By Alex Headley
The Pinson Valley High School Indians are moving on to the playoffs. The Indians held the Springville High School Tigers scoreless Friday night in a regional match. Pinson defeated Springville 35 to 0.
“We did a great job defensively,” Matt Glover, Pinson’s head coach said. “The special teams have been great all season. They showed up tonight.”
The Indian defense started strong, forcing the Tigers to go three and out. Zach Cunningham blocked the ensuing punt, setting up Nick Gibson for an 18-yard touchdown on the next play.
“If Zack Cunningham isn’t the best defensive player in the state, I don’t know who is,” Glover said. “He knows how to use his hands. He plays hard every single play.”
Cunningham had his wisdom teeth removed Saturday, but was back in pads on Wednesday.
“His helmet has been hurting him,” Glover said. “But, he is just a monster. I’m glad he is on my team. Everyone tries to double team him, but it hasn’t been successful yet.”
Cunningham had two sacks for the night and blocked one punt. According to Glover, he has been averaging 14 to 15 tackles a game.
The Indians held the Tigers downfield and AJ Freeman returned the next punt for a 30-yard touchdown, putting the Indians up 14 to 0 in the first quarter. Gibson scored again in the first half after a long drive put him just 4 yards out. Gibson rushed it in with 1:13 left in the half. Not slowing down, Gibson ran 72 yards in the opening moments of the fourth quarter.
“Gibson is really coming into his own,” Glover said. “He just runs the ball hard
. He is special.”
Gibson rushed 80 yards and had two touchdowns.
Harry Mason, pulling double duty on defense and offense, got in on the action with a 40-yard punt return resulting in a touchdown with 8:10 left in the game. Mason had one interception 70 yards for the night and one touchdown.
Brooks Garett completed 9 of 24 for 103 yards.
The Indians defense held the Tigers off, making the final score 35 to 0.
Pinson fumbled the ball twice throughout the night, allowing the Tigers to recover and move down field.
“The offense is still sputtering a bit,” Glover said. “We are just a little off. I think we are just doing too much. We are still not quite at our peak. If we can get everyone back healthy before the playoffs, we can make a run.”
The Indians will move onto a regional match against Moody High School next week before moving onto the playoffs.
Before coming to Pinson in 2010, Glover coached at Moody.
“Most of the seniors there were freshman when I coached,” Glover said. “They are always jacked up to play me. I know we are in for a game. They are a much improved team; Coach Brown is doing a great job with them.”
In Other News
The Indian’s latest victory came on homecoming night. Lauren Tralongo was crowned homecoming queen. The freshman representative was Bethany Franklin. The sophomore representatives were Hannah Peoples, and Jenna Trimm. The junior representatives were Rayme Davis, Bria Dial and Courtney Guidy. Ashley Clift, Emily Harris, Kirsten Taylor, Leah Sullivan and Lauren Tralongo were the senior representatives.