#3 Pinson Valley travels to #6 Clay-Chalkville in a key Class 6A, Region 6 contest Friday night. The winner will have a leg up in the region but will have other tough matchups ahead in the region probably the best in Class 6A. Our 6A Top 10 have four of the top teams and have Gardendale knocking on the door to get in.
Pinson Valley quarterback Barry White and Clay-Chalkville quarterback Damione Ward have done great jobs leading their teams in the first three games of the season. Both are coming into the season as 1st-year starters but you wouldn't know it the way the two have played early in the season.
Pinson Valley (2-1, 1-0) is coming off a region win against Shades Valley (23-7) along with a win over Ramsay (27-7) and a lose at Hewitt-Trussville (40-33) to start the season. The Indians have won 30 straight 6A games dating back to the Pinson Valley 2016 season.
With White at quarterback for the Indians, Pinson Valley has probably the best receiving core in 6A football. One of the best receivers in the 2021 class is Ga'Quincy "Kool-Aid" McKinstry. "The junior receiver has offers from SEC schools, Clemson, Michigan, Kansas, Penn State and many more. Also, he has a basketball offer with Kansas and Auburn. With McKinstry, Keyonteze Johnson (Troy commit) can go deep at any time on the field. Last week against Shades Valley, Johnson had 7 receptions for 185 yards and two touchdowns for the Indians. Also, the Indians have Mike Sharpe and Jaquel Fells at receiver.
At running back is Jay Sharp. Sharp runs behind Nicoless Miller, Joel Brown, Rayron Crum, Donovan Hawkins and Neilson Holt on the offensive line and it is a good one.
The defense is solid. Linebacker Toine Williams is a big part of the defense the last few years winning two state championships. Against Ramsay, Williams recorded nine tackles, 2.5 TFL and 1.5 sacks in that game. The senior linebacker has the speed to go all over the field for tackles. With him at linebacker is Dorian Henderson.
The defensive line has Tradarrious Swanson, Kendall Thornton, Julian Peterson and James Perkins. They know how to get in opposing back fields and cause problems for opposing offenses. The secondary has McKinstry that can go both ways at corner and receiver along with Deshazio Williams, Markel Dailey, Jamari Dailey, Amon Scarbrough and DeMarques Densmore.
For Clay-Chalkville (3-0, 0-0), they are coming off a road win against Park Crossing (19-14) in Montgomery, they opened with a win over Dothan (37-14) at Thompson High School and a win against James Clemens (38-37).
Ward has weapons at his quarterback position and very good receivers. Tristan Jones can jump out of the stadium at any time. He can make one handed grabs. Add in Jamichael Thompson at receiver, both like to run after the catch. Thompson won't just try to run around you, he will run over you. Lazarious White and Ortavious Miles round out the backfield for the Cougars. Ward is having a sensational season throwing and running the football. When the Cougars are around the goal line, look for Leroy King and Devin Owens to get a shot at the end zone. Both scored touchdowns in their first game against Dothan.
Up front, the Cougars have size at offensive line. Meris Mollel, Izziah Williams, Phillip Jackson, Redell Butler and Jaden Johnson round out a physical offensive line for the Cougars.
On defense, the secondary is very good and they attack the football like no other when the ball is in the air. Kere Thomas, Samaj Washington, Cameron Grady, Levert Jefferson and Rashard Smiley are very good in the pass game and they will be tested with the Indians receivers.
At linebacker, Jonathan Harris, King, Owens, and Justin Dawson lead the way. The defensive front is a good one with Ja'marr Posey and Chris Cornutt.
Both teams like to throw the football and it will be interesting to see what secondary can match up with the other receivers and limit their touches, because if they catch it they are going to make big plays on both teams.