Kemp’s four interceptions big part in VHS’s playoff win

Published 10:24 pm Friday, November 18, 2016

Varnado’s Armontee Kemp had a night he won’t forget anytime soon.

Kemp intercepted four passes and returned two for touchdowns in the Wildcats’ 50-0 victory over Elton in the second round of the Class 1A state playoffs Friday night. He came close to scoring on another interception return, as well.

“It was my best game on defense,” Kemp said. “I just played the ball right.”

Varnado coach Scott Shaffett said Kemp’s night was quite impressive.

“Four interceptions. I don’t know if I’ve seen that happen before,” Shaffett said. “I tell you, I’ve been coaching for a long time and we’ve coached a lot of good athletes and that’s the first time I’ve seen it happen. You’ve got to give it to him and you’ve got to give it to the whole defense.

“They shut them out. A very good quarterback, a very good team, they shut them out, kept them off the field and kept them out the end zone and that’s what you want to do this time of year.”

Varnado moved the ball on its first two offensive drives, but turned the ball over on downs at Elton’s 37 and 20.

Two plays following the second turnover on downs, which was at Elton’s 20, Kemp intercepted his first pass of the night. On second-and-14 from the 16, Kemp picked off a pass at the 28 and took it back for a touchdown. JaDarrell Magee was good on the two-point conversion to make it 8-0 with 3:48 left in the first quarter.

Elton fumbled on the next drive and Varnado’s Desmond Harry recovered it at the Elton’s 31. Three plays later, the Wildcats were in the end zone when James Williams rolled right and found a wide-open Harry, who made the catch and took it in for the 26-yard touchdown reception. The two-point attempt was no good. It was 14-0 with 2:02 left on the first quarter clock and it stayed that way until the second.

“I thought in the first quarter, we played good defense, we just kept giving field position and giving them the ball,” Elton coach Doyle Carter said. “It was just kind of a domino effect after that. They played great. We didn’t play very good and we just got out-athleted tonight.”

Kemp intercepted his second pass with 9:04 left in the first half, returning it for a 27-yard touchdown. Harry ran in the two-point conversion for a 22-0 lead.

Williams picked off a pass five plays into the ensuing drive at Varnado’s 43. From there, the Wildcats went 57 yards with Harry providing the final 27 on a touchdown run. Magee ran in the 2-point conversion to make it 30-0 with 5:16 left and it remained that way through halftime.

Elton received the second half kickoff and just two plays in, Kemp made his third interception at Elton’s 45 and was just one yard away from his third pick-six.

Harry picked up his second rushing touchdown of the night and third overall, Magee added the two points and Varnado’s lead was 38-0 just 57 seconds into the third quarter.

Elton took the next drive to Varnado’s 11, but Kemp ended another drive with an interception.

Travon Stokes ran the first play 73 yards, and picked up another 8 yards on a horse collar penalty against Elton. Harry got the call on first-and-goal from the 8, and he took it in for his fourth touchdown of the contest. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful, keeping it 44-0 at the 5:46 mark.

Adrian Bickham added a 1-yard run with 10:39 left in the fourth quarter to cap off the scoring at 50-0.

Seventh-seeded Varnado (8-3) has outscored its first two playoff opponents 94-6. The Wildcats will face second-seeded Logansport in the quarterfinals next Friday.

No. 10 Elton, which began the season 0-4, finished with a record of 6-6.