Talk to enough defensive backs and similarities abound no matter if they play in the city, the suburbs or on the moon.
They all dream of turning an interception into a touchdown.
Frankford senior defensive back Jawun Tabb is no different. The 5-foot-10, 165-pounder with the fleet feet had an important pick six Friday in the Pioneers’ 28-0 Public League victory against visiting West Philadelphia.
“It’s special, man,” Tabb said of returning an interception for a score. “You just got to get it and go. You can’t wait for it. You got to go get it.”
In the early going, Frankford’s get up and go appeared to get up and leave.
Perhaps that’s because the Speedboys got to the game late. West Philly arrived just six minutes before the scheduled 3 p.m. start because of traffic.
Tabb acknowledged the approximately 30-minute delay was difficult from which to recover, but he wouldn’t allow it as an excuse.
“We just stayed as a team,” he said. “We just stayed ready.”
Tabb was certainly prepared when West Philly backup quarterback Jaquil Gordon looked for a receiver downfield with the Speedboys moving the ball in the third quarter, trailing just, 14-0.
Tabb caught the over-thrown ball on the left side and burst to the right before cutting back behind a convoy that guided him some 60 yards to glory.
“We just play smash-mouth football,” he said. “We just work hard at everything we do. As for me, I’m going to go get it if they send it my way.”
The Pioneers’ defense was fast, fierce and stingy throughout and led by Tabb and hard-hitting sophomore defensive end Marcus Henderson, who made several stops with authority.
The Speedboys’ defense also acquitted itself well. But without starting quarterback Anre’ Caldwell — who was recovering from a concussion — West Philly’s offense struggled to muster momentum.
Because of several negative plays, West Philly finished with just 31 yards of total offense.
Frankford took a 14-0 lead into intermission after a bad snap led to a Pioneers’ recovery at the 1-yard line and a subsequent plunge by junior quarterback Roberto Falu.
In the final frame, the youthful Speedboys were bludgeoned by 5-10, 215-pound junior running back Jordan Price.
Despite having three scores negated by holding calls on the same fourth-quarter drive, Price eventually barreled his way to a flag-free 15-yard score.
“He’s a good running back,” Tabb said. “He’s been with us since ninth grade. I like his intensity.”
When asked about tackling Price in practice, Tabb added, “Better bring it or he’s going to bring it to you.”
Price finished with 118 yards and a score on 13 carries. Falu added 63 yards and a score on 9 carries.
Frankford 0 6 15 7 28
West Philly 0 0 0 0 0
F: Jiair Ballard-West 11 pass from Roberto Falu. Kick failed.
F: Falu 1 run. Ballard-West run.
F: Jawun Tabb 60 interception. Amadou Kamagate kick.
F: Jordan Price 15 run. Kamagate kick.