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Comets ready to move on after exhibition loss

SoVaNow.com / August 29, 2013
Heading into the season opener, Halifax County High School varsity football coach Mike Roark and the staff moved on after a tough loss to Buckingham in the benefit game.

The Comets have a very challenging opener, at Jefferson Forest tomorrow night.

Halifax had some issues coming out of the Buckingham scrimmage, including turnover problems stemming from the center-quarterback exchange, and other problems.

“We’ve addressed the issues. We’ve worked on our snaps, we’ve worked on our alignments. We’re working on being a little more intense on defense when we start the game. Fix the thing and you move on,” said Roark.

Roark said JF runs a misdirection-style offense, with elements of the pistol. They feature a 4-2 defense, and the most pressing problem for the Comets may be the return of senior quarterback Jake Crist, for his third prep season. JF also has solid defenders returning, and this is a very demanding test for HCHS.

JF will have a decided edge in experience at the quarterback spot, with other solid performers throughout the lineup.

A year ago, HCHS led this game at halftime, but Alonzo Bennett got hurt and could not play in the second half. JF took control after intermission. Roark certainly respects JF.

“They’re a good team. They’re pretty fast. They’re well coached. We’ve got to play our game and can’t make mistakes,” said Roark. JF capitalized on creating turnovers and defeated Western Albemarle, 35-28, in a preseason game last Friday.

Roark said the Comets are ready.

“They’ve been ready since August to start playing somebody,” said Roark.

It’s the start of a busy week of football in Cometland. The jayvee football squad hosts Jefferson Forest at 6 p.m. tonight. The HCHS freshman travel to Gretna for a 6 p.m. kick tonight. Then, HCHS gets on the bus for a 6 p.m. start at JF tomorrow for the varsity game.

The Comets need a strong rebound after a benefit game loss to Buckingham, which has a stronger program at this point than some HCHS fans might realize. Following the JF road test, HCHS gets E.C. Glass and Person County, which got hammered in its opener, two weeks in a row at home. Roark has several keys for tomorrow’s opener.

“We’ve got to come our ready to play on defense. We can’t wait until the second half to wake up. We’ve got to not shoot ourselves in the foot on offense. We can’t put ourselves in third-and-20 (situations). We need first downs to be successful. We want three, four yards on first downs,” said Roark.



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