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Varnado bows out of playoffs

Varnado’s season came to a close Nov. 21 in the regional round of the Class 1A playoffs with a 51-0 loss to West St. John on the road.

The game was scoreless after the first quarter, but West St. John scored 22 unanswered points to take a 22-0 lead at the half.

“We looked good the first quarter,” Varnado coach Scott Shaffett said. “We played phenomenal the first quarter. The second quarter, they made some big pass plays. Our corners had it covered well, but they made some great plays. Our offense never could get much going because of their defense. Their defense played very well tonight and they did a good job of keeping our offense off of the field.”

Third-seeded West St. John advances to the quarterfinals to play sixth-seeded Plain Dealing, which defeated No. 11 Block, 16-6.

The Wildcats finished with a 5-7 record. Varnado had three seniors this season, including left tackle Exavier Gentry, right tackle Tyvonta Fortenberry and defensive end Ardale McGowan.

“It’s a very small senior class, but I’m really proud to have coached these guys,” Shaffett said. “They’re first-class guys. Ardale has played great all year long. I’m proud of him. He showed leadership on and off of the field. That’s one person I never had to wonder if he would show up and play because he showed up every Friday night. Tyvonta and Xavier did a good job. They helped our offensive line, which in turn allowed us to have some offense. I thought our offense was really good this year.”