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The airstrip in the countryside of southwestern Halifax County offers rapid access for Duke Life Flight.
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Halifax, now 2-4, had one highlight. James Smith Jr. sliced through an open seam in kickoff coverage and sprinted 85 yards for the Comets' lone score.
- More A&E
Comets growing as a football team
SoVaNow.com / September 09, 2013It’s called growing up as a football team.
The Halifax County High School varsity squad fell to 0-2 with a bitter loss against Seminole district rival E.C. Glass, but the Comets had some positives to savor. And there’s an intangible value, even with a comeback that fell short.
HCHS trailed, 34-14, and made it close at the end.
“Overall, the whole team, the whole defense, we stepped up way better from last week. Defense showed up, the first half, the first quarter. We missed a couple of tackles, but we plan on getting better next week,” said rover Markyee Thomas.
Considering that Glass got a key touchdown from its defense, the HCHS-Hilltopper matchup proved to be a draw, offense vs. offense.
“It was a hard fought game. It really was a disappointing loss, though. We came that close and had it slip through our fingers ... We’ve got to work on finishing,” Roland Brandon said.
Brandon saw reason for optimism, despite the loss.
“If we can play like that, then everybody comes together like a team, like they did today, and don’t give up, play to the last sound of the clock, we can beat any team on the schedule,” Brandon said.
But the head coach saw some physical, pounding drives. Roark also said quarterback Jacob Garrett grew up. Garrett made some mistakes, but also ran hard and played banged up. And the players gained a new measure of respect for the Comet quarterback.
Overall, Roark said HCHS “grew up a lot tonight. We did some good things. You look at some of our juniors. Look at Roland (Brandon), a big time leader out there tonight.”
Roark also praised the leadership of players like Rymel Wyndsor, Thomas and sophomore Malik Clark.
Roark also noted the line got more physical, and were more disciplined in the freeze calls, catching Glass offsides in several situations.
Glass’ Tyqion Stokes finished with 108 yards rushing and two touchdowns for Glass. Aaron Deane had 124 yards rushing and one touchdown, including a 60-yard scamper that got Glass on the board.
Glass quarterback Donnie Morgan finished two-for-five passing for 48 yards, including a touchdown pass. Morgan also ran for 137 yards and one touchdown.
HCHS, meanwhile, showed tremendous football character, battling Glass to the final minute.
Garrett is now 16-for-38 passing, with 222 yards overall. Garrett had three touchdowns and four picks this season.
Brandon has 35 carries for 156 yards and one touchdown rushing. He has two fumbles.
Truman Brown has four catches for 31 yards this season, while Brandon has two catches and 12 yards overall receiving, with two touchdowns.
For the game, Garrett is seven-for-16 overall, with 147 yards, with a long pass of 87. Garrett threw for two touchdowns.
Brandon had 21 rushes for 91 yards and one touchdown. Garrett rushed 21 times for 94 yards and one touchdown, with three fumbles. Windsor had three catches for 39 yards to lead the Comets. Richardson had one for 87, and a touchdown. Brandon had one for nine, and a receiving touchdown. Kyle Lacks had one for ten, and a key first down.
Roark said the Comets need to tackle better, and avoid quick, big plays. The turnover problems got better, after a tough first quarter.
“Heck of a ballgame,” said Roark. “We could never turn it over ... everytime we got close to turning it on top, we’d stab ourselves in the foot again.”
The fumble return for a touchdown for Glass proved to be key.
“We ran a reverse, and then (HCHS) made a bad pitch. It went over top of Roland’s head, and then Roland got hit. There’s nobody out there. We should have gotten tackled and just gone for a three-yard loss. That didn’t happen,” said Roark.
NOTEBOOK: Person County is 0-3 on the season. Jefferson Forest improved to 2-0, beating Staunton River, 58-14.
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