By Justin Nails
PINSON—Despite taking a third quarter lead, Muscle Shoals couldn’t keep up with the high-powered Pinson Valley offense as the Indians scored 25 unanswered points to advance to the third round of the 6A playoffs with a 45-21 win.
The Indians hopped out to an early 14-0 lead after Bo Nix connected with Gaquincey McKinstry on a 42-yard touchdown followed by a 34-yard touchdown early in the first quarter. The Trojans Carson Ware answered with an 84-yard punt return that put Muscle Shoals on the board 14-6. Pinson’s John McKinney would give the Indians their first rushing touchdown of the game on a 15-yard run, giving the Indians a 20-6 lead. Trojans running back Terrell McDonald scored his own rushing touchdown on a 2-yard run to cut the Indians lead back down to one score going into the half 20-12.
Muscles Shoals added a 38-yard field goal by Trey Stoddard, as the Trojans only trailed 20-15. They also took advantage of a huge special teams play as they blocked a Bo Nix punt attempt that gave the Trojans the ball inside the Indians five yard line. Keevon Hankins would give the Trojans their first and only lead of the game scoring a rushing touchdown and putting Muscle Shoals up 21-20.
From there, it was all Pinson Valley as they scored 25 unanswered points in the second half. Bo Nix would score his first of two consecutive rushing touchdowns on a 3-yard run to give the Indians a 26-21 lead. The next drive, John McKinney took the ball on a handoff that looked to be a loss until he pitched the ball back to Bo Nix as he was being tackled. Nix took off from the left hashmark and scampered all the way to the right pylon on a 25-yard touchdown run that extended the Indians lead to 33-21.
When asked about the play after the game, Pinson Valley Head Coach Patrick Nix said, “ Oh sure, we practice that every day. No, it was a play by McKinney was is in his first year of playing football and he was just trying to make a play.”
Pinson Valley would add two more scores as Nix connected with Demarion Holloman on a 22-yard touchdown pass and McKinstry on a 2-yard pass to give the Indians the 45-21 lead. When asked about how his team responded to going down early in the third quarter, Coach Nix said, “It’s a part of the game. They’re a very good football team and that’s just the flow of a game. We shot ourselves in the foot but our guys were able to steady the ship and make some big plays on both sides of the ball.”
The Indians rushed for 248 yards on 34 carries, both game highs, and when asked about whether or not the game plan was to run the ball more tonight Nix said, “The game plan went out the door about the third play of the night, they were completely different tonight than what they’ve been which is what we get every week and we had two game plans ready and we pulled out the other one and here we go.”
For the night, Bo Nix was 21 of 38 for 370 yards, four touchdowns and an interception. Kenji Christian lead all Indian rushers with 20 carries and 126 yards while John McKinney had nine carries for 75 yards. Gaquincey McKinstry lead all receivers with nine receptions for 160 yards and two touchdowns while Demarion Holloman caught eight passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns. The Indians defense held their own after the third quarter push by the Trojans lead by leading tackler Dorian Henderson who had six tackles on the game.
Pinson Valley will travel to Homewood to take on the Patriots next Friday night in the third round of the 6A playoffs.