By VAN HOLLAND
Heading into week five of the season, all three county coaches have been able to find out exactly what needs to be corrected on their team if they want to have productive weeks ahead.
Tarboro is doing nearly everything right and that is happening with players who weren't even at the top of the depth chart to begin the season. Their defense is coming off a good performance against the SouthWest Edgecombe Cougars where Tarboro held them to just 106 yards of total offense and dominated the line of scrimmage to seal a 14-0 victory.
For North Edgecombe, they led 14-0 at halftime Friday, but didn't show up to play in the second half and squandered the lead and gave up 22 points, which gave them their second loss of the season. Sophomore running back Antwoine Pittman was a workhorse for them. He carried the ball 21 times for 167 yards.
Now all three coaches know what their players bring to the table, they want to try and execute from that to earn positive results. This week will be big for Tarboro and SouthWest, because the following week they are off.
For North Edgecombe (1-2), their next two weeks are big. They host their first home game of the season and have a stretch of where their competition level will not be as strong. The next two games for the Warriors could put them at 3-2 if they are successful.
North Edgecombe will host Weldon this week. Last year the Warriors defeated the Chargers 14-8.
North Edgecombe is still young in certain spots, but coach Keith Parisher sees improvement on both sides of the ball, but wants his team to improve on the defensive side. Parisher also wants improvement at the quarterback spot. Last week they threw for just two yards.
Cougars coach Jonathan Cobb is working to get his linemen to the point where he they can contain the line of scrimmage and sustain blocks. The Cougars had their worst offensive performance of the season with 53 passing yards and just 53 rushing yards. Cobb was shocked, because his team has been averaging over 250 yards a game and it was the first time they were shutout.
Junior fullback Devontrell Hyman had just 35 yards on 15 carries and couldn't find a hole anywhere on the field. Cobb said after the game that he threw everything at Tarboro he knew to throw and they stopped it.
SWE will travel to play Big East powerhouse Rocky Mount Friday, which Cobb hopes is a gear up for conference action that begins in three weeks.
Tarboro found several bright spots last week on both sides of the ball in their win against SWE. Coach Jeff Craddock wasn't pleased with his fullback production heading into the game so he made an adjustment and used Markese Clapp after just a week of practice. Clapp grounded out 43 yards on nine touches and gained three huge first downs for Tarboro. Radja Bobbitt also shined again. He rushed for 168 yards and two touchdowns.
Craddock sees improvement in his team each week, but he said they still have some work to do. He is still focusing on penalties. Tarboro has been called for at least two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties the previous two games.
Tarboro will host Roanoke Rapids Friday. It will be the first time the two schools have met in three seasons. Tarboro had a run against Roanoke Rapids at one point where they were beating Roanoke Rapids twice a year. Once in the regular season and once in the playoffs.