Saturday, December 10, 2022

Mount Airy Defense Stifles Tarboro En Route to 1A Title Victory

RALEIGH – Mount Airy’s Tyler Mason came into Saturday’s game having scored forty-one touchdowns through fifteen games and needing one-hundred-thirty-seven yards to reach two-thousand yards on the season. The junior lived up to his billing, rushing for three touchdowns and 139 yards and leading his team to the NCHSAA 1A state championship with a 20-7 victory over Tarboro on Saturday afternoon.

The Mount Airy defense entered Saturday afternoon’s 1A state championship against Tarboro giving up less than ten points per game on average. The Granite Bears defense had pitched shutouts in four of its last five regular-season games and two more in the playoffs. Mount Airy was able to hold the Vikings off the scoreboard for the first twenty-seven minutes of the game, finally surrendering a score in the third quarter.

Tarboro finally found its way in the third quarter. After Omarion Lewis picked off a Mount Airy pass and returned it into Granite Bears territory, Vikings running back Mason Satterfield barely broke the goal line on a run around the right side of the formation to get Tarboro on the board for the first time on the afternoon, but it was not enough to dig out of the hold the Vikings found themselves in after surrendering three touchdowns first.

In a twist seen more in 1A football than in other classifications, both team’s quarterbacks made strong defensive efforts on the other side of the ball. Mount Airy’s Ian Gallimore led his team with fourteen tackles and Tarboro’s Omarion Lewis snagged an interception to go along with eight tackles.

The win was the Granite Bears’ seventh title and first since a 2008 win over Williamston. Tarboro, making its sixth straight title game appearance, drops just its second title game in that span.