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Dragons step up, hit wall in 34-14 loss

South Boston News
Dragon running back Jaylen Brown runs into the Comet defense in action Friday night in South Boston (David Conner II photo) / September 25, 2019

Park View played up in classification last Friday night, and the Dragons had to go on the road. Without much surprise, Class 4 Halifax County dominated, winning 34-14 in South Boston.

Halifax led 27-0 at the half, got a defensive score on a pick-6 and extended its lead to 34-0 midway through the third period.

Park View, a Class 3 program, generated two late touchdowns against the Comet reserves. The Dragons are 2-1 on the season.

Dragon head coach Tony Whittingham Jr. said, “Well we’re young and it is showing up on the field. We’re making some adjustments but there’s still work to do.

“We’re moving some players around so that we can try to get the right combination to be able to perform better,” he continued, “so that’s our goal.”

Park View is looking forward to opening Tri-Rivers District play against Franklin on Friday night.

“They’ve changed a lot in terms of what they do on offense, so it requires some more work on our part to prepare,” said Whittingham. “The coaching staff will put the kids in position and I think they’ll do well against them.”

Meanwhile, Park View absorbed some challenging lessons against HCHS, now 3-0.

The Comets scored on four of their first five drives and controlled the Dragons throughout.

Halifax continued its pattern of stout rushing, with a smattering of effective air action thrown in the mix. The defense allowed a couple of mistakes, but kept Park View out of the end zone, at least until the HC reserves saw action.

HCHS also capitalized on a blistering pick-6 interception return from Jarome Davis for a touchdown, providing some balance between the offense and defense.

Halifax capitalized on a versatile, effective rushing attack that helped set up the air game.

Comet coach Grayson Throckmorton said afterwards the fast start is how coaches draw it up on the blackboard. “That turned out really good. It put us in the position where we could be more versatile with the play calling.

“I’m a very conservative guy, for the most part, but when we get an opportunity, we’re up a little bit…I like to take a little risk, a little chance,” said Throckmorton.

Plus, Throckmorton was pleased to get a defensive score. He praised Davis for being in the right spot at the right time, making a big play and a nifty run.

“When your defense scores, that only adds to the flavor,” said Throckmorton.

Halifax led, 27-0, at halftime and had few real concerns in the second half.

Park View connected on a big pass play to the Comet 17 on their first drive to threaten early. But the Comet defense held against the run on a fourth-and-nine situation outside the 15.

HCHS got its first possession with 8:52 left in the first period. The Comets put together superb rushing efforts in a crisp, four-play scoring drive. The highlight came when Lee found William Davis open on a 38-yard scoring throw. Gabe Brankley converted the PAT, and HCHS led, 7-0, with 7:17 left in the first period.

Halifax took advantage of very good field position in the first half. HCHS was able to start its next drive at the Dragons’ 42.

Soon, W. Davis had positive yards on a rush to the Dragon 30. Zyon Wilson scampered over on the left side to the Park View 21. Mekhjay Boyd moved the chains to the 19.

HCHS later drove to the five, but a third down passing attempt was incomplete.

On fourth and goal, Davis went standing up into the end zone for the second score of the night. Brankley connected, and HCHS led, 14-0 with 1:34 left in the first period.

HCHS forced a Park View fumble on the Dragons’ next possession. Defender Jamil Jackson came up with the football to stop a Dragon drive.

Freshman quarterback Kameron Roberts later provided a quality 25-yard scoring throw to Davis with 7:11 left before halftime. Davis showed elusive moves on the play, and Brankley connected on the extra point for a 21-0 Comet lead.

Finally, with Park View driving at midfield, the Dragons threw the pick-six to Davis. He sped down the sideline and HCHS held a 27-0 lead with 3:09 left before the half. (The conversion attempt was off target, wide right).

HCHS scored early in the third period for a 34-0 lead, with Lee connecting with Brandon Davis on a 53-yard scoring throw at the 9:12 mark of the third period.

From there, HCHS generally dominated, until Park View picked up a couple of scores late against the Comet bench.

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