The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

November 26, 2012

Vikings make 5th straight trip to title game

Faces high-powered East Lincoln Saturday

Editor and Publisher
John H. Walker

TARBORO — For the fifth consecutive year, Tarboro’s Vikings will play for a state football championship, seeking the team’s fourth straight title.

The Vikings (14-0) will put their 19-game playoff winning streak on the line against East Lincoln’s (15-0) Mustangs in the Class 2A state championship game at Wake Forest University’s BB&T Field. Game time is 11 a.m. Saturday.

Tarboro reached the title game with a 46-0 east championship victory over South Columbus while East Lincoln, located in Denver, N.C., turned by Madison, 31-14.

Quarterback Garrett Young and receiver Jesse Earnhardt, who have combined for nearly 1,250 passing yards and 14 touchdowns this season, lead the Mustangs.

But Earnhardt is Young’s only target, as the 6-2, 180-pound senior has passed for more than 3,500 yards and 43 touchdowns — with only five interceptions in 292 attempts — en route to the title game. Young averages 369 yards per game passing and has more than 6,000 career passing yards.

Against Madison, Young threw touchdown passes of 43- and 14-yards to freshman Chazz Surratt. Surratt scored all of the Mustangs’ points, adding a 41-yard run and a 33-yard interception return.

The Mustangs bring a high-scoring offense into the game, scoring 30 or more points in

13 of their 15 games. Defensively, the Mustangs have recorded three shutouts and had two games where they allowed a single touchdown.

The Mustangs seem to hit their stride in mid-October and have outscored the six opponents since that time by an average score of 45-9.

In the playoffs, East Lincoln opened with a 49-0 win over Wheatmore and followed that with a 37-24 shootout over Starmount. In the third round, the Mustangs stopped a potent Thomasville offence and recorded a 28-12 win before topping Madison in the west title game by the 31-14 margin.

Defensively, the Mustangs are led by linebackers Scott McMichael (6-0, 215), Trent Henderson and Justin Rhodes and massive defensive tackles Coriyo Boyd (6-0, 300) and Dallas Smith (6-1, 320).

Ticket information for the state title game will be published in Wednesday’s edition, but will be posted online at  www.dailysoutherner.com and at The Daily Southerner Facebook page as soon as it is available.