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Comets edge Franklin County 37-36 in overtime

Call Halifax County High School Head Coach Michael Roark the gambler.

Twice Roark called for a two-point conversion that would give the Comets the lead. Both times Comets quarterback Tyler Stephens delivered.

Stephens ran in a two-point conversion attempt from a yard-and-a-half out following the Comets’ touchdown in the second overtime period to give the Comets a come-from-behind 37-36 win over Franklin County High School here Friday night at Tuck Dillard Stadium.

The win was the first victory for the Comets over Franklin County High School since a win here in 2007, and it gave the Comets a share of the Western Valley District lead. 

For Franklin County High School, it was the school’s first Western Valley District loss since the 2008 season and the team’s third overtime loss of the season.

“We’re tied for first place, when’s the last time we’ve said that?” Roark said with a huge laugh.

The answer - a long time ago.

For Stephens, the two-point conversion capped a big night. The Comets’ quarterback scored three touchdowns on the ground, ran for 124 yards and threw for 84 yards that included a touchdown and a two-point conversion.

His scoring runs of 60 yards, 31 yards and six yards, comprised most of his 124-yard rushing total. But it was a pair of successful two-point conversions that made the difference in the outcome.

The game-winning two-point conversion came by mere inches, but it was enough to give the Comets the win.

“It was real close,” Stephens said of the game-winning score.

“I told my linemen I was going to follow them. They pushed away, and at the last second, I stuck the ball out, and it crossed the (goal) line.”

The Comets trailed 14-0 at halftime, but rallied to score a touchdown in the third quarter on a 60-yard run by Stephens, and got back into contention when Stephens tossed a 26-yard pass to Dakota Delaware with 10:33 left in regulation to bring the Comets to within a point at 14-13. That’s when Roark gambled with the first two-point conversion attempt, with Stephens connecting on a pass to J.J. Crews to put the Comets up 15-14.

“We got beat 49-29 last year, so what’s going to hurt me?” Roark said when asked about the gamble.

“It made them (Franklin County High School) have to start playing and going for two (two-point conversion). It gave us a little juice.” 

Halifax County High School extended its lead to eight points at 22-14 when Stephens broke through the middle of the Franklin County High School defense for a 31-yard scoring run with 8:47 left in regulation, and kicker Kyle Lacks added the extra point.

The Eagles answered with a 13-play scoring drive capped by a 13-yard touchdown pass from Christian Witcher to Eric Harris on a fourth-down and 11 play at the Comets’ 13-yard line with 3:43 left in regulation. Witcher tossed a pass to Robert Parcell for a two-point conversion to tie the game at 22-22.

The Comets scored first in overtime on a 6-yard run by Stephens and an extra point from Lacks. Franklin County rallied to score on two succeeding possessions to go up 36-29.

Halifax County answered on its final possession with a 1-yard run from Alonzo Bennett and won the game on a run by Stephens for a two-point conversion.

“This is real sweet,” Stephens said of the win.

“It’s always good to start the district season with a win. It feels good.” 

 

Franklin County      7          7          0          8          14-36

Halifax County         0          0          7          15       15-37

 

Scoring Summary

First Quarter

FC – Jaylyn Gill 4-yd. run, Chris Richardson kick;

Second Quarter

FC – Chance Tyree, 4-yd. run, Richardson kick;

Third Quarter

HC – Tyler Stephens 60-yd. run, Kyle Lacks kick;

Fourth Quarter

HC – Dakota Delaware 26-yd. pass from Stephens, Stephens pass to J.J. Crews;

HC – Stephens 31-yd. run, Lacks kick;

FC – Eric Harris 13-yd. pass from Christian Witcher, Witcher pass to Robert Parcell;

Overtime

HC – Stephens 6-yd run, Lacks kick;

FC – Ryan Wade 16-yd. pass from Witcher, Richardson kick;

FC – Gill 1-yd. run, Richardson kick;

HC – Alonzo Bennett 1-yd. run, Stephens run.