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Varnado plays district opener

Varnado begins a stretch of three-straight road games tonight, as the Wildcats open District 7-1A play by facing Kentwood.

Varnado (2-3) snapped a three-game losing streak last week with a 40-29 victory over Pearl River, and VHS coach Scott Shaffett said Wednesday the team was having a great week of practice.

The confidence is up,” Shaffett said. “We played well last Friday. We hope to continue the trend.”

The Wildcats start tonight as the 14th ranked team in the Class 1A power points.

Last week, D.J. Jefferson turned in a stellar performance, throwing for five touchdowns and running for another. He tallied 97 yards rushing.

Jefferson connected with Nick Darden on three of the scoring throws. Armontee Kemp and J.J. Williams logged a touchdown reception.

Wilbert Gray ran for 39 yards on eight carries for the Wildcats.

Delrick Abrams could possibly be back this week for VHS.

Defensively, Varnado allowed just seven points in the first half last week, but Pearl River put up 22 in the second half.

For Kentwood, the Kangaroos (4-1) are coming off of their first loss, a 23-6 setback to West Feliciana.

Kentwood is ranked fourth in Class 1A by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association poll, and the Roos are second in power points.

The Kangaroos won last year’s contest 42-14.

The coaches bring familiarity with each other. Shaffett and Kentwood coach Jonathan Foster coached together for 10 years before Shaffett went to Varnado. Shaffett was the team’s defensive coordinator and Foster coached the defensive line.

Foster said the two are great friends.

Kentwood’s quarterback Shyheim Carter is a versatile player. He also sees time at running back and he plays defensive back. Carter is an Alabama commitment at defensive back.

Foster said Carter is stepping up.

“He’s the focal point of our offense,” Foster said. “He’s a big play waiting to happen. We just try to get him the ball in space and let him make plays.”

This season, Carter has about 650 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns.

Jaleel Hampton, who also calls signals, has thrown for 300 yards and four scores. Hampton is also a receiver.

The rest of the receiving group is Brandon Holmes, Kyvan Trout and Tommie Diamond.

Besides Carter, Darriyn McKnight is also at running back.

The defense is a 3-4 group. Foster said his top players are Carter and lineman Keante Venible.