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Second-half surge not enough as HCHS falls to Heritage 24-13

 

Halifax County High School mounted a strong second-half surge in Thursday night’s game against Heritage High School at Lynchburg’s City Stadium.

Unfortunately for the Comets, it came a little too late.

The Comets scored a pair of touchdowns in the second half, but it wasn’t enough as the Comets fell to the Pioneers 24-13 in the non-district contest.

“If we want to be successful, we’ve got to put four quarters together,” pointed out Comets Head Coach Dave Wojtecki.

“We talked about that with the players after the game. We’re on the edge that if we can put them (four quarters) together we can be pretty good.

“Mental mistakes kill us every game,” continued Wojtecki.

“It’s things like making dumb penalties or putting the ball on the ground. It’s little things. There hasn’t been a team that has really stopped us. We stop ourselves all the time.”

Halifax County turned the ball over three times in the first half with two fumbles and an interception. The Pioneers capitalized on two of them to produce a field goal and a touchdown to score 10 of the 17 points they scored in the first half enroute to a 17-0 halftime lead.

Heritage High School scored its first touchdown of the game after the Comets failed to convert on fourth down on a fourth-down and inches play at the Pioneers’ 27-yard line on their first possession of the game.

After Heritage High School stuffed a quarterback sneak by Ford Bradshaw on the fourth-down play, it put together a 14-play, 73-yard scoring march that consumed six minutes and 36 seconds. A 6-yard run by the Pioneers’ KeShawn Wade with 2:18 left in the first quarter led the Pioneers to a 7-0 lead. It was the first of two touchdowns for Wade in the contest.

The second half was an entirely different story for the Comets.

After being held to 102 yards of offense in the first half, 75 of which came from eight runs by Trey Roberts, the Comets used two touchdowns and opportunities to score two more to throw a scare at Heritage High School.

“In the first half, we couldn’t catch any breaks,” said Bradshaw, who threw for 148 yards and a touchdown.

“Our defense was playing well. Heritage would fumble and pick up the ball and run 30 yards. We couldn’t catch any breaks with the refs or the ball.

“We got it together in the second half,” he added.

“We just decided to not let it (the first half) bother us. We put our focus on the field.”

Halifax County opened the second half with a 12-play, 77-yard scoring drive capped by an 11-yard touchdown pass from Bradshaw to Freddie Edmunds with 6:56 left in the third quarter. Kyle Lacks’ extra point kick allowed the Comets to cut their deficit to 10 points at 17-7 after the drive that took 4:55 off of the clock.

The Pioneers answered the Comets with a seven-play, 81-yard scoring drive highlighted by a crucial fourth-and-1 play in which Heritage quarterback Jevontae Parrish tossed a perfect strike to David Cardwell on the edge of the sideline for a 33-yard touchdown. The touchdown and extra point put heritage up 24-7 with 3:29 left in the third quarter.

Halifax County got back on the scoreboard again after getting the ball on its own 44-yard line with 7:39 left in the game. Bradshaw connected with Dakota Delaware on a 13-yard pass on the first play. A 15-yard roughing the passer penalty against Heritage at the end of the play gave the Comets the ball at the Pioneers’ 16-yard line.

The Comets scored six plays later when Bradshaw scored on a 4-yard run with 4:53 left. A bad snap from center derailed the Comets’ extra-point attempt, leaving them trailing 24-13.

Halifax County got a break when Edmunds recovered an ensuing onsides kick by the Comets at the Pioneers’ 46-yard line. A fumble on a fourth-down-and-1 play at the Pioneers’ 37-yard line derailed that opportunity for the Comets.

The Comets got the ball back again with 1:08 left in the game, and used Bradshaw’s arm to move the ball downfield. Bradshaw hit four of eight pass attempts during the final drive, but the Comets bid for one last score came up short when Edmunds was tackled at the Pioneers’ 3-yard line after taking a pass from Bradshaw.

“The kids played hard,” Wojtecki said.

“They played extremely hard in the second half. The defense really stepped up in the second half. We made some adjustments at halftime and the kids did a great job of going through with what we were adjusting. That’s something we couldn’t do in the past that they’re doing a little better now.”


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