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Comets look for first win

“We’ve just got to execute.”

That sentence from Halifax County High School Head Football Coach Mike Roark may seem simple. However, in a nutshell, it explains what his Comets football team needs to do when it hits the road tonight to face Martinsville High School in Martinsville in its second Piedmont District outing of the season.

The Comets (0-4 overall, 0-1 Piedmont District) will be looking for their first win of the season tonight after having taken a 49-0 loss to arch-rival GW-Danville last Friday night in a game. Halifax County High School had five turnovers in the game.

“We’re a little mentally beat up,” Roark admitted.

“We need to get that first “W” and get that monkey off of our back. I think if we get a win, we can get a lot of pressure off of us. These are 16-year-old and 17-year-old kids and they’re putting a lot of pressure on themselves. I try to tell them to relax, play football and have some fun. We’re going to go out there and play our game. If we play the way we need to play we should be okay.”

Halifax County High School has experienced two good seasons in a row when it comes to facing Martinsville High School. In 2011, the Comets beat Martinsville 17-0 here in a Homecoming game. Last year, the Comets spoiled Martinsville High School’s Homecoming game with a 38-12 win.

A win by the Comets tonight could be just the thing that could help the team start to turn its season around.

“It starts to right the ship,” Roark said when asked what a win tonight would mean to the team.

“That’s what I’ve been trying to get the guys to understand the last couple of weeks. Let’s right the ship, let’s get moving back in the right direction. That’s all you can do.

“It’s tough,” Roark continued.

“But, we’re not the only team that’s 0-4 in the state right now either. There are about 15 or 20 of us out there. You’ve got to fight through it. I know the kids’ expectations are high. They should be. We’ve just got to work through this.”

Martinsville High School (1-4 overall, 1-0 Piedmont District) enters tonight’s game coming off of a big win over Patrick County High School last weekend, a win that was the team’s first of the season. Patrick County’s loss was its 34th straight loss.

Quarterback Brandon Carter led Martinsville High School’s effort last week, passing for 171 yards and three touchdowns and running for two touchdowns.

“Their (Martinsville High School’s) quarterback is a good quarterback,” Roark pointed out.

“He’s back from last year and he has a good arm and has good wide receivers. They want to get outside. They’re not going to try to pound you. They want to get outside and try to make some big plays. Our two big inconsistencies are turnovers and giving up the big plays. We’ve got make them move the ball slowly down the field and we need to move the ball slowly down the field and not turn the ball over.”

Roark said the Bulldogs are an athletic team, but that his Comets players are also athletic.

“We’re fast enough,” noted the Comets head coach.

“Athletically, we match up well with them. We’ve just got to line up right and make sure we play our responsibilities and our assignments. If we do that, we’ll be okay. 

“Scheme-wise we’re there,” he added. 

“We’ve just got to execute.”