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COMETS NOTEBOOK: Win gives Comets a boost of confidence

Halifax County High School Head Football Coach Dave Wojtecki has said since the start of practice in August that a win will go a long way toward fixing some of the things that ail the Comets football team. One of the team’s chief ailments has been a lack of confidence. That is understandable given the fact that the Comets won only two games last year, one of which came by way of a forfeit, and the outcome of the this season’s first two games.

Wojtecki said Friday night’s thrilling 26-25 overtime win over Person High School came at a good time, especially since the Comets have a short week this week to prepare for a Thursday night matchup against Heritage High School at Lynchburg City Stadium.

“I think our confidence level will be a little higher, and we will play a little harder,” Wojtecki pointed out.

“If we can eliminate mistakes, I think we can play with anybody on any Friday night.”

Comets’ defensive back Miles Claiborne echoed that sentiment.

“It (the win) means a lot,” Claiborne said.

“This is going to give us a huge confidence boost. It has allowed us to come together as a team. Hopefully this win will help us roll into the next game and help get another win.”

Offensive standout Trey Roberts called the win “a big shot of confidence.”

“I’m already ready for the next game. We want to be successful this season.”

Other Comets notes

Halifax County High School’s defensive unit came up with its best effort of the season Friday night. Put in difficult situations on several occasions, the Comets’ defense rose to the occasion.

“We worked on learning this defense all summer, and it all came together,” said Claiborne, who came up with pass interception and returned it 27 yards.

“We came up with a lot of huge stops. Our defensive line and linebackers were making huge plays behind the line (of scrimmage) when we needed it. We recovered fumbles and got interceptions, all in our half of the field. It stopped drives and gave the ball back to our offense and kept the game to where we could come back and win.”

Roberts has good night

Comets running back Trey Roberts had a big night, running for 113 yards and three touchdowns in 16 carries. He also intercepted a Person High School pass while playing defense and returned it 63 yards.

“If I hadn’t had the blocks from my line, I couldn’t have done what I did,” Roberts said.

“I felt like we all did an excellent job. We stuck with it all the way and played hard to the end. It came out well with the win.”

“Trey Roberts is a special athlete,” Wojtecki noted.

“Sometimes we don’t even block the right (defensive) people, and he busts out on a run. We’re very dangerous when we get Trey and Alonzo (Bennett) in the game at the same time.”

Miscues made things difficult

While the Comets picked up a much-needed win, things were a little harder than they needed to be.

The Comets failed to convert on fourth down on three out of four attempts, three of quarterback Ford Bradshaw’s passes were intercepted, and the Rockets shredded the Comets’ special teams with several lengthy kick returns, one of which was an 84-yard return for a touchdown. Person High School had three kick returns of 62 yards or better in the game.

Wojtecki said the failure to convert the fourth-down plays resulted from missed blocks.

“I pretty much went to the same play every fourth down,” Wojtecki pointed out.

“I knew what we could do. It seemed like we just missed one block each time. I knew the blocking scheme was good, and I knew there was a hole there. We just didn’t do the correct thing the whole way.”

As far as the Bradshaw interceptions, Wojtecki said it is just a matter that Bradshaw is pressing the issue.

“He’s trying to do too much right now,” Wojtecki noted.

“He’s trying to force things. He wants to make a play. We’ve just got to keep talking to him about running the system and taking what they (the opponent) gives us.”

With regard to the Comets’ special teams, Wojtecki says the team will work this week to try to shore up special teams play.

“We’ve really got to iron out our kickoff team and punt team,” he said.

“We’re still struggling a little bit there. That hurt us a lot. We’ve really got to do a better job this week.”