Both teams got off to a quick start.
quarterback Garrett Young found Chazz Surratt for a 35-yard pass that gave the
Mustangs a first-down-and-goal at the Vikings’ 3-yard line, senior Marquise
Pharr ran the ball into the end zone to open the score less than two minutes
into the game.
Tarboro running back Quentin Roberson had a 57-yard run to start the Vikings’ first drive, and their offense quickly found their way to the opposing red zone.
But Surratt – a 6-foot, 180-pound freshman – forced quarterback Aaron Moore to fumble at the Mustangs’ 12-yard line to give
East Lincoln the ball.
After both teams were forced to punt, Young’s passing helped the Mustangs move the ball to the Vikings’ 13-yard line to set up a 30-yard Cory Petersen field goal early in the second quarter.
Tarboro had an answer, as Roberson broke away for a 62-yard run – assisted by a big-time block by Travonne Marshall – to put his Vikings on the board. After a failed two-point conversion attempt, Tarboro trailed 10-6.
Young, who was 13-for-20 for 150 yards in the first half, combined with Jesse Earnhardt three times – for 44 yards – to give the Mustangs a first down at the Vikings’ 5-yard line. Tarboro’s defense did its job to force an
East Lincoln fourth down.
But the Mustangs went for it, and it paid off, as Young found Surratt on a slant for a 3-yard score with less than five minutes left in the half.
East Lincoln defense
came out strong, forcing four fumbles to hold a Tarboro team averaging nearly
50 points per game in the playoffs to six points in the first half.