Varnado travels to Berwick

Published 8:05 am Friday, September 16, 2016

By Chris Kinkaid

The Daily News

Varnado hits the road this week and heads to Berwick, as the Wildcats look to rebound from last week’s setback.

The Wildcats, who are 1-1 this season, suffered a narrow loss to Pine, 14-13, last Friday.

Varnado’s defense played extremely well last week. They allowed just two scoring drives — a 60-yard drive on Pine’s first offensive possession and then an 80-yard run in the fourth quarter.

“Defensively we did a great job,” Varnado coach Scott Shaffett said. “We gave up one big play in the fourth quarter. It cost us, but I thought we played tough, physical football and we continue to play tough, physical football on defense.”

Darian Vargas recovered two fumbles defensively last week. Andre Jones had one fumble recovery and Errol Varnado intercepted a pass for the Wildcats.

Offensively, James Williams threw for 79 yards and a touchdown to Jones. Jones had four catches for 34 yards. Williams has thrown for 187 yards and three touchdowns this season.

Shaffett said his team is playing a very good opponent.

“They’re physical, disciplined and athletic,” Shaffett said. “The thing is, we’re stepping up in class. We’re playing a 3A school and so we’ll where we stand at this point in the season.”

Berwick won last year’s game 21-20.

Berwick is 2-0 this season. They were victorious over Abbeville last Friday, 35-14.

First-year head coach Eric Holden said he’s coached against Shaffett in the past and said his teams are always prepared.

They might be a lower classification (1A), but I told my guys they’re coming in here ready to beat us,” Holden said. “They’re coming here to win this game. Coach (Shaffett) does a great job — always has.”

Berwick runs a two-quarterback system with Collin Louviere and Mitchell Sanford.

This season, Louviere has thrown for 214 yards on 11-of-31 with five touchdowns and three interceptions. He has also run for 52 yards on 12 carries (4.3 yards per carry). Sanford has completed 8-of-20 for 213 yards and three scores.

“They’re about neck-and-neck,” Holden said. “They’re pretty even. They both can throw it. They both can run it. It’s pretty even.”

The receiving group features Josh Carver, Kenan Jones, Tysin Meads, Toby Everage and Cody Roberie.

Carver enters with five catches for 215 yards (43 yards per catch) and five touchdowns while Jones has nine receptions for 163 yards (18.1) and two touchdowns.

Meads has two touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversions. Holden said he’s fast and has great hands.

“Our receiving corps works really hard at their craft and I admire them for that,” Holden said.

Josh Jones, who has run for 167 yards on 31 carries (5.3) and a touchdown, is the team’s main ball carrier.

The top defenders are cornerbacks Larenz Clark and Cameron Wiley, strong safety Barrett Hover, defensive end/linebacker Orry Arcemont and linebacker/strong safety D.J. Robicheaux.

Holden said Clark is 6-foot-1 and really solid. He said that Hover is a strong-nosed player that battles every down, Wiley has good ball skills and Robichaux is a defensive leader and one of the team leaders. Holden said Arcemont is a hard-nosed player, probably one of toughest on defense.

“Defensively, we just run to the ball,” Holden said. “We’re just trying to change the culture. We’re trying to run to the ball aggressively and play smart, aggressive football.”