The Daily Southerner
After playing four subpar games, Tarboro Viking Quentin Roberson was back in rare form Friday night and that wasn’t good news for the Beddingfield Bruins.
The senior running back had 12 carries for 158 yards and three touchdowns and a complimentary 17-yard TD reception that led the Vikings (11-0) to an impressive 53-13 victory over the Bruins (4-7) in the first round of the NCHSAA 2A playoffs.
The game was the second time in two weeks that the Vikings (11-0) faced the Bruins (6-5). Last week, the Vikings capped off a perfect regular season by defeating their conference foe 34-0. Roberson was nursing a shoulder injury and did not play in that game. Three games prior, Roberson appeared lackadaisical and failed to reach the 100 yard plateau that he had surpassed in prior games. Friday night, he wasn’t going to be denied.
“I put my mind on what I had to do and I played hard,” Roberson said. “We’re in the playoffs now and I have to step my game up.”
The Vikings’ potent running game collected 339 yards. The one-two punch of Roberson and Radja Bobbit was apparently too much for the Bruins to handle. Bobbit added 13 carries for 96 yards and one rushing touchdown and a 68-yard punt return for a TD. Bobbit’s 96 yards allowed him to join Roberson in the 1,000 yard rushing club for this season.
Tarboro scored on all but two possessions, including one possession at the end of the game. The signature play of the game came just before halftime while the Vikings were leading 31-13 with a little over two minutes left.
The Vikings’ defense jump started the signature play by forcing the Bruins to four downs and out which ended by Vikings superstar, Tyquan Lewis sacking Javius Nixon on the Bruins’ 14 yard line for a 5-yard loss.
The Bruins punted the ball towards the sideline and the Vikings received the ball on Beddingfields’ 43 yard line. Eight plays later and with less than 10 seconds before halftime quarterback Aaron Moore scrambled out of the pocket and while he was hit by two Bruins defenders, he connected with Roberson who was wide open for a 17-yard touchdown. Moore added the 2-point conversion and the Vikings took a dominating 39-13 lead into halftime.
“It reminded me of round four last year when I threw the ball to Quentin,” Moore said about the pass. “I was in trouble but I knew where Quentin was supposed to be. When I looked up I just threw it to him and he caught it. We wanted to score so that we would be up by 30 points.”
Moore’s outstanding play did not surprise Vikings Coach Jeff Craddock.
“Aaron always knows where his receivers are supposed to be and he is so good at keeping plays alive,” Craddock said. “He did what Aaron does and found Quentin for a touchdown at the end of the half. For the most part that game was ended right there. Those types of plays take the wind out of anybody sail.”
Tarboro will be back at home Friday in the second round of the playoffs when they host another conference opponent, the Kinston Vikings. Kinston defeated First Flight 48-21 in the first round.
Tarboro defeated Kinston 34-27 in the first meeting between the rival conference teams. Coach Craddock doesn't care for playing conference teams early in the playoffs but he is prepared to play the hand that he was dealt.
"I don’t like it at all," he said. "Our conference is good and to get through it and then turn around and go back and have to go back through half of it again is ridiculous. We got our hands full next week. It will be a tough second round game."