Tarboro ousts S. Columbus
Sat. November 24, 2012 at 12:52 a.m. | By StarNews Sports Department
South Columbus’ Samuel Dixon Jr. runs the ball as Tarboro’s Aaron Moore closes in during Friday night’s NCHSAA 2A East Regional final at Tarboro High School. (Photo by Emma Tannenbaum/Rocky Mount Telegram)
TARBORO | After South Columbus left Tarboro with a 13-10 loss following the 2011 2-A Eastern Regional final, the Stallions felt the better team lost. This go-round, there wasn't much of an argument.
Tarboro forced South Columbus into five turnovers, held the Stallions to 168 yards of total offense and cruised into its fifth straight state championship, defeating South Columbus 46-0 on Friday night in the 2-A Eastern Regional final at Tarboro High School.
"We knew we had to play our best football game tonight, and even with our best game, it was going to be tough for us to win," South Columbus coach Jake Fonvielle said. "We didn't play our best football game. There's a reason Tarboro's doing what they're doing."
The three-time defending state champion Vikings (14-0) completely shut down star South Columbus quarterback Pharoah McKever, holding him to 3-for-18 passing and intercepting him four times, one for a touchdown.
McKever rushed for 106 yards on 22 carries, but more than half of his yards came after South Columbus (12-3) already was down by 40 points.
Tarboro pressured Mc-Kever all night, and with the effort, stalled the Stallions' offense.
"They just executed plays when they needed to," Mc-Kever said of Tarboro. "They're definitely a really good football team."
Tarboro running back Quentin Roberson ran for 245 yards and two touchdowns, while fellow running back Radja Bobbitt added 68 yards and two scores of his own.
The Vikings held the Stallions to three first downs in the first half, but led only 14-0 at the break.
Tarboro scored on all four of its third-quarter possessions and added Rayshawn Battle's 49-yard interception return for a touchdown, finishing the period with 26 points and sealing the outcome.
"Against a good football team like Tarboro, you can't do that," Fonvielle said. "Then the momentum shifted in the second half, and we couldn't turn it off."
Though the ending was hardly the one the Stallions envisioned, a 12-win season and appearance in the state's final four was more than suitable in a year in which many people thought the team wouldn't be nearly as good as it was in 2011.
"This was an unbelievable year," McKever said. "We lost a lot of seniors last year, and a lot of people thought we couldn't get here. We got here, but we didn't finish it like we wanted to."