Varnado heads to Biloxi, Miss. to play St. Patrick

Published 11:50 am Friday, September 4, 2015

Varnado’s regular season gets under way tonight in Biloxi, Miss., as the Wildcats take on St. Patrick Catholic High School.
“It’s week one and the biggest thing is you want is to start off on a positive note,” Varnado coach Scott Shaffett said. “It’d be nice to go in there, execute plays effectively and eliminate penalties and turnovers. We would also like to be special on special teams. It’s early in the year and you’d like to come out on a winning note and start 1-0.”
Last year, Varnado went to the regional round of the Class 1A playoffs and lost to state semifinalist West St. John, 51-0.
The Wildcats competed in the Live Oak Jamboree last week and blanked East Ibervile, 39-0.
In that game, quarterback D.J. Jefferson threw three touchdown passes.
Two of the touchdown passes went to Nick Darden while the other was to Armontee Kemp. Varnado also recorded three rushing scores — one each by Tyrandis Crosby, Travon Stokes and Desmond Harry.
Shaffett said Darden and Wilbert Gray had very good outings last week.
“They were a big part of our success last week,” Shaffett said. “Also, our offensive line played really well last week. You’ve got to give them credit because they opened up the holes and stayed with their blocks downfield to help give our quarterback and running backs success.”
Shaffett said the team also played well on defense.
“Our offense really didn’t have the ball a lot, but when we did have it, we made big plays and scored quickly,” Shaffett said. “Defensively, we played well and gave the offense good field position all night long.”
Varnado’s offense ran just 16 plays.
Defensive tackle Kyle Slocum forced a turnover when he intercepted a pass at East Iberville’s 8.
St. Patrick, which is part of the Mississippi High School Athletic Association, is playing its third-regular season game and is off to an 0-2 start under first-year coach Jim Bloomfield. Last week, the Fighting Irish lost to Columbia Academy, 42-14.
The offense has made a change, going from a spread to a run-oriented team.
“Making the switch from being a finesse team to a smash-mouth team is a tough transition in terms of conditioning, the physicality of it and the mental part of it,” Bloomfield said.
The quarterback is Holden Remillard.
Bloomfield said Wednesday that he’s hoping fullback Kolbie Spence is able to return from an ankle this week. He noted that Spence is questionable for Friday’s game.
“He’s a big fast kid that we rely on,” Bloomfield said.
The running backs are Robert Starks and Matt Jones.
Bloomfield said he rotates several players at the wide receiver position.
Defensively, the Fighting Irish will use multiple four- and five-man fronts.