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Rekindled Tarboro, Rocky Mount High rivalry cut short by weather

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Rocky Mount High’s Dar'Savius Williams, left, attempts to strip the ball from Tarboro's Travis Johnson while tackling him Thursday during the game at Tarboro High School.

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By PATRICK MASON
Sports Writer

Thursday, August 22, 2019

TARBORO — High school football returned on Thursday, but not for long.

Rocky Mount High and Tarboro, meeting for the first time since 2004, made it to the second quarter before heavy rains doused the Vikings home field while lightning danced in the sky overhead.

The Vikings led 6-0 when play was stopped with 2:34 left in the second quarter, just before the Gryphons could run a play on third-and-10. The game never resumed, and was later canceled. There will be no makeup date and the game won’t count in the standings.

The much-anticipated game lived up to its billing, however, as the Gryphons threatened to score on the game’s opening drive. RMH quarterback Jaquan Lynch completed two passes and the running game chipped away at the Vikings defense during a 10-play drive that traveled 51 yards.

The drive came up empty, however, when a shot at the end zone on fourth-and-8 couldn’t be completed in the corner.

The defending 1-AA state champion Vikings needed time to feel out the Gryphons defense, and did so by finding the end zone on their third offensive possession after punting and losing a fumble to open the game.

Tarboro’s scoring drive went 80 yards capped by Cameron Powell's 1-yard rush. The extra point was blocked, and the Vikings settled for a 6-0 lead with 9:11 to play.

Both teams punted on their ensuing drives, and with 2:34 left in the second quarter, and the Gryphons on their own 46, the rain hammered down and play was stopped.

This game was originally moved up to Thursday in an attempt to beat the threatening weather forecast predicted for today.

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