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Comets pick up first district win

Semaj Jeffreys can’t hold onto the ball in first half action against Martinsville.
SoVaNow.com / September 27, 2021


The Halifax County High School varsity football team rallied from a 13-point first half deficit at Martinsville High School on Friday night to take the 21-16 win.

Prior to Friday’s start Coach Rob Senseney said his Comets would have to be prepared for a good physical matchup. The locals were up to the challenge in the first Piedmont District game of the season for both teams.

The Comets are undefeated at 3-0, 1-0 Piedmont District. Martinsville fell to 2-2, 0-1.

“The kids just kept fighting,” said Senseney of the win.

The coach said the kids and staff went through a tough time last week at HCHS with the tragic death of a fellow student, friend and family member.

Even going to the game on Friday, the bus broke down. “Some were experiencing personal and family tragedy,” said Senseney, alluding to the death of HCHS senior Jordan Ross in a car crash. “Martinsville jumped on us early, but they (Comets) just kept going.”

Halifax got to work early in the game, pulling a surprise onside kick on the opening kickoff. Comet kicker Ella Morrison placed the ball down the left sideline.

The Comets’ Jahmarri Chandler scooped up the ball and ran it back close to the red-zone. But Halifax would come up short as the series played out, with Martinsville taking over possession.

“We’ve got to do a better job converting points on turnovers,” Senseney said. “That’s something we have got to do better.”

The Bulldogs posted the first points when Latrell Hairston ran for a five-yard TD. With the PAT conversion the score was 7-0.

That score stood until Martinsville’s Rashaun Dickerson posted the second TD of the night. The two-point conversion was stopped by Halifax for the 13-0 lead.

Senseney said as the Comets fell behind, the team understood that it was because of lack of execution on their part, not because they were overmatched by their hosts.

“They weren’t doing anything we had prepared for,” Senseney said. “We told them to just do their job.”

Halifax’s offense settled in and the team would score two TDs before halftime. QB Dakii Chandler tossed to Kanya Caddle for a six-yard touchdown for the Comets’ first score before the break.

Chandler hooked up with Daysun Wilson for a 39-yard TD reception as the half was drawing to a close. Morrison punched both PATs through the uprights for a 14-13 Comet lead at halftime.

Both teams were scoreless in the third period. Martinsville would take a two-point lead with a little under 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter after Andy Garcia kicked a 20-yard field goal.

Halifax answered with a two-yard rushing TD by Mikyler Smalls with approximately seven minutes left to play. Morrison, perfect on the night, put up the PAT for the 21-16 lead and eventual final score.

The Comets’ defense continued to hold. Senseney said the game was a solid way to begin district competition.

As the team prepares for its next game, making the correct defensive adjustments is something they will focus on, the coach said.

The Comets are on the road at Jefferson Forest Friday for a non-district matchup. Game time is 7 p.m.

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