Five things to know heading into Tarboro's title game


Tarboro's Melik Ward celebrates Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017 following the Vikings' 32-7 win over Mount Airy in NCHSAA 1-AA state championship game at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh.


Sports Writer

Friday, December 14, 2018

With the anticipation of game week finally over, the Tarboro Vikings (14-0) and the East Surry Cardinals (11-3) are finally set to play the 1-AA state title game today at Carter-Finley Stadium at 6 p.m.

Here are five things to know, whether you plan to watch from the stands in Raleigh or in your warm and dry living room.

1. Be prepared, just in case

The good news with the 6 p.m. start is that the worst of the rain, as of Friday night, is projected to come earlier in the day. By 3 p.m., the chance of precipitation will drop to 25 percent, and won’t go above 20 percent for the rest of the day. Reminder that per facility rules, no umbrellas are allowed in the stadium. 

2. Tickets, tickets

If you’re going, tickets to the game cost $15 each, and parking at the stadium is $10. You can buy them online at nchsaa.org/event-tickets or at the stadium. The NCHSAA website also has a long list of prohibited items and acceptable types of bags.

3. Get ready for some passing

Of course, the Tarboro T is a way of life for the Vikings, but East Surry has a passing game with a twist. The Cardinals have two quarterbacks — Jefferson Boaz and Stephen Gosnell — who each have thrown for 1,000 yards this season.

They are interchangeable and are both considered ‘starters’ by the East Surry coaching staff. When one is under center, the other is lined up as a wide receiver. 

“They both could be record-setting quarterbacks individually or at another school but they split time evenly,” said coach Trent Lowman on Wednesday. “They are each other’s biggest fan.”

4. How to watch

All eight of the state title games, from 1-A to 4-AA, will be televised. You can tune into WDYO Fox at 6 p.m. to watch the Vikings, and, if so inclined, you can tune in early to watch the 3 p.m. game at Carter-Finley Stadium — 1-A’s Pamlico County vs. Murphy.

5. An even 30

A win on Saturday for the Vikings would mean an even 30 victories in a row, which would put a nice bow on a perfect two-year run of 15-0 seasons. Overall, coach Jeff Craddock enters the game with a 171-42 record.

The current winning streak of 29 straight, though, wasn’t actually tops in the state as of Friday night: 4-A Wake Forest took a 44-game streak into its state title game against Zebulon B. Vance on Friday night, a contest that did not end by presstime.