Northside falls to Tarboro like all the others

Published 12:05 am Saturday, October 20, 2018


TARBORO — In a game where Northside head coach Keith Boyd anticipated a lopsided score against undefeated Tarboro, he took the game as a chance for the Panthers to set their own goals for the game, as well as use each play as a learning moment.

Boyd’s hunch was right as Northside (3-6, 0-4 1A Coastal Plains Conference) was dealt a 60-0 defeat tonight that had a running clock in the second half. After a touchdown on the opening drive, Tarboro (8-0, 4-0 1A CPC) eclipsed 221 yards on the ground, a familiar attack the Vikings have used all year to break down teams.

“We knew they were big and strong up front and fast and we were just trying hard to contain on defense and keep everything funneled in,” Boyd said.

They scored four more rushing touchdowns after the initial drive on runs of 13, 79, 18 and 36 yards. Tarboro also had 109 passing yards, with passing scores of 36 and 38 yards. The Vikings tacked on a 45-yard punt return to the house, as well as a 75-yard kickoff return to beat Northside from all angles. Tarboro has outscored its opponents 445-12 this season.

“I was telling them to just keep their heads up, to keep fighting, to take this game and hopefully let it make us better for our last two games,” Boyd said. “But we thought we fought fairly hard and we have to keep building on it, not hang our heads, and keep our morale up.”

Although Northside had just two passing yards, it was 4-for-8 on passing attempts, a conversion that Boyd was happy with. The Panthers took a hit to their positive net yards with a failed pitch-pass though, losing 15 yards on a play in third quarter.

However, a 8-yard pass completion midway through the second quarter into triple coverage setup Northside for its second first down of the game after it converted a fourth-and-1, thanks to a pass interference penalty. Even though the Panthers were on their own 23, Boyd kept his offense out there to try and achieve one of the teams goals of the night: prolonging drives. In a game that was already 42-0 before the half, Boyd was confident to give Northside the chance to run another play and try to boost confidence.

Northside’s final rushing stats didn’t accurately represent what it was able to accomplish on the ground either. It finished with just 20 yards, but Tarboro’s pressure at times resulted in large yardage losses on many plays that negated much of the forward progress that was gained throughout the game. Against a shutdown rush defense from Tarboro that usually allows less than four yards per rush, Northside had eight rushes for four or more yards. For a team that had less than eight first downs in the game, it was evident that it was still confident running the football.

“We have to keep working at it,” Boyd said. “We have a lot of young guys that have never played, and at this point in the season, we should be showing some signs of getting better. It (has been) difficult, but we’re going to keep doing what we’ve been doing.”

Next Friday, Northside will be at home for the latest edition of the Anchor Bowl against rival Southside (2-5, 0-3 1A CPC), who lost to Tarboro 55-0 at the end of September and fell in its game tonight against Riverside.