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Miscues prove costly for Comets

Halifax County High School Head Coach Michael Roark admitted he was somewhat at a loss for words.

His Comets team lost the ball six times on turnovers in a mistake-riddled performance that allowed E.C. Glass High School to escape with a 17-6 win Friday night at Lynchburg City Stadium.

“We gave this game away,” the obviously frustrated coach remarked.

“We did not get beat. We gave this game away. That’s what’s killing me – that we gave this game away. They (E.C. Glass) are not a better football team than we are.”

Four of Halifax County High School’s turnovers came in the second half, and buried the Comets’ bid for their first win of the season.

The Comets trailed 10-0 at halftime and closed to within four points on a one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Tyler Stephens on the team’s opening possession
of the second half. An attempted two-point conversion failed leaving the Comets
trailing at 10-6.

Halifax County then turned the ball over on each of its next three possessions with two lost two fumbles and an interception of a pass by quarterback Richard Jacobs.

That wasn’t all of the misfortune.

Two plays after a fourth-down snap from center sailed over the head of Comets punter Jason Dennis, E.C. Glass High School scored on a 26-yard pass from quarterback Josh Sessoms to Aaron Deane with 4:24 left in the third quarter. George Bennett kicked the extra point to give E.C. Glass a 17-6 lead it held the rest of the way.

That was the way it was for much of the night for the Comets. 

Halifax County High School started offensive possessions in E.C. Glass territory nine times, but could get only one touchdown on the scoreboard. In one glaring miscue, the Comets muffed a 37-yard field goal attempt with 8:51 left in the second quarter in which kicker Kyle Lacks never got a shot at getting the kick away.

There were defensive issues as well.

With E.C. Glass leading 3-0 and facing a third-and-10 situation at its own 22-yard line, Sessoms broke through the Comets defense, shook off an attempted tackle near the 40-yard line and then ran untouched into the end zone to score a touchdown that would put the Hilltoppers up 10-0 at halftime.

A missed tackle also played a role in E.C. Glass’ second touchdown of the game late in the third quarter.

“On both touchdowns, we don’t go and tackle,” Roark pointed out.

“We go back to doing that stupid shoulder stuff again, that stuff that they have been doing for years. We practice tackling for 20 minutes a day, and they (the players) go back to it. You can’t play this game if you don’t want to go hit somebody.”

The mistakes in the game were not just limited to the Comets.

E.C. Glass had two defensive touchdowns nullified by clipping penalties, one as the result of an interception and one that came when Ethan Flowers stripped the ball out of Stephens’ hands and raced 63 yards to paydirt.

The banged up Comets team got banged up a little more in Friday night’s game. Comets quarterback Richard Jacobs took a hard hit just before halftime and went to the sidelines, with Roark then moving Stephens to quarterback. Jacobs returned to the game in the third quarter but didn’t play long.

Early in the fourth quarter, Flowers cleanly broke through the Comets’ offensive line and nailed Jacobs, with Jacobs hitting the ground on his back. Jacobs was helped off of the field and did not return to play the rest of the game.

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