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After week off, Comets face GW

After having had a bye week and almost two weeks of preparation, the Halifax County High School varsity football team opens Piedmont District play tonight here at Tuck Dillard Memorial Stadium against arch-rival GW-Danville.

Tonight’s 7 p.m game will mark the 63rd time the two teams have faced each other over the course of more than six decades

The Comets have lost to GW in each of the past seven seasons and stand 10-52 against GW through the longstanding series of games played between the two schools.

Halifax County High School, 0-3 on the season, is coming into the game off of a disappointing 21-17 loss to Person (N.C.) High School. Comets Head Coach Mike Roark said the break in the schedule came at a good time as it has allowed his players to have an opportunity to regroup and prepare for the upcoming stretch of Piedmont District games.

“Regrouping is a good word for it,” Roark said when asked what the team’s focus has been.

“You sit back and look at video and you see we’re not playing badly. Inconsistency and youth are the two big words that hit you. We watched video last week and this week and we’re seeing missed tackles, missed alignments, fumbles and interceptions.

“The kids are trying to make plays and are trying to do the right things,” added Roark.

“We just just need more experience. The more experience you get, those things go away.”

Roark admitted that the loss to Person (N.C.) High School hurt.

“Any loss hurts right now,” Roark pointed out.

“They’re a little frustrated, but they also know they have GW coming in here Friday night to play. We know what we’re capable of doing. We’ve got to bring that “A” game one night and let’s see what happens. That’s been the plan the last 10 days – get that “A” game out here Friday night.”

While Comets lost close games to Person (N.C.) and E.C. Glass High School, the Comets put points on the scoreboard and generated a good amount of offense.

Halifax County generated 343 yards of total offense including 202 yards on the ground against E.C. Glass High School. in the four-point loss to Person (N.C.) High School, the Comets put up 315 yards in total offense including 262 yards on the ground.

“We’re getting 300 yards of offense, which isn’t bad for high school,” Roark said.

“During the time off, it has been let’s get faster, let’s get better, let’s fix the things that are broken. We’ve worked our quick game a little more and we’ve worked to try to get our passing game a little better.

“We’ve changed a few little things on defense, things to try to get people into better position to make plays,” continued Roark.

“Through all of that, we’ve still got to tackle, we’ve still got to block, you’ve still got to catch passes, you’ve still got to make passes and hold onto the ball and not fumble it. We do those things and we’ll be okay.”

The focus with GW tonight, Roark said, is his team not giving up big plays.

“They’ve got some speed outside,” Roark noted.

“They’re a big-play team. Everywhere they’ve been they’ve had some big plays for scores. It hasn’t been 15 or 16-play drives. It’s breaking one for 50 or 60 yards. 

“We’ve got to deny the big plays and make them drive the ball and don’t give them easy scores” added Roark. 

“We can’t throw interceptions or roll fumbles on the ground and let them run it back 60 yards for a touchdown. We’ve got to play some sound football.”