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Halifax faces Heritage in rare Thursday game

Halifax County High School picked up its first win of the season last Friday night with a thrilling 26-25 overtime win over neighboring border rival Person (N.C.) High School. But, the Comets players and coaches had precious little time to savor the sweetness of the win.

The Comets (1-2 overall) got back to work on Saturday as they began preparations for Thursday night’s 7 p.m. contest against Heritage High School at Lynchburg City Stadium. Having to play a day earlier than usual, the Comets had to begin preparations a day earlier.

“We are trying to keep everything the same practice-wise,” Comets coach Dave Wojtecki pointed out yesterday.

“Normally we come in on Monday and lift (weights), go through the game plan and watch film. We did that on Saturday. We treated Monday like a Tuesday and are going to treat today (Tuesday) like a Wednesday and tomorrow (Wednesday) will be treated like a Thursday. Our game plan and our practice preparation haven’t really changed. It’s just been moved up a day.”

Wojtecki said Heritage High School has to do the same thing.

“But,” Wojtecki noted, “they have to do it more often than we do because they have to share the stadium with E.C. Glass. They (Heritage High School) may be a little more prepared that way.”

The Comets will be facing a tough opponent in Heritage High School. Last Friday night, the Pioneers improved their record to 1-1 on the season with a 21-7 win over cross-town rival E.C. Glass High School.

E.C. Glass, which entered the game with a 2-0 record that included a 27-20 win over the Comets, was held to only 42 yards of total offense by the Heritage High School defense.

The Pioneers’ defensive unit, Wojtecki says, is very good.

“They and Jefferson Forest are the most physical teams we have seen so far,” said the Comets’ coach.

“We’ve got to match physicality with physicality.”

Not only is the Heritage High School defense physical, it is quick.

“Defensively, they run a 3-4, cover two, cover four defense,” explained Wojtecki.

“Up front, their three down linemen are very quick. They’re not very big, but they’re fast and very strong. They (Heritage High School) like to blitz their outside linebackers.

“It’s really a five-man front,” added Wojtecki, “and we should be able to run the football against it. We’ve run the ball well the last two weeks. We hope we can continue that. We also hope to be able to do things that will hurt them in certain positions to prevent the outside linebackers from blitzing us all night.”

One of Wojtecki’s concerns is how well will the Comets’ defense handle the Pioneers’ offense. Led by quarterback Jevontae Parrish, the Pioneers run a veer-option offense that is difficult to defend.

“Not many teams run it anymore,” Wojtecki said.

“It makes the defense have to be very disciplined. You have to have someone to tackle the dive back, you have to have someone to tackle the quarterback and you have to have someone to tackle the pitch man. If you mess up on any one of those, they’re going to gash you with a big run.

“It’s a little scary to have to prepare for that on a short week,” continued Wojtecki.

“But, our kids will do a great job of learning what we want to do game-plan-wise.”

One of the keys to success for the Comets will be getting off to a good start offensively and getting an early lead.

“We’d like to get up early and make them (Heritage) play catch-up,” said Wojtecki. “They are not a big throwing team, so we’d like to get up early and make them have to put the ball up in the air and do things they’re not comfortable doing. If we can do that, I think we will have a shot at a win at the end of the game.”