- Last Updated on 08:52 AM 10/12/12
- BY Joe Chandler
Tonight’s game marks 45th meeting between the two schools
Tonight marks the start of a new season for Halifax County High School Head Football Coach Michael Roark and his Comets players.
The Comets (2-4 overall) open Western Valley District play in tonight’s 7 p.m. game against Franklin County High School at Tuck Dillard Stadium in what will be the 45th meeting between the football teams of the two schools.
With tonight’s game comes the opportunity for the Comets to get the second half of their season off to a good start.
“I’ve told the players this is a whole new game now, and we’re a whole new team,” said Roark.
“I’m hoping people (opponents) still think of us as the old Halifax, and I hope Franklin County comes in here thinking that. I think we’re going to show people that there is a new bunch of guys out here, and that they’re going to have to come in here and play some ball or we’re going to take them down. We’re not going to lie down for anybody.”
The Comets have not had a lot of success against Franklin County High School in recent years. Halifax County High School’s last win over Franklin County was a 35-28 win here in 2007, and no Comets team has won a game at Franklin County High School since 1991 when the Comets won the Group AAA state championship.
That, however, has not done anything to deflate the hopes of the Comets.
“We’re out there on the practice field every day thinking we’re going to win this game,” Roark pointed out.
“The mentality has changed. The effort is out there. We’ve just got to go out and play like we’re capable of playing. We’re going to do what we have to do to win it.”
Tonight’s game against Franklin County High School (4-3 overall, 1-0 district) starts the gauntlet of a tough four-week stretch run of the Comets’ season. A week from tonight, the Comets will host Patrick Henry High School in the annual Senior Night contest. Then, the Comets will hit the road for the final two weeks of the season, facing William Fleming High School in Roanoke and arch-rival GW of Danville.
It is a tough four-week run, but Roark and the Comets will be looking to post some wins and make positive things happen against tough opposition.
“We need to increase our wins,” Roark pointed out.
“The other part is we can’t let people blow us out. We need to come out of the second half of the season with a couple more wins, and we need to keep these games good and close.”
Halifax County High School enters tonight’s game coming off of a bye week, which has given the Comets a chance to prepare for tonight’s game and the start of the season’s stretch run.
“We got a little more done, and we got a little more healthy, took care of team pictures and got the study hall going again,” Roark said of the Comets’ break.
“It wasn’t all football. There were also some things off the field that we took care of.
“The intensity is there,” the Comets coach added.
“The kids are ready to play a football game. We’re rested up. We’re more healthy. We’re ready to play some football.”
Franklin County High School enters tonight’s game coming off of a big win last week over William Fleming High School. The Eagles have a potent offense and a solid defense that forces opponents to play disciplined football on both sides of the game.
“Franklin County is going to run a wing-T (offense), so we’ve been working on staying disciplined with keys and reads, making sure we don’t do anything bad there,” Roark explained.
“If we stay with the keys and reads and stay disciplined on that part of it, we’ll be able to play good ball.”
Roark said one of the keys to success in tonight’s game will be the Comets’ ability to not give up the big play.
“They (Franklin County High School) have made some big plays on offense and have thrown the ball quite a bit more than you’ve normally seen them do,” Roark said.
“Last week against Fleming, they had real quick four or five play drives and the game was over pretty fast. We’d like to keep them on the field a little longer and make them have to work to get something.”
WESTERN VALLEY DISTRICT STANDINGS