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Comets routed by Magna Vista


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Comets seek Homecoming win

SoVaNow.com / September 27, 2012
The Comet varsity football team has 1,175 yards rushing after five games, and senior Alonzo Bennet owns 659 of that total.

Bennett, who leads Halifax County High School into tomorrow’s Homecoming game against Magna Vista, is averaging an eye-popping 9.28 yards per carry. He has seven touchdowns on 71 carries, with no fumbles. Even more impressively, Bennett missed half of the Jefferson Forest opener and all of the Glass game.

The next leading rusher for HCHS is quarterback Tyler Stephens, who has 268 yards on 53 carries and five touchdowns, averaging 5.06 yards per carry. HCHS backs have 13 touchdowns, with six fumbles.

Bennett also has emerged as a threat as a receiver as well. He has three catches, with 117 receiving yards and two touchdowns. HCHS has only 267 yards overall, with 24 catches among seven receivers. Tyler Dunn has 11 catches for 75 yqards.

Comet coach Mike Roark praised Bennett for his major contributions to the team.

“He’s had a great year, he’s picking up the holes. He’s running hard. You watch, he’s got a forward lean. When he’s does get outside, he’s been able to find that extra gear, which helps,” Roark said.

Roark has looked at tape of last year’s HCHS-Magna Vista game, and he has an idea of what might be coming tomorrow.

“They’re well-coached. I looked at last year’s tape. They didn’t respect the pass last year. They kept nine guys in the box. They’re not going to respect it this year until we do something to throw it,” Roark said.

Roark said HCHS ran some of the same formations the new staff is running this season. “You start watching how they defended the formations,” said Roark. HCHS plans better execution.

HCHS has a mid-range passing game, trying to attack with 20-yard throws, or less. “We’ve got one. We didn’t need to throw it last week (against Martinsville). We threw well against Person, we threw well against Jefferson Forest. We didn’t throw well against (Heritage). We were down fast and sort of turned the switch off, too,” said Roark.

HCHS practiced its passing game, and Roark said, “we realize we have to throw the ball more, just to open up the box, so we can get some running lanes.”

As far as the passing game is concerned, HCHS is 24-for-50 overall with 281 yards and two touchdowns, with three interceptions. So far, Tyler Stephens is 17-for-27 for 157 yards, with one passing touchdown and one interception this season.

Halifax also has to stop Magna Vista, too. The Warriors clobbered the Comets a year ago.

“We can’t make mistakes. We’ve got to line up. They’re a big play team. You watch the games they’ve won, they’ve gotten lots of turnovers and interceptions. They’ve gotten the ball on defense. We can’t give them the ball on turnovers. We’ve got to make them drive the ball and take away the big plays,” said Roark.

HCHS has the opportunity to pick up a quality win on its Homecoming night, and a win over the Warriors would be viewed as significant. Realistically, Magna Vista - even without all-state quarterback Harvey Taylor - would appear to be the favorite Friday night.

Roark has a goal, eyeing a valuable Homecoming week.

“We’re back in that consistency mode. If we can be consistent, I think that can happen any week. The talent is there, its in their heads right now. We’ve got to play our game, day in and day out. Once we start doing that consistent part, we’ll be OK.”

COMET SCORING STATS: HCHS has 110 points in five games. Bennett leads the team with 54 points, while Tyler Stephens has 30. Place-kicker Kyle Lacks has 12 points, with six extra points and two field goals.

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