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Franklin County rolls over Comets

You didn’t need to hear any words. All you had to do was look at the face of Halifax County High School football coach Dave Wojtecki to sense the frustration. His Comets football team had played out what has become a much too familiar story line in its Western Valley District opener against Franklin County High School Friday night in Rocky Mount.

Franklin County High School took advantage of back-to-back Comets fumbles in the first quarter to take an early 14-0 lead and went on to roll up a 49-29 win.

“We shoot ourselves in the foot,” said Wojtecki in reference to his team’s four turnovers in the game.

“It sounds like the same old broken record. It’s the same story over and over. When you put the ball on the ground in two of your first three possessions and they score 14 points off of those turnovers, it’s hard to recover. They (the players) have got to figure out if it’s going to stop, or are we going to continue to shoot ourselves in the foot.”

Down 14-0 after the early turnovers, the Comets (2-5 overall, 0-1 district) cut their deficit to seven points twice in the first half. The first time came when Trey Roberts, who led the team with 52 yards on 16 carries, scored his only touchdown of the game a
11-yard run with 1:48 left in the first quarter. His run capped a nine-play, 75-yard drive.

Franklin County High School got back on the scoreboard when David McGhee scored the second of his three touchdowns on the night on a 4-yard scamper with 7:10 left in the first half to spur the Eagles to a 21-7 lead. That touchdown capped a seven-play, 55-yard scoring drive.

Halifax County cut the Eagles’ lead to one score just before halftime when Comets quarterback Ford Bradshaw hit Aaron Chandler with a 43-yard strike for a touchdown with 2:29 left in the first half to make it a 21-14 score at halftime.

Just when the Comets appeared to have some momentum, Franklin County High School took it away.

An 80-yard touchdown run by the Eagles’ Christian Witcher on the Eagles’ second play from scrimmage in the second half allowed Franklin County to take a two-touchdown lead at 28-14. Halifax County never got any closer.

The Eagles scored again on its second possession of the second half with Chance Tyree scoring on a 1-yard run with 4:43 left in the third quarter to put Franklin County up 35-14.

A 3-yard run by the Comets’ Alonzo Bennett with 1:27 left in the third quarter cut the Comets’ deficit to 14 points at 35-21.

Halifax County High School trailed 42-21 when it added its final score of the game, a 78-yard kickoff return by Devan Richardson with 7:55 left in the contest. Joe Martin ran in a two-point conversion to make the score 42-29.

McGhee scored his final touchdown of the night for Franklin County with a 4-yard run with 3:04 left in the game. Taylor Richardson’s kick gave Franklin County its 20-point margin at the end.

Franklin County High School (6-2 overall, 2-0 district) used its size to torch the Comets for 567 yards of offense in the game. Four Eagles runners gained over 100 yards on the ground.

“Franklin County really out-sized us up front,” Wojtecki pointed out.

“When they’re that big up front, it’s tough sometimes. We also had to do a better job of tackling.

“Jefferson Forest was bigger than us, and they lined up and kind of bulled us a little bit,” added Wojtecki.

“Franklin County lined up and bulled us a little bit. We tried movement, and that didn’t work very much. They were big. They’re very well coached. They’re a good football team. There is a reason they have won the district three years in a row. It was a tough night.”