The Halifax County High School Comets fell to the Western Albemarle Warriors on Friday in the first round of the regional playoffs with a final score of 28-7.
The Comets were held to their least amount of points all season and were only able to score one touchdown in the loss.
The one bright spot for the Comets came from Kanya Caddle, who was repeatedly targeted in the second half, with his longest reception of the game coming on their first possession of the third quarter with a 43-yard pass from Dakii Chandler. Caddle outjumped the defender, catching the pass and sprinting 20 yards for the touchdown.
Caddle was targeted eight times and had six receptions with over 130 receiving yards in the loss.
“He is one of the best receivers I’ve had in a long time. He is a big body receiver who runs great routes and is very competitive. Overall, he is just a great kid,” said head coach Rob Senseney.
The Comets struggled to snap the football on numerous occasions in the game botching snap after snap.
Going into halftime the Comets were down 6-0 as the defense and Wyatt Nelson were all over the field, making tackle after tackle.
“Wyatt played great on defense. He has filled in a lot of gaps for us on the defensive end all season, and he is a kid we really depend on. He’s a great kid,” said Senseney.
After the half, Nelson continued his dominance on the defensive end intercepting the pass from the Warriors quarterback but then fumbling the football as Western Albemarle was able to gain possession back after jumping on the loose ball.
“You know, the second half came down to them (Western Albemarle) having a stronger football culture. I mean their guys were bigger and stronger than ours,” said Senseney.
The Warriors were able to end the third quarter with a rushing touchdown with only five seconds left on the clock extending their lead to 20-7, which seemed to take the hope of a Comets comeback away.
The Comets had another botched snap on a punt attempt in which the Warriors were able to jump on and gain possession at the Comets six-yard line. They eventually rushed into the endzone on second down to increase their lead to 28-7.
The Comets had one more chance inside the five-yard line on fourth down, fumbling the football at the four-yard line giving possession right back to the Warriors who ran out the clock for the last three minutes of the game.
“Our defense really played well for three quarters. It just came down to strength and conditioning,” said Senseney.
He added, “After the game I pitched two ideas to the team, number one was for them to sign up for the weightlifting class in order for us to be more competitive and break our playoff drought. The second was that we are really grateful for the seniors sticking through this season and working hard all season.”
The loss ended the Comets season, and the team will not return to play until next fall. In the meantime the Comets will focus on “growing as a program,” according to Senseney.
“We’re very proud of our kids this season. We just have a lot of growing to do as a program in many avenues. I love the kids and just want to thank our seniors,” Senseney concluded.
After the loss in the region game the Comets ended their season with an overall record of 7-3 and a playoff record of 0-1.