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Comets take care of Tunstall

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Comet wideout Travious Chappell / September 25, 2017

Halifax County High School varsity football heads into homecoming week with a burst of momentum following a 33-14 win over Tunstall on the road Friday.

Halifax picked up the first road win of the Grayson Throckmorton-era and improved to 2-2.

The Comets host Bassett for Homecoming. Halifax has a shot to make the five-game turn in the regular season at 3-2 if this gritty team can keep its momentum.

Halifax won the all-important battle in the trenches - on both sides of the ball - as assistant coach Fred Palmore praised the linemen leaving Tunstall Friday. The work of these young mules opened running space for Jamal Brandon and Herbert Brooks, and the defense and special teams also made critical contributions as 5A Halifax repelled 3A Tunstall.

The Trojans showed some early offensive firepower, scoring on their first drive and exploiting the defense on a 30-yard scoring throw with 8:35 left in the first period.

Halifax responded, however, as Brandon ripped off a 38-yard scoring jaunt to get the Comets on the board with 6:16 left in the first period. Ben Harris missed the PAT.

Tunstall quarterback Dylan Burnett threw his second touchdown pass with 4:12 left in the first period, on a sparkling 40-yarder, and it looked like the Comets might be in trouble again, as the Trojans were getting behind the defense in the vertical passing game.

Tunstall led at the end of the first period, 14-6.

And it looked early like the Trojans might be headed for the upset, but Comet defensive back J.D. Boyd made a momentum-changing play with 7:26 left before the half.

Boyd made a perfectly timed leap and picked off Burnett, returning the ball on the Tunstall 28 and strutting into the end zone.

Halifax trailed, 14-12, after missing the two-point play.

But neither team would be the same after Boyd’s play. Halifax had averted a possible significant early deficit and Tunstall missed an opportunity to seize serious momentum.

Halifax later seized the lead for good, 19-14, with 3:01 left before halftime on a bullish 14-yard run by Brandon on a fourth-and-five situation.

The Comets had the lead and never relinquished the advantage.

With 7:39 left in the third period, controversy broke out when the officials eventually ruled Halifax had possession at the Trojan nine-yard line on a muffed punt return.

Tunstall objected to the call giving Halifax possession here and a short field to work with.

Halifax capitalized, as Brooks powered in for a four-yard rushing effort, and the Comets padded the lead with 7:19 left in the third. Halifax led 26-14 after the Harris PAT.

Halifax had some issues in this game - particularly with more penalty problems - and the Comets also made some mistakes, especially on the defensive side early. But Halifax also had a lockdown defensive effort in the second half, showing particular improvement on shutting down the threat from the Tunstall offense.

The Comets led, 26-14 at the end of the third and later extended the margin to 33-14 after a well-executed 20-yard offensive scamper by Brandon with 3:38 left. Harris made the PAT.

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