By David Knox, Sports Editor
PINSON – When Pinson Valley coach Matt Glover looked at the start of his schedule before the season, he knew he’d know something about his football team by week five.
Knocking off McAdory to start the season seemed to confirm what many had seen in the summer and in 7on7 football. Pinson was ready to start beating teams it usually didn’t beat.
But the next two Fridays saw losses to Ramsay and Minor. There was talk after the 45-13 shellacking handed to the Indians by Minor that maybe the Pinson Valley team was a year away. With top-ranked Clay-Chalkville up next, perhaps the wheels were starting to come off of the 2016 edition.
Pinson wasn’t having any of that. A resilient, confident Tribe beat the Cougars 21-14 in double-overtime, the first win in school history in 11 tries over the Cougars. Then the Indians went to Jasper and beat the Walker Vikings for the first time in three tries.
At 3-2 and 2-1 in Class 6A, Region 6, the Indians are ready to hit the road and take on the Shades Valley Mounties. Pinson beat Shades Valley last year 35-21. This meeting will be at Frank A. Nix Memorial Athletic Complex on the Irondale campus. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
Under new coach David Partridge, the Mounties have been a puzzle. They squeaked by winless Center Point, were routed by Ramsay, knocked off Blackmon of Murfreesboro, Tenn., on the road, then were edged by Hueytown. At 2-2 overall but 0-2 in their region, it’s hard to know what the Mounties may bring on a given Friday, but it does seem they have some new life in the program.
Pinson must continue to keep playing mistake-free ball. The defense held Walker under 100 yards. It kept Clay to about 50 in the second half of their game.
An Indians win Friday would be a big deal. It would mean they survived the first six games on the schedule – none a gimme – to be 4-2 with a bye week coming up.
The Indians will then have three straight region games – Center Point, Gardendale and Carver – to figure out the playoff scenario. Minor is in the driver’s seat for the top spot, but getting No. 2 and a crucial first-round playoff game is plenty to play for, even if Minor should win the region.