FARMVILLE – The Tarboro Vikings added another notch in their belts as they defeated the Farmville Central Jaguars 21-0 Friday in Farmville. With the victory, Tarboro improves to 9-0 overall and 5-0 in the tough Eastern Plains 2-A Conference. But the victory was not as easy as expected, as the out manned Jaguars (1-8, 1-4 EPC) put up a strong fight until the final whistle.
Farmville Central took the opening kick-off and proceeded to pound the middle of the Tarboro defense, controlling the ball for almost eight minutes of the opening quarter. After a total of 16 running plays the Vikings defense dug in and held the Jaguars on a fourth and four at their own 14-yard line, stopping Raekwon Baker at the 12.
Tarboro was unable to move the ball on their first possession, suffering a three-and-out, forcing Travonne Marshall to punt. The Jaguars took over on the Tarboro 47 and once again tried to run up the middle against the front line of Tarboro. On fourth down at the Tarboro 41, needing four yards for a first down, Marshall stopped the Jaguars Josh Jones after a two yard gain, giving Tarboro the ball on downs at their own 39. Marshall then broke loose for 33 yards on Tarboro's next play from scrimmage, advancing to the Farmville Central 28-yard line. After a four yard gain by Radja Bobbitt down to the Jaguars 24-yard line, the first quarter was over with no points on the board.
It did not take the Vikings long to score their first touchdown of the evening at the beginning of the second quarter. With 9:58 remaining, Quentin Roberson scampered around right end for a 9-yard touchdown run to make the score 6-0. On the extra point kick attempt the snap was mishandled by holder Aaron Moore, who proceeded to pick it up and run to the far right corner of the end zone, giving the Vikings a two-point conversion and an 8-0 lead.
The Jaguars began the ensuing series from their own 29-yard line. Facing a first and 24 from the 15-yard line quarterback Arkeveion Crandall threw an interception that was picked off by Najee Brown.
Two plays later on the Vikings offensive possession, Bobbitt went around right end for a 23-yard touchdown run, with 7:23 remaining in the half. After the point after kick by Walker, the Vikings led 15-0.
There was one scary moment for Vikings fans near the end of the second quarter when Viking quarterback Aaron Moore was tackled hard by Farmville Central's Joshua Phillips that caused Moore to fumble the football. Moore, who was shook up by the collision seem to be fine after he got up. That was relief to the Vikings because they had already lost Quentin Roberson for the game earlier due to a shoulder injury.
Rayshawn Battle, who replaced Roberson in the backfield, filled in nicely with some good runs for Tarboro. The Vikings scored their last touchdown of the evening with 6:23 remaining, with Bobbitt scoring on a 3-yard run up the middle. The snap for the extra point was fumbled again, and the extra point attempt was no good, leaving the final score at 21-0 in favor of the Vikings.
Tarboro had a balanced rushing attack, gaining 227 yards for the night. Bobbitt had 71 yards on 13 carries, Marshall had 58 yards on just 5 carries and Battle, in a reserve role, had 43 yards on 6 carries. Moore completed two passes for 25 yards, one to Tyquan Lewis for 11 yards and one to Antonio Winsted for 4 yards. The Vikings defense, led by Shrine Bowl bound Lewis held Farmville Central to under 200 yards in total offense.
Head coach Jeff Craddock said that the game had a "scrimmage atmosphere" after the last two gut wrenching games against Kinston and country rival Southwest Edgecombe. Craddock said that there was no doubt his Vikings would be ready for next week's encounter, with hopes of getting the overall number one seed in the upcoming state 2-A playoffs.
Tarboro will travel to Wilson to play the Beddingfield Bruins Friday.