By David Knox, Sports Editor
PINSON – Matt Glover’s Pinson Valley Indians proved last year’s win over McAdory was no fluke, as they opened the season with a 15-8 win over the Yellow Jackets.
Now they hope to build on that momentum as they continue toward what they hope is a breakthrough season, despite a tough schedule.
Up next are the Ramsay Rams, a squad moving up from Class 5A after two postseason trips. The Rams played a jamboree against Helena last week, winning 20-10.
The Indians survived turnovers and penalties to post the big win. Running back Khymel Chaverst hauled the ball for 183 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead the way, and the defense kept McAdory star Malcolm Askew in check for the most part. He connected with Willie Stokes for an 83-yard TD pass, but the Auburn commitment was largely ineffective passing as the Indians’ salty defense stood tough.
Saul Rios – hero of last year’s overtime win – booted a 33-yad field goal to give Pinson Valley the lead.
Ramsay has been a revelation as the dormant program restarted just four years ago. Quarterback Baniko Harley is a three-year starter and running backs Jamarcus Ellison and Kobe Belcher operate behind a deep and experienced offensive line. Defensively, the linebacking crew led by Joshua Tucker-Ellis, Justin Whisenhunt and Carlos Hudson is the strength.
It remains to be seen if the Rams of Reuben Nelson can continue their success at Class 6A. Ramsay is one of the smallest schools in 6A, but the football tradition has been building. And certainly, the Indians – with Minor, Clay-Chalkville and Walker dead ahead – cannot take this game lightly.
With a game under their belt, the Indians need to cut down mistakes and get the passing game going a little bit better to complement the running game.