The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

October 1, 2012

What it could mean in two weeks when SouthWest meets Tarboro

Van Holland

TARBORO — It may be a battle of the Eastern Plains Conference un-beatens in two weeks when the Tarboro Vikings and SouthWest Edgecombe Cougars meet in Tarboro for their annual rivalry game against one another. This just won't be an annual football game, because it has all kind of different meanings this year.

If both Tarboro and SouthWest win their next game, then both teams will be undefeated when they meet and mean the winner will be crowned conference champions, but this will be a last for several reasons.

The first reason is two friends, Vikings head coach Jeff Craddock and Cougars head coach Raymond Cobb, will coach against each other for the last time. Cobb is retiring at the end of the season. He and Craddock have become very close friends and talk football and life in general quite a bit.

The second reason is because the Vikings are moving to another conference after this season and are going to play in 1-A. There will still be a game each year between the two schools, but it won't be the conference rivalry game like has been over the last several years.

There is also a battle between two of the top running backs on both teams. Both Tarboro and SouthWest leading rushers are closing in on 1,000 yards a piece for the season and both may break that mark before the two meet each other Oct. 12.

Cougars senior running back Gerald Hinton and Vikings senior running back Quentin Roberson are leading their respective teams offensively. These two backs have compiled some pretty impressive numbers in the stats category so far this season.

For Hinton, he has gained 982 yards on 126 carries and has scored 15 touchdowns in seven games this season. Hinton is averaging 18 carries for 140 yards per game. He is also averaging 7.8 yards per carry.

Roberson on the other hand, has put together a good stat log himself in just six games. Roberson has gained 870 yards on 68 touches and has scored 13 TDs. He is averaging over 11 touches for 145 yards per game this season. He is gaining 12.8 yards per carry.

Both of these guys are key leaders for the respective teams and play on both sides of the football most of the time.

But for both teams to be undefeated in two weeks, means Tarboro will have to beat Kinston and SouthWest will have to beat North Pitt Friday night.