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Comets fall in opener 55-14
SoVaNow.com / August 31, 2013Halifax County High School varsity football suffered through a disheartening opener at Jefferson Forest Friday night.
J-F clobbered the Comets, 55-14, the worst loss of the Mike Roark tenure.
HCHS has to rebound Friday, with its home opener against E.C. Glass.
The Comets will try to build momentum and regain traction with a two-game home stand that also includes traditional border rival Person County.
HCHS (0-1) sometimes has had trouble with opposing senior quarterbacks in recent seasons, and that proved to be the case again Friday. J-F's Ryan Crist pierced the Comet defense for two touchdown passes. Michael Foster added two touchdowns on the ground in the rout.
Crist finished 8-for-13 for 160 yards with scoring strikes of 20 yards to Courtney Goodwill and 29 yards to Malik Stewart, while Foster racked up 146 yards on 25 carries for the Cavaliers.
Matthew Crider added field goals of 40 and 32 yards for Jefferson Forest.
It was just a tough night for HCHS.
"Crist and (Foster) both had big games," Roark said.
"Execution was what we expected. They are better than they were last year and watch them make a deep run in the playoffs. We have to do a better job of playing our keys and reads. (HCHS) Will work on it this week," Roark said.
HCHS also has a very young team, and that inexperience showed. The Comets suffered four interceptions and lost two fumbles.
"Way too many, first play of game, was interception. JFHS drives and scores. HCHS answers drives and scores. JFHS punts, we fumble punt. Keep shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties. We played "Young"," Roark emphasized.
But Roark promised, "That will get better with more game experience."
HCHS had some positives, especially on special teams.
Roland Brandon, expected to be the feature back in the offense, had 14 carries for 65 yards, with one reception for three years and one touchdown. Devan Richardson had a 95 yard kickoff return for a touchdown. HCHS finished with more than 200 yards in kick returns.
One loss, however painful, hardly defines a season, and J-F might be very good. Roark promised to work towards fixing the damage from this opener. And J-F's experience edge at quarterback cannot be overlooked.
"Mistakes are fixable. Will correct alignments on defense, Need to be crisper on routes in passing game and do a better job tackling," said Roark.
Harrisonburg shaded E.C. Glass, 27-24, on Thursday night, so the Hilltoppers and the Comets will be looking for their first victory.
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