By Erik Harris
ADAMSVILLE — Pinson Valley’s offense did no tricks and got no treat at Minor High School on the eve of Halloween.
The Tigers’ defense played with absolutely no regard for the passing game and it didn’t have to on its way to a 27-9 victory in the final regular season game of the year.
“We came in here with a good game plan and we didn’t execute the plan,” said Pinson Valley offensive coordinator Jon Clements.
It seemed like the Indians (5-5) were primed for a big night early. Freshman quarterback Jackie Matthews gave the ball to sophomore ball carrier Torrey Hendrix all the way to the end zone on the Indians’ opening drive to tie the game at 7-all.
It was a six-play drive that saw Hendrix carry the ball five times, including a 1-yard score with 8:39 remaining in the first quarter. That was all Pinson Valley would see all night.
Senior running back Nick Gibson watched from the Pinson Valley sideline with a hoodie over his head and knee brace covering his blue jeans.
Pinson Valley had an entirely different problem, and it’s called Haywood Spencer to Mike Chisem. The Tiger seniors hooked up for three touchdowns from 62, 41 and eight yards out.
The longest of the three went down the right sideline and served as the knockout punch. Spencer hit Chisem in stride for the final score of the night with 4:38 remaining on the clock.
For Minor (7-3), Spencer finished 14-for-23 for 260 yards passing and the three scores. He added a 10-yard touchdown rush, the first score of the night.
For the visitors, Matthews wasn’t asked to throw it much, and looked out of rhythm when he was called upon. The lefty completed just three of his 15 attempts for 12 yards and an interception to Demetrice Cassidy in the fourth quarter. Matthews lost a fumble on the next Indians snap.
“They had a good game plan, they blitzed us a lot and (Matthews) made some mistakes,” said Pinson Valley head coach Matt Glover.
Minor defenders found their way into the backfield often, especially in the second half. After rolling up 117 yards and a touchdown by intermission, Hendrix found no running lanes through the final 24 minutes of play. He totaled four yards on 10 carries in the second half.
“He did good. I have faith in Torrey running the football. We just have to block for him,” Glover said. That’s what we didn’t do a very good job of tonight.”
If the Tribe wants to survive past the first round of the Class 6A playoffs, it will need more offensive balance and better overall consistency.
Next Friday the Indians, Region 6’s fourth team, will visit the champions of Class 6A, Region 7, Southside Gadsden.
“They’ve got a big offensive line, a physical, very physical football team,” Glover said.