North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

October 5, 2013

The NJN Big Game — No. 7 Center Point 40, Pinson Valley 14: Where Eagles dared

Indians coach Matt Glover: "They were just going through the motions"

By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News

CENTER POINT — Pinson Valley bordered on lethargic in their 40-14 loss Friday at No. 7 Center Point, and coach Matt Glover did not hesitate to let his team know how he felt.

“That’s the most embarrassed I’ve been by a team in my five years here,” he told them after the teams exchanged post-game pleasantries.

He was even more pointed in comments to reporters.

“We played like crap, we practiced like crap, and we got beat by a good football team. It’s exactly what I told them Monday, and exactly what I told them Tuesday,” Glover said. “They were just going through the motions, just happy to be there.”

His sentiments had merit, as the Eagles took advantage of missed tackles and assignments with a passing attack that kept the Indians off-balance the entire night.

Quarterback Kelian Knight was not afraid to gamble a bit. He would throw several passes for incompletions or perhaps a short gain, waiting for the big payoff that would lead to number son the scoreboard.

A perfect example of that came late in the first quarter. Already up 8-0 thanks to a Donté Blackmon 1-yard run up the middle, Knight was in a fourth-down-and-11 situation on the Pinson 39, Knight was able to scramble around the backfield long enough for a receiver to get into the clear. That receiver was Sedric Powell, who sneaked behind the Indians secondary and was wide open for a touchdown pass.

Meanwhile, Pinson relied on the sure feet of running back Nick Gibson, who accounted for almost all of his team’s offense in the first half. Unfortunately, he couldn’t put up points — the first possession went three-and-out, the next one fizzled out with a missed 24-yard field goal, and three other drives went nowhere before intermission, the last one ending with quarterback Brooks Garrett being sacked as the clock ran out.

Blackmon added another touchdown, from three yards out with 4:47 left in the half, to put Center Point up 24-0 at the break.

The Indians faced a similar situation the week prior after a dismal first half against No. 2 (6A) Clay-Chalkville, and came back after halftime to make a game of it. Early in the third quarter, it looked as if Pinson might do the same against the Eagles, as Pinson took its second drive of the half 61 yards in short order, finished off with an 8-yard touchdown by Garrett.

Center Point then fumbled the ball away on two straight possessions, but the Tribe could not take advantage. In fact, the second chance backfired when Garrett threw an interception to Dequarius Simmons, who took it 40 yards for a pick-six.

Freshman reserve quarterback Chris Baker struck late in the game when he threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Xavier Perkins.

Against the Eagle reserves, Garrett put together a scoring drive in the waning minutes, capped by a 17-yard touchdown toss to sophomore Errius Collins.

Gibson finished the night with 126 yards on 19 carries, plus two pass Receptions (the only Pinson completions in the first half) for 42 yards; he did not play in the fourth quarter.

Knight was 12-for-21 and 194 yards passing for the Eagles. Garrett was 15-for-31 for 185 yards, most in the second half.

Center Point (6-0, 4-0 region) goes to Walker next week, while Pinson Valley (3-3, 1-2) still has to battle for a playoff berth, but takes on lightly-regarded Curry next week.