By Kyle Parmley
PINSON – The Indians return home looking to avenge a tough loss from last season.
Pinson Valley (3-0) will take to the Willie Adams Stadium grass on Friday night to face tough Class 6A, Region 6 opponent Gardendale.
The Rockets scored the last 12 points in the battle of the two schools last season, with an interception setting up the game-winning score for Gardendale running back Juan Jackson with just 3:25 remaining in the game, sending the Indians to a 25-21 defeat.
In that contest, quarterback Errius Collins (now one of the Indians’ top receivers) completed 8-of-16 passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns, both of them to Trey Underwood. Gardendale was able to stifle star running back Nick Gibson, holding him out of the end zone and allowing him 98 yards on 25 carries.
Gardendale returns its talented quarterback Zach Cupps, who was 18-of-27 passing in last year’s game with 291 yards and two touchdowns. His top target from last season, Austin Hicks, has departed, but Reagan Padgett can also carry the load. Padgett caught four passes for 85 yards and a long score against the Indians a year ago.
Pinson Valley is 3-0 for the first time since 2011. If they notch a victory on Friday night, it will mark the first 4-0 start since 2002, when the Indians began the season 6-0.
In order to eclipse that mark, they will have to build off a 35-0 victory over Woodlawn to kick off region play.
The Indians scored all five touchdowns on the ground; three from running back Torrey Hendrix, and the other two from quarterback Jackie Matthews.
The defense pitched the shutout, forcing six three-and-outs, seven punts, and two interceptions.
“They’re playing with energy right now,” Glover said of his defense following the game. “I thought we played a lot better in the secondary tonight.”
Instead of giving a prediction, you are invited to the game on Friday night. It is impossible to say what will happen. Look for a great ball game.