The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

August 29, 2013

Cougars, Warriors face off; Vikings on the road

VAN HOLLAND
The Daily Southerner

TARBORO — Week two of the high school football season is already here. Time is rolling right along and two teams in the county have already captured their first win of the season. Both Tarboro and North Edgecombe had impressive wins during the opening week. Tarboro shutout Nash Central 21-0 and North Edgecombe blew out Northwest Halifax 40-6. SouthWest Edgecombe didn't far so well as they were defeated 27-14 by Southern Nash.

This week Tarboro travels to Washington and SouthWest Edgecombe will host county rival North Edgecombe.

Jonathan Cobb is still looking for his first win as a varsity coach. His first win could come against a familiar coach. Cobb and Warriors coach Keith Parisher have coached against each other in the past on the JV level. Parisher was also an assistant on Cobb's father's North Edgecombe teams.

"Coaching against him also let's me know that I am getting old." Parisher said with a laugh. "I'm excited for him and what he is doing at SouthWest."

Parisher said for his team to be successful Friday night, they're going to have to stop the Cougars big fullback Devontrell Hyman.

Hyman was the main attraction last week for the Cougars. He rushed for 139 yards on 13 carries. He scored on a 43-yard run in the fourth quarter.

Hyman gained a lot of the yards on his own, because the Cougars offensive line was getting blown off the line of scrimmage the majority of the night. On both sides of the ball as a matter of fact.

"We have to work on blocking better for our backs," Cobb said after the game last week. "We got blown off the line of scrimmage quite a bit and that is something we definitely have to work on."

That has been one of the main keys that Cobb concentrated on at practice this week. He said that the offensive and defensive lines have to do a better job Friday night against the Warriors.

Cobb was also concerned about the conditioning of his players. At least seven players came up with cramps last week or some type of injury.

"We have to work our way into football shape and I think we will be fine," Cobb said.

Parisher was impressed with his team's offensive performance last week. Sophomore running back Antwoine Pittman was the key offensive player for the Warriors. He scored two TDs and added two extra point conversions, behind a key offensive performance by the line.

One of the things Parisher has concentrated on this week at practice has been the blocking schemes. He wants his running backs to block better for their teammates.

"Our running backs have to block better for each other," Parisher said. "The lineman also have to improve on their blocking even though they did a good job last week."

Parisher is pleased with the progress his defense has made. He said he thinks his team is excited since they got their first win. He also said that there's confidence at the quarterback spot now, which will help their offense flow.

Two key components for Tarboro this week will be to cut down on turnovers and playing a better second half. Vikings coach Jeff Craddock wants his team to play consistent this week, because Washington will bring more to the table then Nash Central did.

Craddock thought his team played well on both sides of the ball in the first half last week, but he saw a let down in the second half. There was some confusion on the sidelines about who was suppose to be on the field during punt returns and punts.

"We got a little sloppy in the second half last week," Craddock said. "We also have to get our substitution patterns corrected."

Craddock was concerned about that, because players who were suppose to be in the game last week weren't focused on the sidelines.

"We've been working on that type of stuff this week," Craddock said. "We can't do those types of things and expect to get away with it all the time."

Craddock is concerned about his offense. He wants them to be on the same level as the defense. The defense held Nash Central to just 47 yards of total offense. Craddock said if his offense could give production like that, then they would gain about 500 plus yards.

Radja Bobbitt was the workhorse for Tarboro last week. He rushed for 145 yards and two TDs from 10 and 17 yards out. Jerrod Bennett added the third TD from eight yards out.

"The way our defense played it would be tough for our offense to play on that level," Craddock said. "If we eliminate our penalties and our mistakes then we can get to the top of our game."