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VIDEO: Comets pass first test

The Halifax County High School varsity football team passed its first pre-season test — and did it with flying colors.

Facing Staunton River High School in a structured scrimmage Friday night at Tuck Dillard Memorial Stadium, the Comets scored four touchdowns while holding the Eagles to two touchdowns.

“It was a good night,” remarked Comets Head Coach Mike Roark.

“Defensively, I thought we played fast. We ran to the ball, pursued, tackled and wrapped up. Offensively, we moved the ball. We still have some room to improve. If you look at it from a year ago, we’re a lot better off than we were last year at this time.”

Staunton River High School got both of its scores during its first 10-play offensive set of the night. Using a single-wing offense, the Eagles scored their first touchdown on a 55-yard run on their fourth offensive play of the night.

They added their second touchdown on their ninth offensive play of the night on a 10-yard run. After that, though, the Comets held the Eagles at bay the rest of the night through close to 40 plays.

Halifax County scored its first touchdown during its second offensive series of the night, with Roland Brandon catching a pass that was intended for Comets receiver Dezmon Edmunds after the ball had been tipped and racing to the end zone to complete a 50-yard play.

The Comets scored three times during their third offensive series of the night, with Tyler Stephens, who was playing quarterback at the time, breaking free for a 65-yard touchdown run for the first of those three scores to deadlock the scrimmage at two touchdowns each.

On the next play, Brandon broke loose out of the backfield on an option play and raced a 65 yards for a touchdown. Later, Stephens hit receiver Truman Brown on a 25-yard pass that resulted in a touchdown that gave the Comets their fourth touchdown of the night.

At the end of the scrimmage, the two teams battled to a scoreless deadlock in one quarter of “live” football.

All in all, it was a good night of football for the Comets.

“I thought we played well defensively, especially against this offense “ Roark said referring to Staunton River High School’s singe-wing offensive.

“We lined up in it Thursday for about 10 minutes (during practice). That’s the only time they (the Comets players) have seen this offense. 

“We’re not going to see it again all year,” added Roark.

“It took them (the Comets defensive players) the first 10 plays to catch up, and I thought we did pretty well after that.”

Roark said he feels his team has some offensive spark about it.

“I think we’ve got this in us,” Roark said of his team’s ability to generate four touchdowns and good offensive movement.

“We’ve got to be consistent. Fourth-and-nine, third-and-five, with our athletes, we should make a play. We should be able to get the ball to the perimeter. We ran a toss and Markyee Thomas broke two or three runs. Dezmon Edmonds got a couple of catches in there.

“We’ve got athletes that can move the ball,” he added.

“We’ve just got to be consistent.”

Another big aspect, Roark said, was the competitiveness the team showed in bouncing back from a two touchdown deficit and holding Staunton River High School scoreless for close to 40 consecutive plays.

“We saw the competitiveness,” he pointed out. 

“The guys didn’t give up down there at the end when they (Staunton River High School) got the ball deep into our territory. We didn’t always have that last year.”