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Comets freshmen edge FC first win

For only the second time in a number of years, the Halifax County High School ninth-grade football has earned a win over Franklin County High School.

The Comets survived a scary last two and a half minutes and held on to score an 18-16 win over the Eagles Monday nights in their home opener.

“We played extremely well both offensively and defensively,” said Comets Head Coach Billy Lucas after the win that evened the Comets’ record at 1-1.

“Offensively we moved the ball well and ate up a lot of clock. Defensively, we made plays when we needed to make them.”

The Comets exercised good offensive patience in the second half, chewing up all but two minutes of the clock in the third quarter and controlling the ball for over half of the final quarter.

Halifax County led 18-8 after Ben Milne caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Jacob Garrett with 2:50 left in the game. Franklin County High School got back in contention when Jamal Tyree returned the ensuing kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown with 2:35 left and Diante Jordan ran in a two-point conversion to bring the Eagles to within two points at 18-16.

The Comets recovered an onsides kick, got a break with a penalty on the Eagles that yielded a first down on a fourth-down play, and ran out the clock to preserve the win.

“I felt a lot better about the way we played today,” Lucas said.

“They came out and were ready to play. Two weeks ago when we got off of the bus (to play Brookville High School) we didn’t appear ready. Tonight we were ready and it showed.”

Franklin County High School took an early 8-0 lead when Jordan scored on a 28-yard run for a touchdown and followed it by running in a two-point conversion with 6:08 left in the second quarter.

The Comets answered with a 37-yard touchdown pass from Garrett to Kelonte Gutrich on the final play of the first half. Tyrus Pannell was stopped short on an attempted two-point conversion, leaving the Comets trailing 8-6 at halftime.

Halifax County took the lead at 12-8 when Garrett scored on a one-yard run with 2:09 left in the third quarter and ran its advantage to 10 points before the Eagles came up with the late touchdown on the kickoff return by Tyree.

The Comets will be back in action Thursday when they travel to Lynchburg to face the Heritage High School freshmen. 

That game starts at 5 p.m. and kicks off a doubleheader that includes the Comets junior varsity team.