Tarboro spoils Watford’s homecoming

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 30, 2004

AHOSKIE – It wasn’t the homecoming Greg Watford was hoping for.

On the strength of a ground game that punished the Bears to the tune of 464 rushing yards, visiting Tarboro High School spoiled coach Watford’s return to his alma mater as the Vikings crushed Hertford County, 47-6, in a non-conference football game here Friday night.

Despite surrendering huge chunks of real estate and down 28-6 early in the second half, the Bears still showed signs of life.

Starting a drive at their own 36 yardline, a 44-yard gallop by quarterback LaMarcus Bond seemed to light a fire in HCHS. Two plays later, Bond (who led the Bears with 104 rushing yards on 7 carries) was slicing towards the endzone when, near the end of what would have been a 20-yard scoring run, the ball squirted free. Tarboro’s Jamayl Short recovered in the endzone and the life was gone from the Bears.

Four plays later, Tarboro nailed the coffin shut when Shawn Draughn capped an 80-yard drive with his 26-yard TD run. Victor Arius’ PAT gave the Vikings a commanding 35-6 lead with 5:02 left in the third quarter.

Tarboro went on to add a pair of fourth quarter scores on TD runs by Asada Harris (14 yards) and Justin Hyman (6 yards).

The Vikings, who were blanked 19-0 last week in their season-opener vs. Edenton, came into this game with something to prove and it didn’t take long to make believers out of HCHS. On their first possession, Tarboro drove 86 yards, all on the ground, in 10 plays. Harris capped the march with a 6-yard TD run. Arius tacked on the PAT for a 7-0 lead with 5:32 left in the first quarter.

Two possessions later, Short – Tarboro’s fleet-footed quarterback – broke free on a 62-yard TD run. Arius booted the PAT for a 14-0 lead at the 9:09 mark of the 2nd period. Short finished with 113 rushing yards on just six carries.

Hertford County’s only score of the night was set-up by an interception by Jaquin Sessoms, one that he returned 38 yards to Tarboro’s 35 yardline. Four plays later, Bond struck paydirt from 34 yards out. The PAT was blocked, but the Bears only trailed by a 14-6 count with 3:23 left before halftime.

That deficit grew quicker than the Bears would have liked as Tarboro took the ensuing kick-off and marched 57 yards in five plays capped by Draughn’s eight-yard TD run, staking the Vikings to a 21-6 halftime lead.

To make matters worse, Draughn returned the second half kick-off 80 yards to paydirt, sending the Vikings on their way to a big win. He led all rushers with 121 yards on 12 carries.

HCHS (0-1) will search for their first win of the young season when they host unbeaten Gates County (2-0) at 7:30 p.m. next Friday.