- Last Updated on 12:22 PM 04/23/12
- BY Joe Chandler
Halifax County High School and Person (N.C.) High will renew their border rivalry here tonight when they clash at 7 p.m. at Tuck Dillard Stadium.
Tonight’s game is a big one for teams as both are winless entering tonight’s contest and are in need of a confidence boost to help them in the coming weeks.
Halifax County High School edged Person (N.C,) High School 14-9 last year in Roxboro, N.C. The win marked only the second time in seven years that Halifax County High School had defeated its neighboring border rival.
“It’s definitely a big game,” pointed out Comets Head Coach Dave Wojtecki.
“We’re putting a lot of emphasis on winning this week. If we do get a win, it will give us a little confidence.”
The Comets (0-2 overall) enter tonight’s game coming off of a 27-20 loss to E.C. Glass High School. Halifax County High School did a lot of good things in last week’s game, only to be stymied in the last five minutes of the game by a turnover and a couple of key penalties.
Last week’s performance by the Comets was far better than the one the Comets displayed in their season opener against Jefferson Forest High School.
With the improvement we made from Week 1 to Week 2, if we can improve that much from Week 2 to Week 3 (tonight), we will turn the corner,” Wojtecki said.
“Most of the stuff we had to improve upon is mental. It’s not physical. The guys’ focus is the biggest thing.”
Wojtecki said his Comets players have been focused this week.
“Their focus increased because they know now they can put points on the board,” Wojtecki said.
“Defensively, I think they now know they can make plays. They’ve just got to trust the system. Once we can get them to do that, I think we’ll be pretty good defensively also.”
A strong emphasis on eliminating penalties and turnovers has continued this week, the Comets’ coach pointed out.
“We’re a lot better in the turnover battle than we were a year ago, but it’s still not good enough,” remarked Wojtecki.
“We can’t turn the ball over to anybody. We’re just not that good yet. I’m not saying that we are not a good football team. I’m just saying we haven’t had the success in the past to overcome it (a turnover) mentally when it happens. We cannot turn the ball over at all if we expect to win football games.”
As far as tonight’s game goes, Wojtecki said Person High School, which lost to GW of Danville 25-22 last week on a 30-yard field goal with one second left in the game, has some good offensive weapons.
“They have a very talented running back (Thurman Clayton) who is a very hard runner and likes to bounce things outside. They run a lot of sweeps. The sweep was something we struggled with defensively last week. We focused on it last week and still struggled with it.
“They will also bring their wide receiver (Joseph Downey) in and do a little Wildcat with him,” continued Wojtecki.
“Every time he touched the ball against GW last week he scored. We’ve really got to keep an eye on those two guys. Their quarterback is a talented young man and throws the ball well. They have some weapons offensively that we’ve really got to keep our eye on.”
As far as its defense goes, Wojtecki said Person High School (0-3 overall) will display a look that has become familiar to the Comets.
“What’s nice is that they (Person High School) play the exact same defense E.C. Glass did,” Wojtecki noted.
“We should be even better blocking scheme-wise this week, just because we will be seeing it for two weeks in a row. I don’t think they have an electrifying defensive lineman like E.C. Glass had, but they play solid defensive football. They don’t have a standout, but they play solid defense. We’ve got to be on our “A” game offensively and put some points on the board to help our defense.”