The Tarboro High football team is searching for two more wins to add another state championship title.
First, the Vikings must get past the final roadblock in the Class 1-AA East bracket in the form of second-seeded Louisburg. The game marks the fifth consecutive season in which Tarboro has reached the regional round of the postseason, with wins in the past three tries.
That the Vikings put together yet another deep postseason run has been no surprise. Tarboro has been as dominant as ever.
The top-seeded Vikings didn’t allow a point in the second half of their 63-21 second-round win over Edenton Holmes. In fact, those 21 first-half points were the most allowed in any game this season. That has been more than enough for the high-powered offense to work with as the unit has proven more than capable of providing enough points.
Tarboro is averaging 55 points per game, and has scored at least 62 points in three of its past four victories.
Let’s get into the matchup:
No. 2 Louisburg (6-2) at No. 1 Tarboro (7-0)
Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday
Last week: Tarboro defeated Edenton Holmes 63-21. Louisburg defeated East Carteret, 42-22.
Winner will play: West Champion, No. 8 Polk County or No. 2 East Surry
About the Vikings: Tarboro is searching for a fourth consecutive trip to the Class 1-AA state championship game, and a win would do just that. The Vikings lost in the championship game last season to East Surry, which is vying for its own return to the championship stage which would potentially set up a rematch should the Vikings advance.
Tarboro is powered by its punishing running game, which has produced 50 rushing touchdowns through the seven games. Travis Johnson — he had three rushing scores in last week’s blowout win — has 13 rushing scores. Teammate Jalen Razor also has 13 rushing touchdowns. The pair also combine for almost 1,200 yards on the ground as Razor leads the backfield with 600 yards while Johnson is right behind with 592.
The Vikings are really more than a two-headed offensive attack, as Tobias Joyner has nine rushing scores while Jordan Williams adds seven. The defense, meanwhile, has forced 19 turnovers, led by Ke’nazius Black’s four interceptions. Black also has six pass deflections.
Travis Johnson scored three rushing touchdowns, while Jordan Williams and Tobias Joyner scored two rushing touchdowns.
About the Warriors: The Tarboro defense will have to contend with an air attack led by quarterback Jaheim Brown. Brown has thrown for 18 touchdowns for Louisburg to go with 1,786 passing yards. He has thrown five interceptions.
Two Louisburg receivers have 31 receptions each, while six total players have caught touchdown passes. The Warriors running game has produced 20 touchdowns, led by freshman Shamir Sheppard’s 10 scores.
Louisburg has won its past four games. The Warriors finished third in the 1A/2A Northern Carolina Conference which was won by Roanoke Rapids, which defeated SouthWest Edgecombe in the 2-AA playoffs.