PINSON, Alabama -- After trailing by three points at halftime, the Pinson Valley defense shutout Gardendale in the second half to go on and win 26-15 in a Class 6A, Region 6 contest. Gardendale led 15-12 at the half, but the Pinson Valley offense scored two touchdowns in the second half to get the big region win.
Pinson Valley front seven was the key to the game keeping Gardendale off the scoreboard in the second half and creating three turnovers in the first quarter. "We had a busted coverage right before halftime to give up a score," said Indians Head coach Sam Shade. "Last week, we played better in the second half. Our guys are excited. We have some guys on defense that play really hard and get after it. They wanted to set the tone on defense and I think we did that."
Gardendale (2-1, 0-1) scored first in the game. With 3:59 left in the first quarter, LT Sanders ripped off a huge 77-yard touchdown run for the Rockets. With the score, Gardendale led 7-0. With 1:41 left in the first quarter, Mike Sharpe scored on an 8-yard touchdown run, but the extra point was missed and the Rockets still led 7-6. By this score, Gardendale turned the ball over three times in that quarter and the third turnover setup the Indians first touchdown.
With 4:08 left in the second quarter, Sharpe scored his second touchdown of the game on a 2-yard run. With the score, Pinson Valley took a 12-7 lead. "It starts up front and the offensive line did a great job," said Indians running back Sharpe. "I read the defense, found the hole and made my way to the end zone. With Kenji, we are a good 1-2 punch. Sometimes we play at the same time and you don't know who might have the ball."
Gardendale answered on a Will Crowder to Derek Carter 32-yard touchdown pass play for the Rockets with :17 seconds before the half. Jayce DuBose scored the two-point conversion and the Rockets took a 15-12 halftime lead.
The second half was all Pinson Valley (2-1, 1-1) as they made some adjustments and held Gardendale scoreless in the second half. With 3:01 left in the third quarter, Kenji Christian scored on a 1-yard touchdown run and the Indians took a 19-15 lead and they never looked back. With 10:53 left in the forth quarter, Zach Pyron scored on an 11-yard touchdown run and the Indians led 26-15. "Zach is still getting adjusted to the offense," added Shade. "We've only had a few weeks in pads in practice so far with him. I think he is going to get better as we go and he is still growing in our offense. We still are adding stuff. With a brand new staff learning our players, were behind but we are improving each game."
Up next for both teams, Gardendale will host Clay-Chalkville while Pinson Valley will travel to Minor. Two key Class 6A, Region 6 games,