By Justin Nails
PINSON—Pinson Valley will host Muscle Shoals in the second round of the playoffs on Friday night. The Indians advanced to the second round after defeating Albertville 47-0. The Trojans pulled out the first round win against Minor after eighth grade kicker Trey Stoddard made a 22-yard field goal for the go-ahead score, 10-7.
The Indians are on a 9-game winning streak and have posted back-to-back shutouts as the defense continues to dominate. The Indians allowed Albertville to gain just 63 yards of total offense in the game, most of that coming on a handful of big runs late in the second half.
As for the offense, Bo Nix found Demarion Holloman five times before Nix was pulled early in the third quarter after scoring the Indians last touchdown of the night. Mike Sharp rushed for 126 yards to keep the ball moving in the second half.
The Trojans are making their 10th consecutive playoff appearance after finishing the 2018 season 9-2 and second on the region. Muscle Shoals lost both of their games by a combined eight points. Their first loss came to Chaminade-Madonna, Fla. in a 28-21 loss in week 2. The second loss to region foe Hartselle came in week four in a 15-14 loss. Since then, the Trojans have won seven in a row.
Muscle Shoals’ offense is lead by junior running back Keevon Hankins who has rushed for 1,274 yards on 149 carries in 2018. Hankins also has 13 touchdowns on the season. Quarterback Jacob Bishop is 81 of 147 for 1,185 yards, 12 touchdowns and five interceptions. Bishop’s main target in 2018 has been wide receiver Ty Smith, who has caught 37 passes for 627 yards and 10 touchdowns. The Trojans also have a weapon in tight end Tanner Wade.
The defense is the strength for this Muscle Shoals teams and are lead by junior linebacker Jackson Bratton. The Alabama commit has 144 tackles and seven sacks on the season. Junior linebacker Malik Smith has 125 tackles and eight sacks. Senior free safety, who is also committed to Alabama as a preferred walk-on, has 93 tackles and two interceptions on the season while junior defensive back Caleb McDougal has 74 tackles and five interceptions. Senior all-around player Terrell McDonald primarily plays defensive end but has seen time at running back and quarterback during the season. The UAB commit has just 15 tackles on the season but has also tallied four sacks on the season.
The Trojans are lead by coach Scott Basden who is in his 11th season at Muscle Shoals. Previously, he lead the Trojans to the Class 5A championship game in 2013. Basden also won the Class 3A championship at Cordova in 2007. The Trojans have a stingy defense who can get to the quarterback and create turnovers, two things they’ll need to do to throw off Bo Nix and company.
The only other time these two programs met was in a Trojans 22-21 win in 2012
Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. at Willie Adams Stadium