By Britney Bailey, For the Tribune
PINSON — The Pinson Valley Indians put themselves back on track after coming off a loss to Clay-Chalkville with a 49-27 win over the Jasper Vikings at home on Friday.
The Indians started early securing their first touchdown with just one minute off the clock. Running back Mike Sharpe kicked things off for the Indians with a 49-yard rushing touchdown to put the Indians up 7-0 after the PAT with 11:07 to go in the first quarter
The Indian defense held Jasper to a turnover on downs, and then senior Zach Pyron and the Indian receiving crew lit the field up on their next possession. Pyron and Tyler Russell led a successful drive to put the Indians right back in scoring position, followed by a 15-yard catch-and-run from Mario Byrd, Jr. to put the Indians at the Vikings’ 24-yard line.
Pyron broke down the middle of Viking defenders on a 14-yard gain, then on the very next play, Pyron lit the Viking defense up with a trot down the left sideline for a touchdown. The Indians were up 14 unanswered points after another successful PAT from Gonzalez.
Jasper answered with 2:07 left in the first, making it a 14-6 ballgame. The Indians began the second quarter with the same energy on a 22-yard run from Pyron with 10:35 to go to tack on another score after the PAT. Jasper answered, and the Vikings were staying in it, 21-13. The next possession for the Indians resulted in yet another Pyron rushing touchdown to extend the lead to 15, but wide receiver Mario Byrd, Jr. left the field after the play and did not return.
The Indian defense struggled to hold off the Vikings late in the second, landing Jasper another touchdown to set the score 28-20 going into halftime. The Indian defense came alive to start off the third holding the Vikings to an eventual blocked field goal attempt. Pyron found Taurus Chambers for a 50-yard bomb to put the Indians up 35-20 with 5:35 to go in the third. The Indian defense stayed alive and forced a fumble on the Vikings’ next drive, and the Vikings defense returned the favor resulting in a Pinson Valley punt but the Vikings would make much use of the possession.
Pyron and Chambers teamed up once again to get the Indians into Viking territory where Pyron would find Jaylen Taylor to make it 42-20 in the Indians’ favor. Zac McCray would land an interception on the Vikings’ next possession, eventually resulting in 86-yard touchdown run from A.J. Smith to cement the lead for Pinson Valley at 49-20. Jasper would put up 7 at the end of the fourth, but the game was in the Indians’ hands.
Head Coach Sam Shade was happy with his team’s performance after halftime.
“We had a lot to do at halftime. We came out and found a way to put some distance between us and them.”
Middle linebacker Jacobi Jackson agreed with his coach: “I feel like we left some plays on the field. We could’ve executed better.” Fullback T.J. Metcalf, happy about the win, but focusing on the future, “We could’ve done more. We have to progress and keep getting better as the playoffs come along.”
The Indians hit the road to face Lee next Friday, October 29 at 7 p.m.