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Comets Look To Finish Season On Good Note

While it carries no playoff or title implications for either team, Saturday’s season finale against Patrick Henry High School in Roanoke is a big game for Halifax County High School.

For the Comets and their head coach Stan Hodgin, Saturday’s game, which will kick off at 2 p.m. at Patrick Henry High School, offers an opportunity to end the season on a positive note.

“It will be a big game for our program,” Hodgin said yesterday.

“I think Saturday’s game will go a long way in setting the attitude for the off-season for the underclassmen. It will also be a lasting memory for our seniors with their last experience of high school football.”

Halifax County and Patrick Henry are in a similar situation going into Saturday afternoon’s contest. Both teams have endured a tough season, with PH having two wins and the Comets having only one victory.

Both teams need a win to salvage something positive from this season as they arrow will soon begin to point towards initial preparations for the 2010 season.

Hodgin said yesterday that this week has been a good one in terms of preparing for the test that lies ahead of the Comets Saturday.

“The execution and focus has been at a very high level,” the Comets coach pointed out.

“I expect us to play very well Saturday.”

In Patrick Henry, Hodgin said that first-year Patrick Henry High School head coach Brad Bradley has an offense that resembles that of the Comets.

“Coach Brad Bradley came from William Campbell and has implemented his spread offense,” Hodgin noted.

“Before the snap, they (PH) will look a lot like our offense in alignment, but they are very heavy run-oriented from the four wide receiver set. They have gotten progressively better at throwing the ball as the season has gone on. I expect them to be somewhere around 75 to 80-percent run.”

Because the Patrick Henry offense somewhat resembles that of the Comets, the preparation for Saturday’s game has probably been a little easier for the Comets players to grasp.

“I think we have had a really good week preparing defensively,” Hodgin said.

“Our offense has done as good a job as we can emulating what PH does on offense. I think we’ve given our defense a pretty good look. Flipping the coin, I think our defense has done a real good job this week helping our offense when they were mimicking PH’s defense. We’ve had a good week of preparation.”

One of the things the Comets may try to do a little more of Saturday is run the football. The Comets had their best running game of the season here last Friday night against William Fleming, tallying enough yards on the ground to make it close to a 50-50 split in terms of the ratio running yards to passing yards.

“Offensively I think you will see a little different personality from our offensive play selection,” pointed out the Comets coach.

“The play selection ratio and the output of the William Fleming game offensively was what we had in mind for this team from the beginning (of the season). There was an avalanche of reasons or situations that delayed that. We’re going to approach this game as how we thought we would approach every game offensively. We’re looking for somewhere around a 50-50 run balance in pass attempts and run attempts. We expect to have great production from our running game.”

One thing different that Comets fans will see Saturday is a handful of new faces in Comets uniforms. Hodgin said yesterday 19 players from the Comets jayvee team will suit up and join the varsity squad for Saturday’s game.

Five players from the Comets jayvee team dressed for the varsity in last Friday’s game against William Fleming and all five did well in their first varsity encounter.

“There are two reasons for this,” Hodgin noted.

“For one, we’re very thin in some areas on the varsity team due to varying circumstances and this will give us more depth. The other thing is that this will give us a head start on next year.

“We hope,” Hodgin continued, “that these underclassmen will get a positive experience out of this and that it will help jump start our off-season.”