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Comets seek first win against Rockets

South Boston News
SoVaNow.com / September 12, 2013
It’s time for the annual Person County game, and Halifax County High School head coach Mike Roark has complete respect for the Rockets.

Both the Comets (0-2) and PC (0-3) are winless. Roark insists the Person squad has ample motivation for this meeting with the Comets.

“They run a tight end, a little pro gun. They’re been running the ball a little bit lately, trying to throw it some,” Roark said.

And PC is trying to throw to their big tight end, he said.

“4-4 on defense ... try to stay pretty solid there. They keep six, seven guys in the box. They don’t blitz a lot, like we do,” said Roark.

HCHS does not have to practice against the triple option (Glass) or Jefferson Forest (misdirection, with the pistol). “It’s a little more standardized (offense for PC) that we see lots of already,” said Roark.

Roark won’t take PC lightly.

“You go into every game, you respect all and fear none,” said the Comet coach.

“These guys (PC) have got us circled. They’ve been beat up the last couple of weeks. OK, we’re going up now to Halifax and (HC is winless) and we’re going to take it from them ... they’re hungry (PC). These guys are coming up here, ready to go.”

— EARLY LOOK: The Comets are part of the Piedmont district, but any postseason plans for the HCHS program revolve around the points system for the Northwest Regional at the new 5-A classification.

GW-Danville is 2-0 in non-district play. Franklin County, which has a 49-19 win over Bassett in district play, is 1-1. Magna Vista, which lost to Dan River, 25-14, is 1-1.

HCHS, Martinsville, Patrick County and Tunstall are each 0-2. Bassett is 0-1 in the district and 1-1 overall.

Last week, GW-Danville pummeled Amherst, 40-22. William Fleming slipped by Martinsville, 21-19. Gretna routed Tunstall, 44-10, and Patrick County suffered its second straight loss allowing 70 points or more. PCHS fell to Chatham, 78-20.

TURNOVERS: This has been an issue for the Comets so far this season. Roark noted the problem was not as bad in the second half of the Glass game. “We started doing some turnover circuits (in Tuesday’s practice). They took the one from Jacob (Garrett),” said Roark.

Roark noted on Glass’ fumble recovery for a touchdown, Tre Morgan was trying to make a play. He got tackled as he was tossing the ball. Morgan was trying to pitch to Roland Brandon on a play called ‘Blue Joker’. “It’s a handoff, run and sweep, but then (Morgan) tosses it to Roland going ... the other way,” said Roark. “Tre’s got the ball running. As he’s getting tossed, he gets tackled. That makes the ball go over Roland’s head.”

In one sense, it was a case of a Comet trying too hard.

“We say we got six fumbles, but three were snaps where we had to pick up the snaps, and they fall on the quarterback snaps,” said Roark. Roland also had a fumble picked up by Truman Brown.

Roark said the Comets put a major emphasis on ball security this week. As for the general attitude, Roark said, “the kids are positive, they’re working hard. They’re pumped up for Friday night. They realize we did some good things and we sort of let that one get out of our hands.”

HCHS all but battled Glass to a draw, save for the critical fumble recovery for a touchdown.

“We’ve got to take away the big plays on defense. They had two big runs and a big pass. If we take those away and make them drive, we’re in the ball game, if not ahead by a couple of touchdowns.”

DEFENSIVE STATS: Malik Clark leads the Comets with 22 tackles, at the free safety spot. Ryan Waller has 18, at the middle linebacker spot. Markey Thomas, the strong safety, has eight. Devon Richardson, at corner, has 7.5. Desmond Edmunds, at safety, has six tackles.

Jamas Halasz has 4.5, while Darius Younger has 4, and Jamal Hubbard has four. Ezra Walker has 3.5, while Tre Morgan and Tim Desmond have three apiece.

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