By John Goolsby
Shades Valley dropped their season opener on the road last Friday night to then 3rd ranked Clay-Chalkville. The Mounties were held scoreless in a 40-0 defeat.
Mountie Head Coach Rueben Nelson remains optimistic about his team despite the non-region loss. “You are always disappointed with a loss, but I am pleased with the way our guys fought. The guys out there never quit,” Nelson said. It is a cliche, but the most significant improvement for a football team is between weeks one and two. “We have got to cut out the mistakes. That’s what we are trying to do this week,” Nelson said. “The coaches have done an excellent job, and I know we are going to get better,” Nelson added.
The Mounties had success against the Cougars early on. “Our guys played a really good first quarter, and then things got away from us,” Nelson said. One contributor to the loss of momentum was a season-ending injury to senior lineman Caleb Price. “It hurts to lose a guy that is supposed to anchor your offensive line. When he went out, it took a lot of life out of us,” Nelson said. Orlando Lowman is slated to start in Price’s spot.
Despite the loss of Price, the Mountie offense had some bright spots. “Jordan Pearson showed that he can really run the football,” Nelson said of his senior running back. Sophomore J’Caius Moore got the start at quarterback. While the Mounties were not able to get the passing game on track, Coach Nelson was pleased with the overall performance of his receivers. “They showed that they don’t mind blocking downfield,” said Nelson.
The Mountie defense played hard all night and was able to come up with two interceptions. “Tyree Hines had a great game last week,” Nelson said. Nelson also singled out senior Tyler Addie. “Tyler played good ball for us…we need those two to keep doing what they are doing and inspire other guys,” Nelson said.
Special teams played well, and the Mounties got a good game from punter Wuilman Guerrero. “Our punter is probably the best in the metro area,” Nelson said of his senior.
Valley travels to Willie Adams Stadium to face the 3rd ranked Indians of Pinson Valley in another non-region game tonight. Sam Shade’s Indians are coming off a loss to 7A number 4 ranked Hewitt-Trussville last week.
The game can be seen on the NFHS Network at 7:00 pm.