For 11/2 quarters, Tabb High found itself struggling to clinch the playoff berth it has waited 15 years for. Then the Tigers complemented the steady drizzle with a torrent of points, washing away Warhill 41-3 on Thursday in a Bay Rivers District football game.
The Tigers led 7-3 before scoring 34 points in the final 6 minutes, 16 seconds of the second quarter. The avalanche assured the Tigers (8-2 overall, 7-2 district) of a return to the Division 4 Region I playoffs for the first time since the 1993 season.
"Making the playoffs is a pretty big deal," Tabb junior Corey Patrick said. "We came up a game short because of an overtime pass against Smithfield my freshman year, and we missed out by losing to Jamestown last year by a point.
"We're all ready for this. It's been 15 years."
Early on, Warhill (0-10, 0-9) seemed determined to make the Tigers wait a little longer. Kendall Green broke 52 yards on a sweep, setting up a 25-yard field goal by Brandon Edkins to give the Lions a 3-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Because the Lions controlled the ball for long stretches, that lead held into the second quarter. Patrick's 12-yard touchdown run on the first play of the quarter put Tabb ahead 7-3.
But the flood tide didn't come until the middle of the second quarter, when the Tigers took advantage of several long plays and some Warhill mistakes to turn the game into a rout. Tabb's first big play was Sean Case's 59-yard touchdown pass over the middle to Zach Wilson.
"It was a skinny post," Wilson said. "The safety bit, and I got by him."
Chris Parham followed Patrick's 18-yard run with a 32-yard burst to give the Tigers a 21-3 lead. Then Wilson and Patrick struck again.
Wilson intercepted a Warhill pass and returned it to the Lions' 33. Patrick then scored on a 4-yard run after passing the 1,000-yard rushing mark on a 29-yard run.
"Coach Brown (Tabb assistant Mike Brown) talked about how Chris (Parham) and I could go over 1,000 yards tonight in rushing, and that Sean (Case) could go over 1,000 passing," Patrick said. "That was a goal I set for myself, but I took it game by game."
Patrick also scored on a 45-yard punt return. Then, after the Tigers recovered an onside kick, Case (165 yards) surpassed 1,000 yards with a 45-yard TD pass to Jeffrey Schurott.
That put the Tigers ahead 41-3, a big enough lead to play the second half with a running clock.
"The kids played hard and smart for more than a quarter, but when the nuts and bolts came off, we went to pieces," Warhill coach Billy Jarvis said. "The kids who aren't playing basketball have got to get into the weight room on Monday, otherwise next year will be like this one."
Tabb coach Matt Lawson said, "Getting to the playoffs is exciting now that it's official. Half our coaches will scout Chancellor tomorrow and the other half will scout Powhatan."
TABB 41, WARHILL 3Tabb04100 — 41Warhill3000 — 3 W — Edkins 25 field goal
T — Patrick 6 run (Henderson kick)
T — Wilson 59 pass from Case (Henderson kick)
T — Parham 32 run (Henderson kick)
T — Patrick 4 run (Henderson kick)
T — Patrick 45 punt return (Henderson kick)
T — Schurott 45 pass from Case (kick failed)WarTabFirst downs914Rushes-yards35-12927-170Passing yards62165Comp.-att.-ints6-18-16-8-0Punts-avg.1-300-0Penalties-yards3-252-20Fumbles-lost3-10-0