TARBORO – With less than a minute remaining in the first half, Jeff Craddock threw his headset. He had seen enough.
In Tarboro’s annual clash with Washington, the Vikings didn’t belong on the same field as the Pam Pack.
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Tarboro was handed it’s worst loss in eight years after Washington dominated the Vikings in a 42-7 route.
Tarboro managed just four first downs and gave up 276 yards of offense in a loss that left the home stands silent.
“Tonight we just simply got outcoached and outplayed,” Craddock said. “We couldn’t do anything.”
Tarboro, a program that has won three 2-A state titles in the past six years, didn’t look like the usual Vikings.
They fumbled three times in the first half and managed just 19 yards of offense in two quarters of play. They couldn’t run the ball, the couldn't tackle and more importantly they couldn’t get off the block.
“We just couldn’t do anything,” Craddock said. “Nothing worked. We couldn’t move them, we couldn’t tackle them. They were the better team (Friday).”
If it wasn’t for a Shamar Pippen fourth-quarter, 5-yard touchdown run with less than two minutes left in regulation, the Vikings would have been shut out for the first time in 115 games.
Tarboro (1-1) opened the game with an interception from Deshan Farmer, but that was the lone highlight of the night for the Vikings.
Washington (1-1) scored on six consecutive drives and didn’t have to punt until the third quarter.
Markel Spencer led the Pam Pack with 107 yards on the ground and three touchdowns, while Stepfon Rodman added 94 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Tarboro didn’t even have a play from scrimmage go for more than 10 yards until Pippen broke free on a 61-yard scamper late in the fourth quarter.
The offense was so bad that at one point in the second quarter, the Vikings ditched the trademark “Tarboro T” in favor of a spread-option package with Farmer at quarterback.
Like everything else, it didn’t work.
Farmer managed just one yard on a team-high 12 carries.
“We made a lot of mistakes,” Farmer said. “We just couldn’t block their scheme and it showed... We’ll learn from this.”
Tarboro, who has traditionally played Washington in the second week of the season, entered the night looking to use the contest as a measuring stick. Craddock wanted to see how his team would match up against a familiar opponent.But according to the coach, the team failed.
And the scoreboard reflected that.
Tarboro players broke the postgame huddle and walked off the field with their heads down and an unusual feeling in the air.
Usually they’re the ones running up the score, not the other team.
“We have to respond,” Craddock said. “It has been a long time. I’ve been blessed to be at the winning end of a lot of football games. This young group has to learn from it. The only thing you can take from this is just try to become a better football team – which we will.”
Wash. 7 21 7 7 – 42
Tarboro 0 0 0 7 – 7
W – Markel Spencer 2 run (kick good), 1:43
W – Markel Spencer 22 run (kick good), 10:22
W – Clinton Pope 39 run (kick good), 5:24
W – Markel Spencer 2 run (kick good) :17.6
W – Stepfon Redman 6 run (kick good) 2:39
W – Stepfon Redman 62 run (kick good) 8:01
T – Shamar Pippen 5 run (Harris kick) 1:05
13 First downs............4
24 Passing yards..........0
276 Total offense.........105
Rushing – W: Markel Spence 21-107; Stepfon Rodman 6-94; Clinton Pope 2-39; Xzavier Clark 1-6; Patrick Thompson 3-6. T: Shamar Pippen 2-67; Damian Johnson 3-8; Markese Clapp 7-13; Daniel Lewis 1-3; Deshan Farmer 12-1; Dawson Harris 1-(-7).
Passing – W: Patrick Thompson 3-6,, 24.
Receiving – W: Javon Whitney 3-24.
Andrew Ivins can be reached at 407-9951 or firstname.lastname@example.org