By Phil Gibson
For The Tribune
The Pinson Valley offensive machine could not find a way to get rolling Friday night as the Indians lost 23-13 in the regular season finale at Briarwood.
“We didn’t do a real good job of blocking,” said Pinson Valley head coach Matt Glover. “They did a good job of scheming us up, and the stuff we thought would work didn’t work.”
After their first drive stalled out inside the red zone, the Lions forced a quick three and out, then responded with an 11-play, 56-yard drive ending with a 30-yard field goal to take an early 3-0 lead.
On the Lions’ next drive, Pinson Valley safety Keenan Toney came up with an interception to set the Indians up on Briarwood’s 28-yard line. On the next play, senior quarterback Brooks Garrett found Trey Underwood in the end zone to give the Indians their only lead of the game, 7-3.
It was all Lions from there on out. Senior running back Ethan Simmons rushed for two touchdowns on Briarwood’s next two possessions to put the Lions up 17-7 going into halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter, Briarwood took a 23-7 lead on a 4-yard pass from sophomore Walker Lott to senior Andrew Schaper. The Indians were able to score on a 6-yard run by junior running back Nick Gibson, but it was too little, too late.
Briarwood won by controlling the game and shutting down the Indians’ running game. Briarwood held the usually prolific Indians’ ground game to just 104 yards, and kept their own offense on the field the majority of the game.
“They dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides,” Glover said. “They’re a good football team.”
One bright spot for the Indians’ offense was junior wide receiver Trey Underwood, who finished the game with 10 receptions for 146 yards.
Gibson managed to finish with 98 yards rushing on 22 carries. He finishes the regular season with 1,915 rushing yards and 24 rushing scores.
The Indians will play host to Hartselle next week in the opening round of the Class 5A playoffs.