PINSON — Pinson Valley struggled somewhat against visiting Hayden in the first half, but pulled away in the second to take a 44-6 Class 5A, Region 6 victory at home Friday.
The Indians’ Darius Adams scored first when he scooped up a Wildcat fumble and ran 22 yards to the end zone with 9:51 left in the opening quarter.
Neither team was able to muster any offense until early in the second quarter, when Deonta Cooper connected on a 29 yard field goal with 10:28 left in the first half.
After forcing a Hayden punt, the Indians would get to the Wildcats' 14. But that’s where defensive tackle Walter Finley forced a fumble which was recovered by Hayden's Cody Colvin. The Cats then returned the favor when Josh Welch recovered a fumble on the Hayden 5-yard line.
Just before the half, Pinson's Juray Smith intercepted a Cats pass and returned it to the 16. That’s when Indians standout running back Nick Gibson took over, getting his first score of the night on a 5-yard run.
After a personal-foul penalty against the Wildcats and a good kickoff return, Pinson was in business at the Hayden 49. A heavy dose of Gibson helped the Indians find paydirt on his 2-yard with 9:20 to go in the third quarter.
The Cats put the ball on the ground again on their next possession, and Pinson's Josh Barron recovered it at the 29, but Cooper missed a 26-yard field goal with 6:37 left in the third.
Hayden linebacker Reid Trimble recovered a Gibson fumble on the Indians 14, and on fourth down quarterback Tim Curry hit freshman running back Leonard Johnson for 12 yards and the sole Wildcat score with exactly two minutes left in the third.
But the Indians wasted little time in answering. Gibson capped the 66-yard drive with a 14-yard touchdown run.