The Tarboro Vikings pulled away with 36 second half points to defeat East Surry 50-10 and win back-to-back state championships at the 1AA level. The win gave the Vikings the program’s sixth state championship. The Vikings were dominant on the ground racking up 442 yards rushing, while holding the Cardinals to zero yards rushing in the game.
East Surry jumped out to an early lead as Gunnar Jones recovered a Tarboro fumble and too it 18 yards to the end zone to give the Cardinals a 7-0 lead with 4:02 to go in the first quarter. The Vikings answered on the ensuing possession driving 69 yards in six plays Kimani McDaniels capped off the drive with a 36-yard touchdown run with 47 seconds to go in the quarter to knot the score at 7.
Clifton Joyner, Jr. gave Tarboro their first lead of the game when he scored from 17 yards out on the ground with 8:34 to go in the second quarter. That capped a 29 yard drive took just five plays after a Keon Caudle punt return set Tarboro up with a short field. East Surry sliced into that lead, mounting a 16-play drive that chewed up 6:35 of the second quarter and culminated in a 24-yard field goal by Derek Sutterby to make it 14-10 Tarboro at the half.
The second half was all Vikings as McDaniels opened the third quarter by breaking a 65-yard run for touchdown with 10:16 to go in the quarter. McDaniels long sprint made it 21-10. McDaniels finished the game with 112 yards rushing and two touchdowns as he was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
Just three minutes after McDaniels long run, Joyner, Jr. found pay dirt on a one-yard touchdown run to put the Vikings up 29-10 after the two point conversion attempt was successful. Joyner, Jr. finished the game with 76 yards rushing on 12 carries with two touchdowns as he was named the Most Outstanding Offensive Player for Tarboro.
Caudle added touchdown late in the third quarter, crossing from 40 yards out with just 11 seconds to go in the quarter, putting Tarboro up 36-10. Jaquez Edge scored from four yards out with 9:47 to go in the game, punctuating a six-play, 56-yard drive and extending the Viking lead to 43-10. Caudle closed out the scoring with a 33-yard sprint to the endzone with 4:37 to go in the game to give the Vikings the final 50-10 margin.
Melik Ward was named the Most Outstanding Defensive Player for Tarboro as he racked up 8 tackles, including 2.5 sacks and 3 tackles for loss in the game. For East Surry, Hoyt Bullington led the team in tackles with 19 in the game, including three for loss as he was selected East Surry’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player. Jefferson Boaz was the Most Outstanding Offensive Player for East Surry, completing 10 of 20 passes for 122 yards and averaging 38.8 yards per punt.