There was some unexpected Friday night at the Tarboro Jamboree.
North Edgecombe lined up in a three-wide receiver set, something coach Keith Parisher learned from swapping ideas with the East Carolina offensive coordinator.
There was some familiar.
Former SouthWest Edgecombe coach Raymond Cobb walked the sideline like he never left, every once in a while giving advice to his son, Jonathan Cobb, who is in his first year as Cougars’ coach.
But all things considered, everything was exactly what was expected for the official start of the new year.
“Football season is finally here,” Jonathan Cobb said.
Along with the start of the new season came the unexpected lows.
For every long run, there was a missed assignment.
Every good defensive play usually came from a missed blocked.
And there were probably more missed tackles and unnecessary fumbles than any coach cared to admit.
“Anytime you’re out here at the jamboree you’re going to make mistakes, you just hope you don’t make a ton of them,” Tarboro coach Jeff Craddock said. “There’s going to be some good. ... You want to have some positive things and some things where we weren’t close.”
Despite being the smallest school at the six-team jamboree, North Edgecombe held its own and showed flashes of brilliance.
Tarboro’s offense was effective at times, but it’s defense shined in the first period, allowing just one score on a long pass.
Still, it was SouthWest Edgecombe’s offense, which featured a trio of dynamic running backs each with their own unique skill set, that shocked just about every defense it faced.
“We’re not extremely deep, but we have four or five guys that can play, which I’m extremely happy with,” Cobb said.
Devontrell Hyman, who moved to fullback from guard, showed deceptive feet to go with his 225-pound frame, and sophomore Marcus Williams found more than one edge – rather quickly.
Cobb, who was participating in his first live game action against an opponent, even showcased senior quarterback Quay Wooten’s arm.
Even with that, everything was pretty vanilla as none of the coaches utilized gameplans, scouting or too many trick plays – Southern Nash and Nash Central coaches were sitting in the stands.
“We’re not trying to pick apart a defense,” said Craddock, whose team will face Nash Central in Week 1. “... We’re just trying to run our base stuff and get a little better at it.”
One additional plus of the jamboree was the chance for all three Edgecombe schools to face multiple defenses.
Most of the Two Rivers Conference schools run the spread, something Tarboro and North Edgecombe saw against Winterville South Central.
Farmville Central and Edenton Holmes brought a power running style similar to Edgecombe County football, to the jamboree.
“That’s why we like coming here,” Parisher said. “You’re going to see a spread. You’re going to see some tight. You’re going to see some one back. It’s the things you’ll see every year.”
Justin Hite can be reached at 407-9951 or firstname.lastname@example.org