SNOW HILL – Last Friday night the number one ranked Tarboro Vikings were the guests for the Greene Central Ram's annual homecoming game. However, they ruined the evening for the host Rams, defeating them 47-16. Tarboro took control in the first quarter with two scores and never looked back in winning their sixth game of the year.
Greene Central took the opening kick off and proceeded to drive all the way down to the Tarboro seven yard line. On fourth and goal from the six yard line the Vikings held. With the help of a 74-yard run by Radja Bobbitt, the Vikings advanced all the way down to the Rams 20-yard line. With 4:34 remaining in the first quarter, Tarboro's Travonne Marshall scored from the one, then added the extra point kick and the Vikings led 7-0.
On Greene Central's next possession the Vikings held on defense, forcing a Rams punt. The punter, Jamar Jones, fumbled the snap and was thrown for a huge loss back to their own 18-yard line on a tackle by Kethion Battle. From there the Vikings scored in two plays, with Quentin Roberson scoring on an 18-yard scamper at the 2:08 mark. Marshall once again added the extra point and moved the score to 14-0.
Tarboro's defense once again came up big on Greene Central's third possession. On third and 10 from the 34-yard line, Tyquan Lewis threw the Rams quarterback Austin Batchelor for a 12-yard loss back to the 22-yard line. This time Jones got the punt off for the Rams, but the result was a minus-5 yard punt back to their own 17. In two plays Marshall scored his second TD of the night, scoring on a 9-yard run with 11:53 on the clock. Marshall was good again on the extra point kick and Tarboro's lead swelled to 21-0.
The Vikings held the Rams again on their next possession, forcing a punt down to the Vikings 17-yard line. Two plays later, at the 9:40 mark, Roberson went around right end, broke one tackle and ran 64-yards for his second TD of the evening. The extra point attempt was no good by Marshall, making the score 27-0.
After holding Tarboro on a questionable spot just short of their own 20-yard line on a completed pass from Vikings quarterback Aaron Moore to Lewis, the Rams mounted their only scoring drive of the first half. With Batchelor connecting on several short passes and with the aid of a roughing the passer penalty, the Rams advanced to the Tarboro 14-yard line. At that point, with only 45.6 seconds remaining in the quarter, Curtis Braswell ran it in for a Greene Central TD. Braswell then ran in the two-point conversion and the score at halftime was 27-8 Tarboro.
Tarboro began the third quarter with the purpose of delivering a message to the Rams. At the 9:38 mark of the quarter, Roberson broke away for his third TD of the night, this one another 64-yard jaunt to pay dirt. Once again the extra point was no good by Marshall and the Vikings had a comfortable 33-8 lead. There was not anymore scoring in the quarter, but the Vikings defense was stellar. The highlight of the quarter were back-to-back sacks for losses by Tarboro's Lewis and Marshall.
The fourth quarter began on a familiar note, with Tarboro adding a 46-yard TD run by Bobbit at the 10:20 mark. Quarterback Moore threw to Bobbitt for the two-point conversion and Tarboro was in charge at 41-8. After an exciting 70-yard run by Rayshawn Battle down to the Rams 10-yard line, the Vikings closed out their scoring three plays later with 2:08 remaining in the game on a 4-yard run by Jon Jon Castillo. The extra point attempt was no good, leaving the score at 47-8.
There was still some fight in the Rams as they quickly advanced the football down the field via a couple of completions by Batchelor, the second one to Braswell down to the Tarboro 19-yard line. From there Batchelor found Michael Mitchell with a TD pass, with 1:31 remaining. Curtez Braswell added the two-point conversion, making the final score 47-16.
The Vikings amassed 506 yards in rushing for the game, led by Bobbitt with 186 yards on 13 carries and Roberson with 154 yards on only 7 carries. Marshall added 61 yards on 9 attempts, while Moore had 36 passing yards on two completions. Batchelor completed 18 of 31 passes for 197 yards to lead the Rams offensively. The Vikings defense was terrific for the most part the entire game, led by Marshall, Lewis and Saiid Murphy, while Jerod Bennett also had an interception.
After the game Vikings head coach Jeff Craddock said that he saw some real good things on the field by the Vikings, but added that there were still steps to be taken to get his squad to the level he expects from him. That will begin as the Vikings host the Kinston Vikings Friday night for their homecoming game.