PINETOPS – For the past four years, Tarboro has used SouthWest Edgecombe as its late-season measuring stick.
Based on Friday night, the Vikings are standing pretty tall.
The Vikings controlled the game from the outset, scoring on their first four possessions on the way to a convincing 43-22 victory at Tarboro High School.
“Playing against SouthWest is our biggest, biggest challenge,” defensive end Tyquan Lewis said. “It determines where we are. ... Playing against them, everything is set high.”
Along with the bar for Tarboro (8-0, 4-0 Eastern Plains), because there was nothing stopping the
Vikings, who have won 16 straight games.
The only thing that slowed the Vikings down in the first half was the clock.
After Tarboro’s trio of running backs, Travonne Marshall, Quentin Roberson and Radja Bobbitt, combined for four touchdowns to open the game, the Vikings went to the air after SouthWest Edgecombe (4-5, 3-2) pulled within 14 points with 32 seconds to play.
Quarterback Aaron Moore threw an interception to Cougars’ linebacker Rakese Davis as time ticked away to end the first half.
That was one of the few bright spots for SouthWest Edgecombe, statistically.
“We got our tail whooped in every phase,” said SouthWest Edgecombe coach Raymond Cobb, who added that this is the best Tarboro has looked in the past four years. “Tarboro is a good team. Tarboro is the best team we’ve seen in this conference hands down.”
His opponent and good friend, Friday night, Tarboro coach Jeff Craddock, agreed with part of the statement. While Craddock didn’t like the fourth quarter, in which Tarboro allowed a late score, he agreed that the Vikings are peaking at the perfect time.
“I think we are getting closer,” Craddock said. “I think we are getting better. This might have been our best overall game of the year. ... I know we are headed in the right direction.”
Craddock yelled to his team repeatedly in the second half to put the Cougars away, but like they have in this season, the Vikings suffered from unexpected lulls.
After scoring on five of its first six drives, Tarboro failed to score an offensive touchdown the remainder of the game, which included the final four possessions.
SouthWest Edgecombe 22
SWE 0 14 0 8 – 22
TAR 6 22 8 7 – 43
TAR – Quentin Roberson 1 run (kick failed), 4:26
TAR – Radja Bobbitt 5 pass from Aaron Moore (Roberson run), 11:15
TAR – Travonne Marshall 4 run (Marshall run), 9:09
SWE – Gerald Hinton 3 run (Hinton run), 5:23
TAR – Bobbitt 2 run (run failed), 1:30
SWE – Hinton 26 run (pass failed), :32.5
TAR – Moore 15 run (Roberson run), 8:10
TAR – Bobbitt 66 punt return (Tim Walker kick), 6:54
SWE – Devontrell Hyman 2 run (Isaiah Lewis), 2:25
10 First downs..............14
24 Passing yards...........20
211 Total offense...........319
Rushing – SWE: Gerald Hinton 13-63; Devontrell Hyman 6-37; Milton Ransome 5-28; Devante Williams 4-22; Katrell Whitehead 4-21; Isaiah Lewis 2-14; Quay Wooten 5-2. TAR: Aaron Moore 6-121; Radja Bobbitt 10-63; Travonne Marshall 13-58; Quentin Roberson 13-48; Bubba Jones 1-5; Jon Jon Castillo 1-3; Rayshawn Battle 1-2; Tyquan Lewis 1-(-1) Attempts – Yards; Name 16 – 134.
Passing – SWE: Wooten 3-10-0 24; Hinton 0-1-0 0. TAR: Moore 2-6-1 20.
Receiving – SWE: Hinton 2-14; Anthony Coley 1-10. TAR: Bobbitt 2-20.