Varnado earns shutout at Ridgewood

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Varnado’s Wildcats scored early and often on the way to a 46-0 shutout at Ridgewood on Friday night.

The Wildcats improved their record to 4-3 overall, and 2-0 in District 1-8A play. Ridgewood fell to 0-8.

Varnado coach Scott Shafett said that his team took advantage of its depth to play a fast tempo Friday night.

“We have been fortunate lately with the number of players that we have on our team,” Shafett said. “It’s a big number compared to most 1A schools, and it allows us to play a faster pace. We were able to jump on our opponent early.”

Shafett said that quarterback James Williams did an effective job of running the Wildcats’ up-tempo offense. He also praised the play of Varnado’s running backs, including Desmond Harry, JaDarrell Magee, Armontee Kemp and Errol Varnado.

“They’re all contributing and doing a great job of making big plays,” he said, of the Wildcats’ offensive players.

Defensively, Shafett said that Damon Kirsh and Jaylan Jefferson had especially strong games.

“I feel like defensively we have been playing solid football all year,” Shafett said. “Knock on wood, but we’ve really only had one bad quarter defensively the entire season. We have high goals and I think the team is really living up to that challenge right now.”

Varnado is in solid shape for postseason play. The Wildcats have already defeated defending district champion Covenant Christian, and have two games remaining against district opponents. Both games are at home.

Varnado will host St. Martin’s Episcopal on Friday for homecoming, and finish their season Nov. 4 by hosting Houma Christian. St. Martin’s was 3-7 last year, and Houma Christian was 4-6.

“At this stage of the game, our kids realize that every game is important,” Shafett said. “We’re relying on power points to decide our seeding in the playoffs. Right now, we lead the district, but we also know that our opponents are going to have extra motivation to knock us off and give us that first district loss.

“But I think that our kids have done a great job of staying mentally focused all year. Obviously with homecoming, your routine changes and there are some extra distractions, but when it comes time for that kickoff on Friday night, they’ll be ready to play football.”