Varnado scrimmages St. John as regular season approaches

Published 9:56 am Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Varnado coach Scott Shaffett said his team stepped things up after the first series of Thursday’s scrimmage at home against St. John of Plaquemine.
“I felt we were sloppy and complacent the first series. We took the field not ready to play. The second series, after coming together as a team, we stepped it up and played good football,” Shaffett said. “From that point on, it was a different ballgame. We were very physical on both sides of the ball. I felt that our offensive line became dominant at that phase of the game and all of the rest of the pieces came into place. We had some big hits and started playing some good football.”
The varsity and junior varsity teams took the field for a pair of 15-play series on offense and defense.
In the varsity’s first series, the Wildcats tallied on a 40-yard pass from D.J. Jefferson to Delrick Abrams.
St. John tallied on its first set of 15 plays.
Varnado posted two touchdowns in its second series. Desmond Harry scored from 15-yards out and Wilbert Gray scored a 12-yard run.
“Offensively, I felt we had all of the time in the world to throw the football,” Shaffett said. “We made some beautiful pass plays. I felt that at times we held the ball a little too long on the pass plays, but when we threw it, we threw it very well. We showed a lot of signs of success and we showed that we can protect the passer. At the same time, we were physical on the running plays, and that allowed us to open up big holes.”
The Wildcats’ defense held St. John scoreless in its second defensive series.
“Defensively, we played some really physical football,” Shaffett said. “We had some guys step up and deliver some big hits. Other than two or three plays, we played really well. We had a couple of penalties that I did not like, that hurt our team and put them in scoring position. We just have to eliminate the mistakes of penalties.”
Following the series of plays, the teams worked on goal line offense and defense. Each team had four plays from 10-yards out to score. After a score, the ball went back to the 10, and the team had the number of plays remaining to score again.
The Wildcats put up three touchdowns. They scored on the first two plays with Gray running it in on the first play and Jefferson finding Armontee Kemp on the second.
An 8-yard run on the third play put Varnado at the 2, and Nick Darden tallied on the next play.
St. John scored once in the series.
The teams kicked field goals after that. Nick Blackburn was successful in four of his five field goal attempts from 27-yards out.
The scrimmage ended with a 15-minute period. Extra points were not attempted for this. After a score, the ball went back to the 30.
The Wildcats captured the 15-minute period, 12-0. Nick Darden put the first points on the board with a 1-yard run to give his club a 6-0 lead. It stayed that way until the final play of the game when Abrams scored on a 60-yard pass from Jefferson.
Up next for the Wildcats is the jamboree on Friday. Varnado is heading to Live Oak to face East Iberville. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m.