Vikings looking for some revenge against Trojans
Published 1:25 pm Friday, November 23, 2007
By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
PLYMOUTH — It looks like the Plymouth Vikings just may be the beast of the east this year.
Then again, Plymouth looked like a beast last year, only to get upset 16-14 by Jones Senior in the second round of the NCHSAA Class 1-A state playoffs.
The Vikings (13-0), the top seed, can get some revenge on the No. 4 seed Trojans (9-4) in tonight’s third-round playoff game. A win by veteran coach Robert Cody’s Vikings would get them into the East Regional championship game.
Plymouth, ranked fourth in the state, has already advanced farther than any other Viking team this decade. The Vikings lost in the second round last year, in the first round in 2004 and 2005, in the second round in the 2001, 2002 and 2003 seasons and in the first round in 2000.
Cody, who replaced Billy Benson as head coach in 1985, has found success in the past with the Vikings. The WDN Coach of the Year in 1985 and 2006, Cody has accumulated over 140 wins in 23 years with the Vikings.
His best seasons include the 13-0 mark this year, 13-1 in 1995 and 10-3 slates in 2006 and 2001.
The Vikings will win a school-record 14th game with a victory over the Trojans, which would place Plymouth in the East Regional championship game next week against either No. 7 seed Roanoke (9-4) or No. 11 seed Perquimans (7-6). The Albemarle Conference champions have achieved their success thanks to an explosive offense and a stingy defense.
Cody’s squad is averaging an astonishing 43.2 points per game. Plymouth has scored at least 38 points in 12 straight games after getting 12 points in a season-opening win against Farmville Central.
The closest game Plymouth has been in this season following the opener, a 12-6 win, was a 30-point victory over Roanoke (44-14).
Quarterback Dasheen Perry, who scored twice in last week’s 46-0 blowout of North Edgecombe, has been solid. Perry can always throw to Angelo Sharpless, an athletic receiver with breakaway speed.
The two-headed monster rushing attack of Tobias Clagon and Andre Mitchell has accumulated over 3,000 yards rushing and 40 touchdowns. Clagon has over 1,700 yards and 20 scores while backfield teammate Mitchell, last year’s WDN Offensive Player of the Year, has over 1,500 yards and 20 touchdowns.
The defense has also been incredible, surrendering just 4.1 points per outing. Plymouth has pitched seven shutouts this year, including two in the playoffs. The Vikings opened the playoffs with a 56-0 pasting of Cape Hatteras.
Perry has been superb as he’s among the state’s leaders with over 150 tackles. Lynell Wood has over 140 tackles, including nine sacks.
Sharpless has been spectacular in the secondary, coming up with 11 interceptions. He’s returned three for score.
Sharpless is also among the state’s best with his 40.8 average on punts.
Like Plymouth, Jones Senior seems to be clicking on all cylinders of late. Coach Greg Hampton’s Trojans have won nine straight after an 0-4 start.
Frost completed five passes last week, three of them going for touchdowns, in a 25-0 win over Northampton-East in the second round of the playoffs. Josh Brown hauled in two scoring passes and Thomas Fryar had the other.
Tyrel Dove ran for 84 yards on 14 carries to pace the Trojans’ rushing attack.
The Coastal Plains champions are averaging 21.8 points and giving up 18.7 a game.
Hampton expects a good game with the Vikings.
Jones outscored its opposition 147-57 in the last five games. The Trojans, who beat SE Halifax 37-8 in the first round, held Northampton-East’s triple-option offense to just 71 total yards while forcing five turnovers last week.
Vontrae Hill, Jamari Hargett and Dayshawn Gibbs had interceptions while Matthew Fothergill and Josh Ward had fumble recoveries.
If the Vikings can get revenge on the Trojans, they’ll be a step closer to the state championship game.