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Comets pounded by Franklin County

A game that started badly for Halifax County High School got continually worse.

Capitalizing on turnovers by the Comets on the Comets’ first two possessions of the game, Franklin County High School took a 14-0 lead in the first three and a half minutes of the contest and rolled to a 59-7 win over the Comets Friday night at Franklin County High School in Rocky Mount.

“We haven’t done that in five weeks,” Comets Head Coach Mike Roark said of his team’s quick turnovers on its first two possessions of the game.

“It’s Week 9 and we’re making sophomore mistakes. This is a tough district and you can’t do that.”

Franklin County High School (4-6 overall), playing its final game of the season, capitalized on three turnovers by the Comets in the first half as well as a shanked 6-yard punt that gave the Eagles the ball on the Comets’ 21-yard line, giving the Eagles 28 points on four Comets miscues.

The Eagles led 45-0 at halftime after scoring five offensive touchdowns and one defensive touchdown and adding a 38-yard field goal by Jonathan Saunders on the final play of the half.

Franklin County High School scored on six of its seven first-half possessions and racked up 246 yards of offense in the process, 198 yards of which came on the ground.

The Comets, by comparison, had 19 yards of total offense and two first downs in the first half.

Halifax County (1-8 overall) trailed 52-0 when it scored its only touchdown of the night. The Comets’ score came on a 27-yard pass from quarterback Jacob Garrett to Rymel Windsor with 1:16 left in the third quarter. Kyle Lacks’ extra-point kick made the score 52-7.

The touchdown capped a six-play, 71-yard drive that took 2:36 off of the game clock.

Franklin County High School scored its last touchdown of the game on an 8-yard run by Andrew Harris with 3:12 left in the contest to make the final 59-7 count.

Shaun Rinn scored the Eagles’ defensive touchdown, recovering a Comets fumble in the first half and returning it 10 yards for a score.

In short, it was a very tough night for the Comets who took a physical pounding against a physically larger and stronger Franklin County High School team.

“They pound you,” Roark pointed out.

“We told our guys all week they needed to get ready to get pounded. We survived some of it, but it’s a 16-round fight and we didn’t survive the 16 rounds.”

The Comets attempted to counter Franklin County High School’s size by trying to get running backs and wide receivers to the outside and into space. It didn’t take the Eagles very long to counter that strategy.

“Once they saw we couldn’t run inside and we couldn’t throw, it turns into how much stuff can you run outside,” Roark explained.

“We’d run the toss (sweep), but they’d cut the tackles and we weren’t getting blocks on the perimeter.

“It’s a pretty simple game,” added Roark.

“You’ve got to block and tackle. If you can’t do those two things you’re not going to win.” 

Offensively the Comets were led by Lacks who ran for 31 yards on five carries. Roland Brandon had 18 yards on 10 carries.

The Eagles’ Carlton Adams ran for touchdowns of one yard and 37 yards and caught a 48-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Robert Parcell. Parcell ran for a 10-yard touchdown and threw for two scores including the 48-yard strike to Adams and a 14-yard toss to Jarred Brown.

Harris scored one touchdown for the Eagles who racked up 356 yards of total offense in the Senior Night season finale.

“Chris (Franklin County High School Head Coach Chris Jones) started out the year banged up and he’s getting those linemen back,” Roark said.

“He told me they’re playing the best ball they’ve played all season and they’re going to be sitting at home. This was their last game of the season.”

The Comets have one more game left, that coming up Friday when the Comets host Tunstall High School at Tuck Dillard Memorial Stadium in Halifax County High School’s annual Senior Night game.

“We’ve got four practices left,” Roark pointed out, “and we’re going to try to see if we can get our seniors out with a win.”