By Justin Nails, Tribune Sports
HOOVER –The Pinson Valley offense struggled to get anything of substance going on offense, leaving the defense vulnerable to a high-powered Hoover offense resulting in a Bucs blowout at home.
Pinson Valley struggled to get anything going in their first two drives as they were forced to punt. The defense got an early present as Hoover starting quarterback Robby Ashford was sacked for a loss and came up limping, forcing him off the field. Backup quarterback Josh Lundy forced an errand throw and Gaquincey McKinstry was there to pick it out of the air.
The turnover didn’t have the needed impact Pinson was hoping for as the next two drives ended in turnovers on downs deep in Bucs territory. Twice the Indians had fourth and short situations inside the Bucs thirty-yard line and twice they were denied conversions.
Ashford quickly returned to the starting lineup and led the Bucs to their first points of the season as Ashford connected with Auburn wide receiver commit George Pickens on a 33-yard touchdown pass. The very next drive Ashford connected with Pickens once again, this time on a 28-yard touchdown pass, to extend the Bucs lead 14-0.
Alabama kicking commit Will Reichard had a chance to add to the Bucs lead but missed a field goal from the 12-yard line that gave the Indians the ball back with plenty of time to cut into the lead. Pinson Valley quarterback Bo Nix and running back Jay Sharp were vital in getting the Indians in scoring position for their first touchdown of the season. With a little over three minutes to go in the half, Nix connected with Keyonteze Johnson on a 17-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 14-7.
The ensuing kickoff was a disaster for Pinson Valley form the start. To begin, the kickoff team was flagged for delay of game. After being moved back, the Bucs Larry McCammon used the extra space to return the kickoff 91 yards and extend the Bucs lead to 21-7. The bad luck continued as running back Jay Sharp fumbled the ball on a second and short attempt while being tackled by Hoover’s Greg Russell. The Bucs took over on the Indians 25-yard line. While the Indians defense did stand strong, Reichard and the Bucs were able to add a field goal before the half giving Hoover a 24-7 lead.
Hoover would begin the second half much like the first as they turned the ball right over to Pinson Valley this time on a short pass that was fumbled. A mixture of mis-timed passes and drops kept the Indians from getting over the hump multiple times as Nix and his wide receivers just could not seem to get on the same page for much of the game.
The Bucs added two more scores in the third quarter as Ashford connected with sure-handed wide receiver Zach Elam on a 29-yard score as well as a 47-yard strike from Ashford to Xavier Long. With less than three minutes to go in the third quarter, the Bucs held a commanding 38-7 lead.
Hoover added to their lead in the 4th quarter as sophomore running back Dylan Pauly rumbled 15 yards for a touchdown with 9:42 left in the game. Pinson Valley running back Jay Sharp added a 25-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to cut the Hoover lead to 45-14.
The Bucs added another score on the ground as senior running back Kaulin Jackson added a five yard touchdown run to move the Hoover lead to its final score, 52-14.
Hoover will welcome in St. John’s (DC) next week while Pinson Valley will play host to Ramsay (1-0).