attempt. The senior did not care.
Greene split the uprights to a few moments later, propelling the Cougars (5-0) to a 31-28 overtime victory over the Indians (2-3).
“I wasn’t scared or nervous or anything,” Greene said.
Sophomore running back Terrelle West, who exploded for 139 yards and three touchdowns on six carries, said he was not nervous, either. Cougars head coach Jerry Hood pushes Greene every day, West said.
“Coach puts so much pressure on Robert,” West said.
Hood did not deny it. He said Greene has been through an “intense head coach-kicker relationship for a lot of years.”
“That right there, he’s been waiting his whole life to do it,” Hood said.
Down 21-7 at halftime, Clay-Chalkville wasted little time in the third quarter to even the score. Junior running back Sidney Battle plunged forward for a 1-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to 21-14 with 9:20 to play in the third. Two minutes later, West scampered around the left edge and went 63 yards for the game-tying touchdown. West gave Clay-Chalkville its first lead of the game with 4:53 to play in the third when he bolted 53 yards for a score.
Pinson Valley tied the game at 28 with 5:23 to play in the final quarter when junior quarterback Brooks Garrett found senior A.J. Freeman for an 11-yard TD. Senior kicker Hunter Middleton’s 30-yard field goal attempt in overtime fell short, setting up Greene’s game-winner.
Garrett completed 8-of-22 passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns. He rushed 13 times for 44 yards and a score. Senior wide receiver Earnest Robinson caught a 52-yard touchdown for the first score of the game. Freeman rushed for 75 yards on 10 carries and caught four passes for 45 yards.
For the Cougars, junior quarterback Hayden Moore completed 6-of-11 passes for 79 yards. He was intercepted twice, first by Pinson Valley senior Harry Mason, who returned it 59 yards for a first-quarter touchdown
. He was picked off late in the fourth quarter by sophomore Juray Smith. Moore rushed 14 times for 68 yards.
Battle finished with 102 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. Senior Kendrick Smith led the Cougars receivers with two receptions for 43 yards. Senior DeAndre Woods caught three balls for 21 yards.
The end of the night, however, belonged to Greene, who was lifted onto teammates’ shoulders after the game.
“That’s the best feeling in the world,” Greene said. “That was the most fun thing I’ve ever done.”