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Comets stagnant in benefit

The Halifax County High School varsity football team has a lot of work to do before Friday’s season-opener at Jefferson Forest High School.

That was the assessment given by Head Coach Mike Roark after Saturday’s 35-0 loss at Buckingham County High School in the annual VHSL Benefit Game.

The game was moved to Saturday afternoon from Friday night due to weather-related issues, and the Comets had little to offer in terms of offensive production, with six players rushing for a total of 67 yards and quarterback Kyran Adams going 7-18 for 47 yards.

Roland Brandon and Tre’ Morgan also took snaps under center during the game with Morgan going 0-2, including an interception at the end of the first half.

Devan Richardson led Comets rushers with 37 yards on seven carries, and Roland Brandon added 32 yards on 12 carries.

Buckingham County finished with over 200 yards rushing spread among six runners and 157 yards passing.

Knights quarterback John Edwards rushed for 38 yards and was 7-13 in passing, including touchdown passes of 15 yards to Harold Stanton in the first quarter and 80 yards to Matrice Foster in the third quarter.

Miscues also were a problem for the Comets, including two illegal motion penalties on their first possession of the game, and a “chop block” penalty that negated an 18-yard pass completion from Adams to Richard Jacobs to the Buckingham 12-yard line in the third quarter.

Jacobs caught three passes for 34 yards during the scrimmage.

Halifax also was penalized for a late hit on Edwards after a fourth-down sack in the second half.

“That’s the bright spot, it’s a scrimmage,” said Roark.

“We knew things would be different.  You cancel a game at 3:30 (Friday) and come back the next day.

“We had kids who didn’t come today for whatever reasons.

“Two or three starters weren’t here, and we’re a young team with two or three returners from last year.

“There’s plusses in this, believe it or not, and we can grow from it.  We need to grow from it.”

The 15-yard touchdown pass came on the Knights’ first possession, a nine-play drive that covered 70 yards, and the second score came on a 30-yard run by Kenneth Johnson on the Knights’ second possession of the game, one that covered 75 yards in eight plays.

Halifax got as close as the Buckingham 37-yard line in the first quarter on a pass completion from Adams to Truman Brown, and it kept the score at 14-0 in the second quarter on a touchback after forcing a fumble on a Buckingham pass completion inside its 10-yard line.

Things quickly got worse for Halifax in the third quarter, with Buckingham recovering a fumble on the Comets’ first play from scrimmage, one of several Halifax fumbles in the game.

A four-play drive ended with an eight-yard scoring run by Tariq Gough, with the extra point giving the Knights a 21-0 lead, but Halifax responded with a 10-play drive that reached the Knights’ 31-yard line later in the third quarter.

That drive ended when Comets kicker Kyle Lacks was short on a 47-yard field goal attempt.

The Knights scored on the 80-yard touchdown pass with seconds left in the third quarter, and the final touchdown came in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard run by Raekwon Gough.

The game probably left Roark and his coaching staff with more questions than answers as the season-opener approaches.

“We still have to shore up some line questions. We have to get better, and we have six days to do it,” Roark observed.

“Turnovers are huge in high school football, and we’ve got to fix them,” he added.

“You still have to play a football game even if someone doesn’t show up.

“It’s the first week of school, and we’ve got to get better.”