- Last Updated on 12:22 PM 04/23/12
- BY Joe Chandler
Halifax County High School was on the cusp of having something to celebrate in Friday night’s home opener against E.C. Glass at Tuck Dillard Stadium.
But, an interception and a pair of crucial penalties in the last five minutes of the game were too much for the Comets to overcome as E.C. Glass High School escaped with a 27-20 win.
“I wasn’t throwing very well at the end of the game,” said Comets quarterback Ford Bradshaw, who was 12-24-1 in passing for 156 yards and a touchdown.
“But, the penalties and a couple of mistakes hurt.”
The penalties came at the worst possible moments for the Comets as they were attempting to rally from the interception of a Bradshaw pass and what would be the game-winning touchdown by E.C. Glass with 4:54 left in the game on a 15-yard pass play that followed the interception.
“The kids played extremely hard, as they always do,” noted Comets Head Coach Dave Wojtecki.
“Our game plan worked real well in the first half, and was working well in the second half. Then we shot ourselves in the foot.”
After E.C. Glass tied the game at 20-20 on a 24-yard field goal by Zach Boedeker with 8:40 left in the game, the Comets got a break when Miles Claiborne picked off a pass from E.C. Glass quarterback Jordan Anderson at the Hilltoppers’ 48-yard line.
The Hilltoppers got the ball back on the next play when Glass’ Jimbo Moore intercepted a pass by Bradshaw and returned it to the Comets’ 15-yard line
On the next play, E.C. Glass quarterback Jordan Anderson hit Antonio Gentry with a pass in the left corner of the end zone for a touchdown with 4:54 left in the game. The extra point by Boedeker gave Glass its first lead of the game at 27-20.
The Comets got the ball back and converted a big fourth-down and three yards to go play when Trey Roberts raced for a 16-yard gain to the Comets’ 31-yard line.
Driving the ball in a bid to create the game’s third tie, the Comets moved to their own 47-yard line. There, the effort broke down.
Facing a fourth down and 11-yards to go situation, the Comets made another big play, with Bradshaw hitting Cody Palmer with a pass at the Glass 40-yard line. That play would have given the Comets a first down with 1:05 left in the game. But, the Comets were nailed with a penalty for having an ineligible receiver downfield and were penalized five yards.
On the second attempt at the fourth-down play, a pass from Bradshaw to Freddie Edmunds was batted away by E.C. Glass’ Colin Qualls, ending the drive and the Comets bid.
“We moved the ball well all night,” Wojtecki pointed out.
“We just didn’t capitalize in certain situations. It was mistakes that happened away from the play. That’s a tough thing to swallow.”
The first half was a stellar one for the Comets, who scored two touchdowns in their first two possessions of the game and hit paydirt on three of their six first-half possessions.
Roberts, who ran for 63 yards on 12 carries for the night, scored two of the Comets’ three touchdowns. His first score came on a 6-yard touchdown run with 9:27 left in the first quarter to put the Comets up 7-0. He followed it up with a second touchdown run, a 1-yard plunge with 2:55 left in the first quarter that broke a 7-7 deadlock and put the Comets up 14-7.
Bradshaw tossed a 34-yard strike to Dakota Delaware with 4:59 left in the first half to break a 14-14 tie and put the Comets up 20-14.
The Hilltoppers cut their deficit to three points before the first half ended, with Boedeker hitting a 25-yard field goal with 1:56 left in the half to cut the Comets’ lead to three points at 20-17 at halftime.
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