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Mistakes costly as Heritage crushes Comets 44-12

It was a tough game to fathom. After having staged a stellar performance in a dominant road win over neighboring border rival Person (N.C.) High School a week ago, the Halifax County High School varsity football team was hoping the momentum would carry over into Friday night’s game here against Heritage High School.

It didn’t happen.

The Pioneers took advantage of three Comets turnovers in ringing up a 44-0 halftime lead, and held on to beat the Comets 44-12 in the non-district game at Tuck Dillard Stadium.

Friday night’s loss puts the Comets 1-3 overall, while Heritage High School remains unbeaten with a 3-0 record.

“I thought we would give them a better game than that,” said a disappointed Halifax County High School Head Coach Michael Roark.

“It’s like Halloween a month early. Anything that could go wrong did. It was a nightmare.”

The Pioneers took advantage of two of the Comets’ three first-half turnovers and turned them into touchdowns. Heritage High School also took advantage of a special teams miscue when Comets punter Jason Dennis was unable to handle a high snap from center and was sacked for a loss that gave the Pioneers the ball at the Comets’ 25-yard line.

Two plays later, the Pioneers scored, giving them three touchdowns off of two turnovers and a mistake in special teams play.

Despite trailing by 44 points, the Comets didn’t give up as they rallied to score on their first two possessions of the second half.

Running back Alonzo Bennett scored for the Comets on a 7-yard run with 6:13 left in the third quarter to cap an 11-play, 57-yard scoring drive that consumed the first five minutes and 24 seconds of the second half. Bennett was stopped on an attempted two-point conversion, making the score 44-6.

The Comets scored on their second possession of the second half on a 2-yard run by Bennett with 7:10 left in the game. Bennett’s touchdown capped an eight-play, 74-yard march that took 4:32 to complete.

A pass from quarterback Tyler Stephens to Jamal Crews on an attempted two-point conversion fell incomplete, leaving the Comets trailing by the eventual final 44-12 score.

Bennett led the Comets in rushing with 119 yards on 28 carries that included the team’s two touchdowns. Stephens was next in line for the Comets, running for 63 yards on 11 carries.

While Stephens had a good night running the ball, his passing game was negligible. Stephens completed two of seven pass attempts for -6 yards and had a pass intercepted.

For the game, the Comets tallied 237 yards of offense. Heritage High School rolled up 468 yards of offense.

Pioneers quarterback Jevontae Parrish had a big night, hitting 12 of 18 pass attempts for 284 yards and three touchdowns. He ran for 83 yards on five carries and scored a touchdown on the ground.

Ishanti Rosser, Parrish’s favorite target, caught six passes for 127 yards and scored the Pioneers’ first touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run with 8:07 left in the first quarter.