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Comets play well, for the most part, beat Buckingham 34-14

South Boston News
Jamal Brandon (7) scored two touchdowns for the Comets Friday night against Buckingham. Linemen Zaveyon Woodall (73) and Brent Waller (77) celebrate part of the hole they helped create to spring the Comet running back. (David Conner II photo) / August 21, 2017
The Comet varsity football team played well, for the most part, in defeating Buckingham County 34-14 in the preseason benefit scrimmage Friday night at home.

Quarterback Ryan Moore had a few mistakes and the Comets had too many penalties. On the positive side, Halifax County High School unveiled a versatile rushing attack – especially from Jamal Brandon – and the defense showcased a ball-hawking style.

And Halifax did not show all of its offensive package, with new head coach Grayson Throckmorton continuing to work on preseason preparations.

Halifax unveiled some big play ability with its rushing attack.

Halifax has another home scrimmage Thursday against Colonial Heights. The season starts at home on Sept. 1 against E.C. Glass.

Halifax scored on its first possession of the season, after the defense held early.

Brandon showcased effective rushing and Moore finished this drive with a good-looking ten-yard scamper with 6:02 left on the clock for a 7-0 lead. Place-kicker Ben Harris added the point after touchdown. The teams did not rush the kicker in these situations.

Halifax held defensively on Buckingham’s second possession, with freshman defensive end Tucker Harris showing leadership and hustle on the field.

Moore was picked off early in the second quarter and the Comets also had penalty issues.

But the defense answered. Sophomore defensive back Amir Spencer intercepted a Buckingham pass, giving the offense another opportunity.

Brandon wasted little time, blasting through the Buckingham defense on an inside-outside jaunt for 63 yards. The Comets converted the pick into seven points and led 14-0 with 6:49 left.

Moore later threw another interception. But the Comets held, as Harris ended the first half with a sack.

Halifax had other solid performances on defense, including solid contact from junior defensive lineman Skylar Ashworth and senior linebacker Camron Carden, among others.

Halifax led 14-0 at the break.

Linebacker Brandon Davis had a pickoff early in the third period.

This time, junior running back Darrius Bowman showed speed and crafty running ability on a 65-yard touchdown run. Halifax led 21-0 lead with 6:37 left in the third quarter.

Buckingham finally got on the board with 4:09 left in the third.

But Halifax immediately responded, with Brandon making a lethal inside move on a 61-yard touchdown scamper on the way to a 28-7 Comet lead at the 2:59 mark.

Buckingham later added another score.

The scrimmage ended on another positive note for the Halifax defense. With the visitors driving late, Corey Brandon got a late pick and ran 85 yards for an interception return for a touchdown with no time left on the clock.

Halifax had some mistakes, as Brandon earlier had an 86-yard touchdown run nullified by a holding call on the offense with a minute to go in the first period.

Throckmorton seemed pleased, for the most part.

“It’s a huge relief - you never know how they’re going to perform under the first game-like situations,” he said.

Halifax had been going on contact against each other and making mistakes in the preseason drills.

Throckmorton said the Comets responded really well. Halifax had three turnovers with 11 penalties.

“That’s not going to get it done,” said Throckmorton.

Two Comet scores were called back, including a punt return nullified by a block in the back infraction.

Throckmorton said he used about two-fifths of the overall game plan. He called the offensive plan a work in progress and the Comets rarely used the passing attack.

Halifax will be working on further refinements to the passing game and the play-action passing attack.

Defensively, Halifax showed positives.

“It’s been the stepchild, because we’ve been working quite a bit on the offense,” Throckmorton said.

Halifax also did not blitz and played basic coverage.

Halifax also showed the ability to play stronger as the game went on. Halifax will now face a true-spread offensive scheme against Colonial Heights.

Halifax will have to cover more out on the perimeter, with Colonial Heights trying to stretch the field.

Mykell Morris and C. Brandon also played well on defense, Throckmorton said.

Halifax still needs to improve on certain aspects of football, but Throckmorton and the Comets have positives to build upon heading into the next phase of the preseason.

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