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Comets knock out Person 36-6

South Boston News
Comet running back Jamal Brandon charges into open space against Person County Friday night. Brandon ran for three touchdowns Friday. (David Conner II photo) / September 11, 2017
Grayson Throckmorton has the first victory of his head coaching career at Halifax County High School, and the Comet football team has seen its hard work in preseason rewarded after a 36-6 win over border rival Person County Friday night.

Halifax, which goes on the road against Dan River Friday, is now 1-1.

Halifax moved on from a rough start to the season against E.C. Glass and recorded a confidence-building rout of the Rockets.

Jamal Brandon sparked a potent ground attack with three rushing touchdowns, and the Comets showed big play explosiveness in the passing game.

Halifax also got major contributions on special teams.

That’s solid football - positive contributions from all three phases of the game.

One of the major storylines from the win was the play of the Comet defense. Person, which had stuck 40 points on Bartlett-Yancey the week before, was completely throttled by a swarming, eager Comet defense.

Person had just seven first downs. The Rockets, now 1-3, went four-of-12 passing for 18 yards and two interceptions. The longest Rocket pass went for seven yards.

Person also rushed for 75 yards on 32 carries. The longest thrust from scrimmage went for 15 yards.

Person had 31 yards in kick returns.

The result was a win that boosts the intensity for the football team.

Throckmorton and the Comet staff have been working this team very hard in preseason, and it would have been very discouraging if Halifax had turned in another losing effort.

But it didn’t happen.

Halifax had a slow start, getting caught by some early penalty issues and a sluggish beginning, as both teams battled to an 0-0 tie at the end of the first period.

The Comets broke it open in the second quarter, scoring 21 unanswered points.

Brandon rambled for a 22-yard scoring run with 11:50 left before halftime. Ben Harris, whose first cousin Tucker helps with the defense, connected on the PAT.

Later, with 8:48 left before the half, Halifax showed it isn’t one dimensional. Quarterback Ryan Moore connected with Travius Chappell on a 73-yard scoring pass with 8:48 left before halftime. Harris made the PAT, and Halifax led 14-0.

After Person turned the ball over on downs, Brandon juked and danced his way to a 37-yard touchdown run with 6:52 left before the half. Harris added the PAT, and the Comets led 21-0.

But it wasn’t all Brandon.

Herbert Brooks supplied some excellent power running, and the offensive line showed the ability to make initial blocks at the line of scrimmage and follow through with more blocking after the initial hits.

Brandon got credit for a terrific return to the Rocket two on the PC kick to start the second half.

Brooks slammed home from the two to extend the Comet lead to 28-0 with 11:40 left in the third. Harris added the kick.

Person later had a punt attempt go awry - with Shykeim Venable getting the recovery - and that set up a 15-yard Brandon touchdown scamper with 6:31 left in the third.

Even a potential busted play went Halifax’s way. Halifax had a bad snap on the PAT, but Kenneth Davis snagged the ball and went untouched into the left side of the end zone for a two-point conversion.

That completed the Comet scoring

Person later added a touchdown inside the six-minute mark of the final period, but Halifax was celebrating a dominant win.

Person threw two picks - with C.J. Woods and Amir Spencer getting the interceptions - and the Rockets lost a fumble.

The Comet defense had a fiery effort, with Skylar Ashworth showing a lot of intensity and solid effort.

Tucker Harris had two tackles for loss.

In the Piedmont District, GW-Danville is 2-1. Magna Vista and Halifax are 1-1. Tunstall is 0-2 and Bassett, Franklin County and Patrick County are 0-3.

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