Varnado falls to Covenant Christian Academy

Published 11:56 pm Friday, October 16, 2015

Covenant Christian Academy’s defense came through in the clutch and the offense converted on fourth-and-three late in the game, as Varnado suffered a 27-14 loss to the Lions in District 8-1A action at VHS.

Trailing 20-14, Varnado had a first down at the Lions’ 18. A penalty moved the Wildcats back to the 23. Delrick Abrams gained five yards on first down. Varnado’s second down pass was incomplete and then D.J. Jefferson threw to Nick Darden for five more. On fourth-and-5 from the 13, Covenant Christian’s defense forced an incompletion for the turnover-on-downs.

The Lions moved the ball to their own 43 with less than a minute remaining on the ensuing drive. A first down and they could run out the clock, but a turnover meant Varnado had a chance to tie or take the lead with a touchdown, but Covenant Christian quarterback Marquel Daigle did more than get the first down.
Daigle broke two tackles in the backfield, got toward the sideline and turned it upfield and into the open. Daigle went the distance, 57 yards for the touchdown with 45 seconds to go. Matthew Lajauine added the extra point to reflect the final score.

Covenant Christian ran for 343 yards on 53 carries. Five players had rushing attempts for the Lions.

“We’ve got a bunch of kids that go both ways and they’ve got to answer the call,” Covenant Christian coach Randy Boquet said. “They’ve been doing it all year. They’ve been battling all year and they really wanted this. We came over here after a three-hour bus ride. After all of the adversity we had this year, we came out here, we played our hearts out and we got a big big win and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

One of the big keys to the game was Covenant Christian converting on third and fourth downs. The Lions were 6-for-12 on third downs and 4-of-5 on fourth.

“Defensively, we gave up third downs,” Varnado coach Scott Shaffett said. “We had chances and opportunities to get them out on third down. We had opportunities where we had the back in the backfield for a loss and we didn’t make the tackles when we needed to. It comes down to making tackles. In football, you’re supposed to tackle, run and stuff like that and we didn’t make the tackles when we needed to make them.”

Covenant Christian jumped out to a 14-0 lead through the first quarter.

The Lions went 65 yards in nine plays on the game’s opening drive and scored when Devyn Allen ran in from a yard out to make it 6-0 after the 2-point conversion was no good and it was 6-0 with 7:44 left in the first period.

After Varnado punted, Covenant Christian drove 64 yards and scored on a 21-yard run by Devante Johnson on the final play of the first quarter. Daigle ran in for 2 and it was 14-0.

But Varnado came back.

The Wildcats scored when Jefferson found Armontee for a 52-yard touchdown pass. The extra point was blocked, keeping it 14-6 with 9:04 left in the first half.

It stayed that way until the third quarter when Varnado tied the game on a pass from Jefferson to Kemp and Jefferson threw to Delrick Abrams for 2, evening the contest at 14-14 with 35 seconds left in the period.

Covenant Christian answered on the following drive with Cameron Solet running it 22 yards for the score. The extra point was no good, keeping it a 6-point game with 9:53 to go in the fourth quarter.

Varnado had a chance to go in front, but turned it over on downs with 6:34 remaining at Covenant Christian’s 13. The Lions drove to their 43 before big play to seal the win.

Varnado is 3-4 overall this season and 1-1 in district. Covenant Christian moves to 3-4 overall and 2-0 in league play.