By Rich Durazzo
PINSON — Pinson Valley is headed to the Class 6A playoffs.
The Indians earned their third shutout of the season by dropping rival Center Point 31-0 on Friday night at Willie Adams Stadium.
[VIDEO: Game highlights and post-game interviews]
Senior cornerback Juray Smith intercepted three passes, one of which he returned 30 yards for a touchdown, to lead Pinson Valley (4-4, 3-2 Class 6A, Region 6).
Senior running back Nick Gibson did most of the work for the Pinson Valley offense, rushing 41 times for 160 yards and a touchdown. His score came on a 1-yard plunge midway through the first quarter. Smith then picked off a Chris Baker pass and returned it for the pick-six, putting Pinson Valley up 14-0.
In the fourth quarter with Center Point pinned in its own territory, Pinson Valley blocked the punt and Jay Woods returned it 13 yards to give Pinson Valley a 21-0 lead. Woods also intercepted a pass for Pinson Valley. Special teams would strike again with a 25-yard field goal from Saul Rios after Center Point fumbled a punt deep in its own territory.
With the score 24-0 and the game out of reach Center Point fumbled the ball on its own 21-yard line before Deon Gregory jumped on it. Pinson Valley capped the drive and game off with a 2-yard run by running back Torrey Hendrix.
Center Point turned the ball over seven times in the game and managed just 61 yards of offense. Pinson Valley controlled the game with its running ability and playing great defense.
“We were going to run the ball, run the ball, run the ball and play defense,” Pinson Valley head coach Matt Glover said. “That was our game plan and that’s what we did.”
Pinson Valley has pitched three shutouts in its four victories this season. The Indians’ defense is allowing just 15.12 points per game.
Pinson Valley travels to Class 6A, Region 6 foe Shades Valley next week.