by John Goolsby
Shades Valley (2-6, 2-3) takes on the Woodlawn Colonels (1-7, 0-5) this Friday night at Frank Nix Stadium. The Mounties are coming off of a disappointing 17-6 loss to region foe Chelsea last Friday night. Coach Rueben Nelson’s squad needs a win to remain in the hunt for a Region 5 playoff spot.
The Hornets took a 7-0 lead early. The Mounties had an opportunity to tie the game late in the second quarter. Shades Valley moved the ball to the Chelsea goal line. Running back Jordan Pearson clearly crossed the goal line, but the officials called him short.
Chelsea then took over at their 1-yard line and marched 99 yards for a touchdown just before the half. The Mounties entered halftime trailing 14-0.
Valley came out of the locker room and drew blood on their first drive of the second half. Quarterback J’Caius Moore hit Pearson on a 47-yard scoring strike to cut the Hornet lead to 14-6.
The Hornets then kicked a field goal on their next series to extend their lead to 17 – 6. The contest remained a scoreless, hard-hitting affair the rest of the way.
“I was so disappointed for my players and coaches after the game,” Nelson said. “I have got to keep working to make this thing better.”
Nelson is proud of how his team has responded to adversity and disappointment. “This group of seniors are some of the best kids I have ever been around,” he said. “They are building a foundation for Shades Valley Football in the future.”
One of the seniors Nelson is proud of is Kendorius Turner. “KT has had a great year of football. He has done everything that we have asked him to do from the beginning,” Nelson said of his DB/LB. “He has been a pleasure to get to know over the past five months, and I think that he can go somewhere and play college football.”
Jordan Pearson continues to show his big-play ability and validate Nelson’s belief that “he is the most underrated player in the state.” In the last three games, Pearson has scored touchdowns on big plays of 70, 65, and 47 yards. He rushed for 85 yards Friday night and had 56 receiving yards. Pearson has rushed for 770 yards this year and has five rushing touchdowns.
The Mountie defense continues to improve each week. “We continue to get great games out of Tyree Hines,” Nelson said of his junior cornerback. “He is probably our leading tackler from the secondary. He is a competitor and a great player.” Hines had one fumble recovery Friday night.
Senior Tyler Addie led all Mountie tacklers with eight total tackles. Christian Thomas added seven total stops. Kordelle Steele and senior Xavion Webb each added six total tackles.
Nelson remains optimistic about his first Mountie team. “I am delighted to see that there is still a willingness to fight for Shades Valley,” he said. “We have practiced well and are looking to play our very best game against Woodlawn.”
The Mounties celebrate Homecoming this Friday night. The game will be streamed live on the NFHS Network at 7 PM.