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Comets pick up sluggish win

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Traivius Chappel makes the reception for a long gain in Friday’s Comet scrimmage against Buckingham. (David Conner II photos)
SoVaNow.com / August 20, 2018
Grayson Throckmorton did not hide his displeasure with certain aspects of Halifax County High School’s sluggish 13-7 win over Buckingham in the benefit game Friday at home.

Halifax showed some offensive cohesion and did win the benefit game. But there were no plays on kickoffs or punts, and that aspect of football can lead to severe yardage differential that sometimes can determine the outcome.

Beyond that, Halifax is an inexperienced team with a host of new players. The second year head coach labeled the Blue Comets ‘green.’

Halifax scored twice in the first half and showed some explosiveness in the big play passing game. Halifax showed the ability to run the football, particularly with running backs Kenneth Davis Jr,, Jamar Traynham and Herbert Brooks. Starting quarterback Ryan Moore had a respectable effort and demonstrated an ability to get the ball downfield on throws.

Wideout Travivius Chappell hauled in one particularly impressive reception, and Tyree Dunkley also produced in the passing effort.

But Halifax also stumbled with too many penalties, including a flurry of early mistakes. Clearly, the Comets have some improvements to make.

E.C. Glass hosts Halifax in Lynchburg, and this could be a very challenging opener Aug. 31.

“We did not play well. We made a lot of mistakes our overall energy is not where I would like to have it at. I saw a few things good, but overall, I would like to see us improve in a lot of areas,” Throckmorton said.

Throckmorton expected a better result from the benefit game, but he said Thursday’s practice was not very good.

“We just didn’t perform (Friday) the way I expected,” said Throckmorton, noting the team is not pulling together as well as one unit.

Halifax did all of its scoring in the first half and the Comets played well with three drives.

“But you have about seven or eight or 10 drives in a game. We have to work to get better,” he said.

Halifax needs more players buying in for the overall progress of the team.

“We have a lot of guys that are doing things really well for us. We just have a ways to go. We are behind by about three or four days,” said Throckmorton.

“I think we will get better. The team has a lot of potential.

“We’re making the same mistakes. We were making the same mistakes we were making at the end of last year,” said Throckmorton.

Throckmorton stressed the idea of fixing problems from last year, as part of a complete staff effort. “We show signs at times, but showing signs and actually doing it, that’s the difference,” said Throckmorton.

The coach said the Comets need better habits and a solid work ethic in practice. The game is going fast and the Comets are a bit too confused. He wants better execution on offense and defense.

“We’re green. They’re going to work together to get better. We’re just not there yet,” he said.

The first half proved to be an indication of how these Comets are developing. The second half was scoreless and Halifax looked at more reserves and backups, although some regulars did play a while.

Davis showcased some excellent rushing and Trayham busted outside for significant yardage on Halifax’s first offensive possession. But visiting Buckingham held on downs.

Buckingham showed explosiveness on its second possession. Shawn Bartee made a 62-yard touchdown reception with 3:27 left in the first quarter. It appeared Halifax had him contained. Buckingham led briefly, 7-0.

Halifax answered quickly. Starting on its 20, Traynham busted for five yards.

Moore then went for the explosive play and Chappell hauled in a 43-yard reception.

Trayham busted outside to the Knights’ 20. Eventually, Davis exploded on a 15-yard scoring thrust outside.

Halifax tied the score, 7-all with 1:32 left in the first period.

Moore connected with Dunkley on a 22-yard pass play later in the second half. Traynham added an eight-yard scoring burst.

That was the extent of the scoring. Halifax missed the PAT, even without pressure from Buckingham. The score came with 6:29 left before halftime.

Halifax later recovered a touchback to stymie a promising Buckingham drive.

The first half ended with Halifax nursing a 13-7 advantage.

Halifax is class 5 for now, and Buckingham is class two.

Buckingham coach Seth Wilkerson said Bartee is explosive and one of the strongest players in the weight room.

Bartee showed a solid knack for getting to the ball and scoring, said Wilkerson.

Halifax needs to make improvement, starting with Thursday’s scrimmage at Colonial Heights.

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