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Comets shut down Martinsville

South Boston News / October 07, 2018
Halifax was firing in all three phases of the game Friday night at Martinsville. The Comets opened the scoring with a 70 yard punt return by Zyliek Perkins, ran for 356 yards and six touchdowns as a team, and finished the shutout defensively on the way to a 42-0 road win.

Halifax held Martinsville in the first half to just 20 total yards, -12 yards rushing, with only one first down.

The Bulldogs, who were playing without senior running back Dasyne Hairston due to an injury, struggled to get anything going offensively all night.

Their only two long scoring drives came in the second half, the first of which went 15 plays and was stopped by an interception by Perkins on the nine-yard line, and the second of which went down to the four-yard line but ended when the clock hit zero in the fourth quarter.

It was Martinsville’s fourth loss this season of more than 35 points.

“I was very pleased with our defense particularly,” said Halifax coach Grayson Throckmorton. “They stepped up at opportune moments against a good team that shows you a lot of crazy formations, they do a lot of different things but we prepare for them during the week so nothing caught us off guard. It’s just a matter of recognizing it, lining up and executing ... our defense did a great job. They ran to the ball.”

The win was the second shutout in a row for the Comets defense.

“Shutouts are nice. They don’t happen very often because there’s a lot of parity between teams,” Throckmorton said. “Just tonight they did just enough things that hurt them to keep them from scoring and we did enough things right so it all kind of played well, it all fit the puzzle nicely, but that’s not always going to be the case.”

The Comets started slow, with Perkins’ touchdown the only score in the first quarter, and both teams had trouble with turnovers in the early goings. After a Martinsville fumble on the first play of their second possession, the Bulldogs came up with a big fourth down stop of the Comets, thanks in part to a sack by Brandon Hagwood, and a tackle for loss on fourth down by Jaquyar Drandridge.

But the Bulldogs again gave the ball right back after another fumble on the first play from scrimmage. On the Comets next possession, Martinsville defensive lineman Jakavius Wimbush grabbed an interception at midfield on another fourth down attempt by the Comets.

Halifax controlled the ball better and found running room in the second quarter. Otis Slayton had a 26-yard touchdown run, and Kenneth Davis had a 32-yard score to put the Comets up 21-0 at the break.

“Offensively we started a little slow, we didn’t quite percolate until a little bit down the line but that’s kind of what’s happened to us all year,” Throckmorton said. “What I liked about tonight is we didn’t start so well but we built and we finished well so that was good.”

Halifax would go on to score on all three of their offensive possessions in the second half on runs of 49 yards by Herbert Brooks, 85 yards by Davis, and two yards by Thomas Lee.

Davis finished with 174 yards rushing on eight touches with two touchdowns. Brooks had 72 yards rushing, and Slayton had 41 on two carries.

Halifax improved to 3-3. They will start a stretch of three straight home games next week against Franklin County.

“We have struggled dotting our Is and crossing our Ts. We haven’t taken care of some of the things, the attention to the detail and here the last couple of weeks we’ve kind of turned a corner and we’re getting there and that’s good,” Throckmorton said. “And if you do that in practice it carries over to the games so we’ve been able to do that the last couple of weeks. Our only thing is now we need to turn the radio dial up a notch and continue to do that moving forward in the future. We can’t relapse and go back.”

Martinsville falls to 1-5. They’ll look to get back in the win column next Friday in Stuart against Patrick County.

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