By Erik Harris
PINSON — Consistency was surely be the message this week as Pinson Valley prepares for its trip to Southside-Gadsden for the first round of the Class 6A playoffs.
The Indians went on a 3-0 surge after making some changes in their huddle last month before falling at Minor in the regular season finale last Thursday night, 27-9.
On the other hand, Southside-Gadsden (8-2) finished on a seven-game win streak before taking its bye week at the last minute before postseason play.
Pinson Valley (5-5) will represent Region 6 as the final team in. The Panthers come in as Region 7 champions.
Great defensive play fueled the Indians’ run, but a sluggish offense put head coach Matt Glover’s unit in some tough positions last Thursday night. Without adequate offensive production, Pinson Valley was unable to hold up in coverage and gave up the most points it’s allowed in more than a month.
Much of that can be explained by the absence of star running back Nick Gibson. The senior sat out due to a knee injury sustained in the final minutes of the Shades Valley game. Gibson is listed as a game-time decision for first round action.
“He should be able to go, it’ll be a game-time decision,” Glover said. “We’ll need him, but I’m not going to put a kid out there and risk getting injured. If the doctor says he’s good to go, we’ll play him.”
Glover will need better production from both sides of the ball this week if his Indians expect to advance past the Region 7 winners. Southside-Gadsden is averaging more than 35 points per game this season behind a stout offensive front.
Home-field advantage has been key for this Panthers team. It hasn’t lost at Barney Hood Stadium since Week 1 against Oxford.
With a win in a tough road environment, Pinson Valley would face the winner of Walker-Decatur in the second round Friday, Nov. 14.