Varnado captures district opener

Published 11:15 pm Friday, October 14, 2016

By Perry Pitre
Sports Correspondent

THIBODAUX — Covenant Christian Academy kept it close for a while, but Varnado started to pull away near the end of the first half and dominated the second half, taking a 52-20 win in Friday’s District 8-1A game at Nicholls State University’s John L. Guidry Stadium.
The Lions (5-2 overall, 1-1 in district) took the opening kickoff and marched 77 yards in six plays for the game’s first score. The big play was a 42-yard run on an end around by Devante Johnson that moved the Lions from their own 38 to the Lions 20. After a flag and a play for a loss, quarterback Caleb Seitz hit Cameron Solet on a 23-yard scoring strike. Austin Champagne’s extra point was good, and the Lions led 7-0 with 8:05 left in the first.
Varnado (3-3 overall, 1-0 in district) came back on its second drive. Quarterback James Williams found Armontee Kemp for a 40-yard touchdown pass, capping a drive that took three plays and 38 seconds. Desmond Harry ran in the two-point conversion, putting Varnado up 8-7 with 4:22 left in the first.
A short Varnado punt gave CCA great field position at the Wildcats’ 26. Seitz found Solet again for a 12-yard score, making it 14-8 with 11:45 left in the first half.
Varnado took the lead for good on a 9-yard Jadarrell Magee run, capping a six-play, 50-yard drive. The extra point failed, and Varnado led 16-14 with 1:56 left in the half.
That was enough time for another Wildcat score. A 41-yard Kemp punt return set the Wildcats up on the Lions’ 33 with 25 seconds left, and with seven seconds left, Williams hit Kemp with a short pass. Kemp broke a couple of tackles, reversed his field and went 33 yards for the score. The two-point conversion failed, and the Wildcats took a 22-14 lead into the locker room.
“(Varnado) played bigger than us,” CCA coach Randy Boquet said. “They beat us in every phase of the game. They came out here and took it to us, and they deserved to win the game.”
Varnado completely dominated the second half. The Wildcats took the opening kickoff and marched 50 yards in eight plays with Desmond Harry scoring the touchdown from the 6. Harry also ran in the two-point conversion, making it 30-14 with 9:01 left in the third.
The Lions responded with their best drive of the night, going 88 yards in five plays, with 63 of those yards coming on another Johnson end around. After a flag, Johnson took a reverse and went 24 yards for the score. CCA failed in a two-point conversion attempt and trailed 30-20 with 4:59 left in the third.
The killer came on the kickoff with Damon Kirsh taking it back 70 yards for the score and a 36-20 lead with 4:48 left in the third.
Varnado made it 44-20 with 1:03 left in the third on an 8-yard Jacorius Bickham run. Magee’s two-point conversion made it 44-20 going into the fourth.
The Wildcats’ last score came with 5:24 left on an 11-yard Kemp touchdown run, following a 45-yard Magee run. Kemp ran in the two point conversion.