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Comets Face Willim Fleming In Home Finale


Halifax County High School will play its final home of the season tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Tuck Dillard Stadium against a team still searching for a post-season playoff bid.

Tonight’s annual Senior Night game will pit the Comets against William Fleming High School, a night on which the senior Comets players, senior members of the Halifax County High School Marching Band and the seniors on the Comets varsity cheerleading squad will be recognized.

For the Comets, tonight’s game is an opportunity to not only send the seniors out in style in their final home game, it’s an opportunity to salvage some positives from what has been a tough season.

“It’s a night to honor this year’s seniors and thank them for the enormous amount of contributions they have made to our football program over the course of the last four years from both a physical standpoint and a leadership standpoint,” Hodgin said.

“I hope that we all, coaches, seniors and underclassmen alike, are on top of our game and can send these seniors out in a fitting way in their final home game.”

Hodgin said the plan is to get the Comets seniors into tonight’s game early.

“We will start as many of them (the seniors) as we can,” Hodgin noted.

“The seniors that we don’t start will see action very early.”

The Comets (1-7 overall, 0-2 district) are looking for a win tonight that could help put a positive note on the end of the season. Halifax County has one game left after tonight, that game coming up next Saturday at 2 p.m. against Patrick Henry High School in Roanoke.

William Fleming (5-2 overall, 1-1 district) needs a win tonight to stay in contention for the Western Valley District championship and a post-season regional playoff berth.

“The fact that we’re entering the game from different perspectives can easily be overblown,” Hodgin said.

“They (William Fleming) have a reason to play hard and play well and I don’t think there is any doubt that our kids will play hard. We also have a reason to play well.

“Our players have played the right way the entire season,” Hodgin continued.

“I can’t imagine that anything will change from here out. I believe we will play extremely hard and I expect us to be effective in our execution.”

The Comets will be looking tonight to turn the tables on Colonels. Last year in a game played in a drenching downpour in Roanoke, the Comets lost to William Fleming 27-10 in a game in which the Comets had four turnovers.

One of the primary concerns of Hodgin and the Comets coaching staff is the fact that William Fleming is a team that tackles well on defense.

“Although they have a couple of different philosophies defensively, whether they’re pressure-oriented or not, they consistently are good tacklers,” Hodgin pointed out.

“They force opposing offenses to be very patient and make a lot of plays in a single drive in order to move the ball over a substantial part of the field. Just the fact that they are good tacklers, I don’t think that we’re going to make a catch for a short gain and make a guy or two miss and turn a short gain into a long gain. That has not happened to Fleming.”

Hodgin also noted that William Fleming is a team that also tests the patience of the opposing team’s defense.

“Offensively, they don’t get rattled,” said Hodgin.

“If they don’t have success immediately, they don’t abandon what they’re doing and go to a secondary attack. They have a lot of confidence in what they do. That, in itself, poses an issue because you can win the battle for a short period of time and be feeling good about what’s going on and then, all of a sudden, they can pop one and swing the momentum in a big hurry.”