- Last Updated on 12:22 PM 04/23/12
- BY Joe Chandler
Things got a little sticky at the end, but the Halifax County High School junior varsity football managed to pull off a 13-7 win over the Heritage High School jayvees here Wednesday night to give the team its third straight victory.
With Heritage High School on the Comets’ 3-yard line and appearing to be on the verge of scoring a possible game-tying touchdown, the Comets got a huge break when Roland Brandon recovered a Heritage fumble at the Comets 1-yard line with 11 seconds to play.
That turnover, the third for the Pioneers in the second half, stopped the Pioneers’ bid and sealed the Comets’ win.
“The defense is playing well,” said Comets Head Coach Kenneth Day after the win that improved the team’s record to 3-1 on the season.
“We bend a little sometimes, but we don’t break. This was a good win.”
The Comets faced a tough situation before Brandon came up with the fumble that thwarted the Pioneers’ bid for the win. A pass interference penalty that allowed the Pioneers to get the ball on the Comets’ 15-yard line and an offside’s penalty against the Comets that gave Heritage a first down at the Comets’ 7-yard line with 21 seconds left in the game almost proved to be the Comets’ undoing.
“You want the kids to keep concentrating all the time,” Day said.
“You want to see them keep their intensity and want to stop the other team. Sometimes things like that will happen. They wanted to try to get off of the ball a little quicker, and, when the pass went up, they’re going to go after the ball. You can’t fault kids for wanting to go after the ball.”
Halifax County High School’s two touchdowns came from Tyler Stephens. Alternating at quarterback with the team’s starter, Adrian Moran, Stephens scored on a 3-yard run with two minutes left in the first half and raced 28 yards for what would be the game-winning touchdown with 1:05 left in the third quarter.
Stephens’ first touchdown capped an 11-play, 65-yard drive that consumed almost six minutes. His second touchdown came three plays after the Comets’ James Anderson recovered a Heritage High School fumble at the Pioneers’ 33-yard line.
Stephens had been playing on the Comets’ varsity team, but was given an opportunity to play in Wednesday night’s junior varsity contest.
“Coach Wojtecki (head varsity coach Dave Wojtecki) wanted to send him down and get him some reps at quarterback since he doesn’t get many on the varsity level,” Day explained.
“We had a specific number of plays he (Stephens) would run. He’s a good athlete. He can be a really good player. He’s just young and needs to learn. Once he learns and figures things out, he’s going to be a good player in the program.”
Heritage High School scored its touchdown immediately after the Comets had posted their first score of the game. That score came on a 35-yard pass play with 26.2 seconds left in the first half and opened the door for the Pioneers to forge a 7-7 deadlock at halftime.
Day said he felt his team was flat at the start of the game.
“We didn’t have two good days of practice coming into the game,” he pointed out.
“Usually when that happens, the game doesn’t go well. Maybe we learned some lessons from this.”
The Comets jayvees will be back in action on Thursday when they travel to Martinsville to face the Martinsville High School jayvees. Game time is 6 p.m.