Halifax County High School has a long string of successes in the annual Virginia High School League Benefit Game against Buckingham County High School. The Comets continued that success Friday night at Tuck Dillard Memorial Stadium.
A come-from behind 20-17 win over the Knights in a game interrupted for just over an hour as a result of a thunderstorm gave the Comets their fifth straight win in the annual pre-season contest. It was Comets head coach Grayson Throckmorton’s third straight win in the Benefit Game since taking over the reigns of the Comets football program.
“We were lucky to get it in for the weather,” Throckmorton pointed out.
“We were able to get ample enough out of it to help us move forward for next week’s opener against Nottoway.”
While Throckmorton was glad his Comets team scored three touchdowns in the second half to rally to win the game, getting most of the points against the Knights’ second team defense, Throckmorton was not pleased with the team’s overall performance.
The sticking point with Throckmorton was that the Knights had the football for all but 34.3 seconds of the first 10-minute quarter and controlled the football for all but 2:11 of the second quarter.
Halifax County High School got to run only six offensive plays in the first half and netted no offensive yardage in the opening two quarters. The Comets put up 229 yards of offense and scored three touchdowns in the second half.
“I’m pleased we showed the moxey to come back and get a better score,” Throckmorton said, “but I’m not pleased, because we did not come out out of the gates from the very beginning. That was one of the things that was mandatory for us to do, and we did not do it, so I’m not pleased with that, and they know. I’ve told them.”
The game was a tale of two different halves, Buckingham County High School controlling the first half and the Comets rallying for three touchdowns in the second half. When the game ended, the Knights held a slight edge in offensive yardage, tallying 281 yards of total offense, while the Comets tallied 229 yards.
“Buckingham has a really good football team,” Throckmorton pointed out.
“We struggled, especially against their first team, which was good, because we needed to see that. We got it on film. We need to see where we’re not quite there yet. Now we will be able to look at the film and show it to our guys and correct some of the mistakes, which will help us get better, particularly on the offensive line.”
Throckmorton said defensively, the players need to see the areas they need to correct.
“Defensively, it’s about lining up properly,” Throckmorton explained.
Buckingham County High School led 3-0 at halftime on a 26-yard field goal from Wesley Snoddy with 1:48 left in the first half. Halifax County High School answered with Christian Mack scoring on a 3-yard touchdown run with 5:42 left in the third quarter to cap a 10-play drive to open the second half. A run by Mikyler Smalls for a two-point conversion failed, leaving the Comets with a 6-3 lead.
The Knights’ Xavier Copeland scored on a 66-yard run on Buckingham County High School’s next possession, and Snoddy added the kick for the extra point to put the Knights back into the lead at 10-6.
After having intercepted a Comets pass, the Knights drove 31 yards in four plays and scored on a 19-yard run from Dalante Woodson. The extra point from Snoddy put the Knights up 17-6 with 9:53 left in the game.
Halifax County High School answered with Kameron Roberts tossing a 35-yard touchdown pass to Traivius Chappell to cap a five-play, 90-yard scoring march with 7:55 left in the game. Jarome Davis ran for a two-point conversion to get the Comets to within three points at 20-17.
After a big defensive stand, the Comets mounted a five-play, 51-yard scoring drive with Mekhjay Boyd scoring on a 1-yard run with 3:03 left in the game. Davis’ run for a two-point conversion failed, leaving the Comets with a 20-17 lead they held the rest of the way.