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Franklin County rolls over Comets freshmen

The season has gotten off to a tough start for the Halifax County High School ninth-grade football team. After having lost its season-opener against E.C. Glass High School, the Comets dropped their second straight game Monday night, falling 30-8 to the Franklin County High School freshmen in Rocky Mount.

“We played hard, but were rather flat at times after a long three-day layoff,” noted Comets Head Coach Robbie Compton.

“Monday games are hard to play because of the weekend off before hand.”

Trailing 8-0, Halifax County High School tied the game on an 18-yard sweep by Adrian Barksdale with 1:23 left in the first quarter. A run by Michael Marable for a two-point conversion tied the game at 8-8.

The Comets gave up a big play on defense at the start of the second quarter, which allowed Franklin County to set the stage for the go-ahead touchdown. Franklin County was facing a third down-and-15-yards to go situation, but managed to complete a pass play for a 37-yard gain and a first down at the Comets’ 14-yard line.

Two plays later, the Eagles scored and added a two-point conversion to take a 16-8 lead, which they held at halftime.

Moving to an inside running game, the Comets got off to a good start in the third quarter, only to lose the ball on a fumble. After getting the ball, Franklin County mounted a 12-play scoring drive that ate up all but six seconds of the remaining portion of the third quarter and held a 24-8 lead after the third quarter.

The Comets were unable to get anything going offensively early in the fourth quarter and turned the ball over on downs at their own 45-yard line. Franklin County capitalized on the good field position and drove in for its final score of the game. Halifax County’s Adrian Barksdale made a tackle for a loss to stop Franklin County’s two-point conversion attempt.

Halifax County attempted to mount a late scoring drive but came up short.

Comets quarterback Ethan Woltz was injured during the team’s last possession of the game when a Franklin County defender landed on his knee in a pile. Marable, the backup quarterback, led the Comets to the Eagles’ 19-yard line. On a third down-and 9-yards to go play, Marable threw a screen pass to Malik Pleasant for a 2-yard gain.

Looking for a touchdown, the Comets ran their final play of the game with four seconds remaining, throwing a deep pass to Dezmon Edmunds. Franklin County intercepted the pass to end the game.

The Comets will be back in action here Thursday night when they host Heritage High School in a 6 p.m. contest at Tuck Dillard Stadium.

“We look to build on good things and continue to improve as we get ready for our showdown with Heritage on Thursday at Tuck Dillard Stadium,” Compton said.