After falling behind 41-7 in the first half, Jasper fought back in the second half to eventually lose 55-33 to No. 3-ranked Pinson Valley.
“That’s a good football team from Pinson Valley, but our guys didn’t back down one bit,” Jasper Coach Philip Bailey said. “I’m proud of our guys. I knew going in at halftime down by that much, that our team still would not quit, because they haven’t quit all year.”
Quarterback Spencer Rosenfeld led the Vikings offense, throwing for 229 yards and two touchdowns on 15-of-26 passing with two interceptions. The passing scores were the first two touchdowns through the air by Jasper this season. Rosenfeld also ran for 37 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.
The top receiver on the night for Jasper was Kevon Samuels with 106 yards and a touchdown on eight catches. Hayden Yerby also caught one ball for a 75-yard touchdown.
Pinson Valley’s Ga’Quincy “Koolaid” McKinstry is the top prospect in Alabama and is expected to make his college choice today between offers from Alabama, LSU and Auburn. He is also the No. 1 cornerback prospect in the nation and the No. 23 overall prospect in the 2021 class. He caught two passes for 50 yards and a score in the game. He also picked up a personal foul penalty after his touchdown for celebrating in the end zone.
Kenji Christian, a Virginia Tech commit, ran for more than 100 yards and scored three touchdowns for the Indians.
The Jasper defense was led by Connor Whitley with 12 tackles. Jody Hester and Brodie Vinson had seven tackles each. Curtis Cavett picked off a pass in the game and returned a fumble 20 yards for a touchdown.
“Our guys were out there with some of the top prospects in the nation tonight. That can only make you better,” Bailey said. “That team has 10 or more guys who are going to sign scholarships to play at the next level.”
Pinson Valley opened the game with the ball and scored in three plays on a 42-yard pass play. Jasper answered with an 8-play drive that was capped by a Rosenfeld 8-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 7 with 8:04 left in the first quarter. Pinson Valley reeled off 34 unanswered points to take a 41-7 lead at halftime.
Jasper scored three plays into the third quarter when Yerby took a short pass from Rosenfeld, made one defender miss and then outsprinted the Pinson Valley defense for the 75-yard score. Pinson Valley scored to open the fourth quarter, increasing its lead to 48-13.
A few plays later, Jaden Caldwell scored for Jasper on a 9-yard run. Four minutes later, Rosenfeld connected with Samuels on an 18-yard scoring strike. The Vikings’ defense got on the scoreboard on the Indians ensuing play with the Cavett fumble return for the score. At that point, Jasper had cut the lead to 48-33 with four minutes left in the game.
Pinson Valley put their starters back in on offense, but the Vikings came up with a stop. On the next play, Jasper tried a halfback pass that turned into a fumble return for a touchdown for the Indians to put them on top 55-33.
Pinson Valley improves to 7-2 on the year, but remains undefeated in Class 6A, Region 6 at 6-0, winning the region championship. Jasper drops to 2-7 on the year and 1-5 in the region. Jasper will host Bessemer City (1-8) next week.