PINSON — Before the season started, Pinson Valley running back Nick Gibson set a goal for himself of 1,000 yards rushing.
Two games into the season, and he’s already halfway to that mark. Time for new goals, Nick?
“I want to be the number-one running back in the country,” Gibson said. “I’ll go for 2,500 yards now.”
The junior speedster turned in his best performance to date, racking up 447 yards and six touchdowns, but still had to hold off a game Mortimer Jordan squad for a 48-36 win Friday night in the regional opener for both teams.
Gibson, who's already attracting the attention of several Southeastern Conference schools, broke open three big touchdown runs — a 75-yard and a 69-yard dash coming in a span of less than two minutes in the third quarter, plus a 63-yarder in the fourth when he didn’t even want to still be in the game.
But coach Matt Glover sent him out for one last run, knowing the the Blue Devils were still within striking distance thanks to quarterback Devlin Hodges in command. Sure enough, Hodges followed Gibson’s last score with a quick march downfield to cut the deficit to 12 points late in the game, but ran out of time and receivers in a last-gasp drive.
Hodges — who confirmed after the game that he has backtracked on his earlier verbal commitment to Southern Mississippi, and has yet to make a new choice for college play — ran 10 times for 198 yards on his own, and threw for 112 yards and two touchdowns.
But the spotlight fell on Gibson for the entire night, as he made play-calling easy for Glover. The only time he didn’t have the ball in the end zone for the Indians was with 35 seconds left in the first half, as quarterback Brooks Garrett connected with Michael Evans on a 10-yard touchdown pass.