PINSON—In a game that saw the second-ranked Pinson Valley Indians commit four turnovers, the two-time defending state champions pulled away from visiting Shades Valley (1-1, 0-1) for a 23-7 victory on Friday night.
“The defense played well and we’re very thankful for a win,” said Pinson Valley head coach Patrick Nix.
Offensively, the Indians struggled in their Class 6A, Region 6 opener, but managed just enough to improve to 2-1 on the season. Senior quarterback Barry White found Keyonteze Johnson on two lengthy touchdown passes, which highlight an otherwise dim exhibition of offensive football in Willie Adams Stadium.
White went to Johnson first on a 69-yard strike down the middle of the field. Johnson caught the pass in stride and later made two defenders miss as he carved a path to the end zone for a 7-all tie early in the second quarter.
White and Johnson hooked up again midway through the fourth to put the score out of reach. Again, Johnson broke free down the seem and White hit him in stride for a 42-yard touchdown that ended the scoring on Friday night.
“We were really just trying to find some big plays, find some ways to get the ball to Tez [Johnson] and we made a couple big throws and big catches which was big for us in this game,” said Nix.
The night also brought with it several miscues, including three interceptions from White. Johnson, after securing his fourth of seven receptions in the third quarter, lost a fumble deep in Mounties territory for the third of four Pinson Valley turnovers.
Things weren’t much prettier on the opposite sideline after Shades Valley quarterback Isaac Sims left the field with an injury late in the first half. The 6-foot-4 senior started things with a touchdown drive on their second drive. Antonio Williams punctuated the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 advantage with 4:00 remaining in the first period.
Before his exit in the second quarter, Sims completed five passes for 59 yards. He was replaced in the huddle by fellow senior Drew Olds for the entire second half.
The Mounties failed to find any rhythm following Sims’ injury, finishing their remaining six drives as follows:
▪ pick-6 (DeMarques Densmore)
Pinson Valley will visit No. 4 Clay-Chalkville next week.