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HCHS faces Franklin County tonight in district opener

A new season begins tonight for the Halifax County High School varsity football team. The Comets (2-4) overall open Western Valley District play tonight when they travel to Rocky Mount to face Franklin County High School. Tonight’s game will be the 44th meeting between the schools, with the Comets’ last win over the Eagles being a 35-28 win here in 2007.

Halifax County High School has not beaten Franklin County in Rocky Mount since 1991, the year the Comets won the state championship.

“We talked to the guys about the fact that we’re 0-0 right now,” said Halifax County High School Head Coach Dave Wojtecki.

“We can still do well in the district, win the district and go to the playoffs. We can also do something that we haven’t done in 20 years – that is go to Franklin County and win at Franklin County. We’re pushing that really hard to the kids and they seem excited.”

If the Comets can break that long winless road drought against Franklin County High School it will be a nice feather in the cap of the Comets’ football program and a huge confidence booster.

“A win would be huge for the program,” remarked Wojtecki.

“It would definitely boost our confidence to go in there and win. I think if we win up there our confidence will be so high that we could possibly win every game. It all depends on this game and the showing we make.

“I know our guys will play hard for four quarters,” continued Wojtecki.

“There is no problem or concern about the kids’ effort. We’ve got to capitalize on some things and not make mistakes.”

The Comets enter tonight’s game coming off of a bye week in the schedule. Wojtecki said having an extra week to get ready for this game has been a good situation for the team.

“We put a new (offensive) set in to help us a little bit in the red zone,” Wojtecki said. “That was big. We were able to work on special teams a little more in-depth than we have.”

Having the extra week has also helped with the team’s injury situation.

“We got to rest some guys that need the rest,” he pointed out.

“Both of our running backs have run quite a bit and one of them has a little nick from the last game and we’re trying to get him over that. We have some linemen that are banged up. Linemen never get a chance to rest, but they got to go at a little slower pace than normal. It’s good to take a breath and regroup and get ready to push forward for a good district showing.”

One of the concerns about Franklin County High School is the team’s size.

The Eagles have traditionally had good size, and the Comets have struggled at times against teams with a lot of size.

“Hopefully we can counter their size with our speed and a good game plan against what they do,” Wojtecki said.

“They (Franklin County) not as big as they have been in some past years. That’s a good thing for us. They have a few good big guys, but overall they’re not huge. I think we’re faster than they are and we’re going to try to utilize that.”

The Comets will see a different offensive look tonight from the Eagles than they have seen in the past. Wojtecki said the Eagles have taken on a wing-look type of offense that incorporates some aspects of the veer offense.

“They’re going to more of a wing look and are running some veer option and some power game out of that,” noted Wojtecki.

“We’ve got to line up and really stand our ground against some good-sized guys and make some tackles.”

The Comets saw the veer-style offense earlier this season in games against Heritage High School and Martinsville High School, thus giving the Comets’ defensive unit some familiarity with the scheme.

“It helps that we have seen it,” Wojtecki said.

“It’s good for our guys to have seen it because we can adjust to it a little better. The bottom line, though, is we’ve just got to play football.”