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Comets face Martinsville in Homecoming contest

Halifax County High School’s Johnny Thaxton (57) wraps up Heritage High School quarterback Jevontae Parrish (9) and drops Parrish for a loss as teammate Seth Adams rushes up to help complete the play during last Thursday night’s game against Heritage High School at Lynchburg City Stadium.  (Joe Chandler/Gazette-Virginian)

HCHS looks to break five-year Homecoming drought tonight

Homecoming is a festive occasion – an event that includes a variety of festivities including the crowning of a queen and king and a post-game dance and celebration.

Halifax County High School’s annual Homecoming has traditionally featured those things, but one thing has been lacking in recent years – a win in the school’s annual Homecoming football game.

A Comets football team has not won a Homecoming football game since the 2006 season when the Comets edged Bassett High School 17-12. Comets Head Coach Dave Wojtecki and his players are hoping that will change tonight.

The Comets (1-3) will face Martinsville High School (1-2) tonight at 7 p.m. at Tuck Dillard Stadium. As he has said since the start of the season, how well his team can eliminate mistakes and turnovers will determine the outcome.

“In any game you have a 50-50 chance,” Wojtecki pointed out.

“Can we eliminate mistakes, can we eliminate penalties and can we perform at a high level? If we can do that, we’ll have a good chance of winning the game.”

Inconsistency has plagued the Comets this season. They go through periods of time during games when they play very well and others in which they fall victim to their mistakes.

Last Thursday night’s 24-13 loss to Heritage High School was a prime example.

Heritage High School took advantage of two Comets turnovers in the first half to produce 10 points enroute to a 17-0 halftime lead. The Comets played a solid second half, but could not overcome the deficit from the first half.

“If we can ever learn to put four quarters together we’ll be a pretty good football team,” Wojtecki said.

“Our problem is that we haven’t done that yet. We’ll play well for two quarters here or three quarters there, but we’ve never played four quarters of fury yet. We told the guys this week that if they can ever put four quarters together, we’re a tough team to handle.”

Martinsville comes into tonight’s game with a shot of momentum from last week’s 44-34 win over Liberty High School. The Bulldogs had lost a 35-18 contest against Brookville High School and had lost to Cave Spring 50-29 in their first two games of the season.

Wojtecki has game films from two of Martinsville High School’s games and, with last Friday night off, he attended last Friday’s Martinsville-Liberty game to scout the Bulldogs.

“They (Martinsville High School) have two very good running backs, very talented fast guys that break a lot of tackles,” Wojtecki said.

“Their quarterback is extremely talented also and runs the ball well. I think we are better up front (on the line) than they are, and hopefully that can equal things out with their talent in the backfield.”

Wojtecki also pointed out that Martinsville High School has several players that play both offense and defense.

“Most of their guys that play offense also play defense, so hopefully that will be a plus for us,” noted Wojtecki.

“We play less guys two ways than they do. We’ve had to play more guys both ways recently because of injuries here and there.”

Wojtecki said that in an overall sense, Martinsville High School is similar to the Comets.

“They’re a good team, a talented team, and their record doesn’t show how talented they are,” Wojtecki pointed out.

“Our record really doesn’t show how talented we are. They (Martinsville High School) are going to be a tough challenge for Homecoming.”