Friday, December 14, 2018

1AA Title Game Features First-Timer Against Defending Champ

In what might seem to be a repeat of many of the past few seasons, the Tarboro Vikings were dominant on their way to playing in a state championship game. Tarboro, the defending 1AA champs, will get a chance to defend their crown this Saturday evening at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh.

The vaunted “Tarboro-T” offense had led to a group of running backs who can each break off for a long run to the house while also sharing the load of carries. Although the Vikings have amassed almost 5,000 yards rushing this season, Coach Jeff Craddock doesn’t have a single 1,000-yard rusher on the roster. Four Vikings, Keon Caudle (928), Jacques Edge (890), Jyron Albritton (869), and Clifton Joyner (854) are leading the offense.

The Vikings have only given up 52 points this season and have shut out seven opponents. After Tarboro hasn’t even lost a conference game in seven years.

Getting revenge over conference rival Mount Airy, who defeated the Cardinals at the end of the regular season, in the third round propelled East Surry to the regional final game with Starmount, which the Cardinals won, 44-27, to secure their first-ever berth in a football state championship game. Trent Lowman’s East Surry Cardinals come into the game with an 11-3 record.

East Surry is fairly balanced on the offensive side of the ball with 3,100 yards on the ground and 2,600 through the air. Two junior quarterbacks are leading this offensive attack. While Jefferson Boaz leads the team in passing with 1,356 yards, Stephen Gosnell leads the team in rushing with 1,080 yards but he has also thrown for almost 1,200 through the air.

Defensively, junior linebacker Hoyt Bullington, who is tops on the team with over one-hundred tackles this season, will be tasked with leading a defense against a team that has scored over 700 points this season.