Varnado falls to Logansport in quarters

Published 7:54 am Wednesday, November 30, 2016

LOGANSPORT— Varnado’s season came to an end in the quarterfinal round of the Class 1A state playoffs, in a 50-14 loss at Logansport on Friday.

The Wildcats got off to a great start. They pinned Logansport at its 12 after an opening drive punt was downed there, and the defense allowed just 1 yard. Logansport’s punt was downed at the Tigers’ 40.

The offense went to work. Six plays later, facing second-and-goal from the 12, Travon Stokes got the carry, ran right and wouldn’t go down near the sideline. He battled his way into the end zone while somehow staying inbounds to make it 6-0, after the two-point conversion was no good with 6:22 left in the first quarter.

The Wildcats had a chance to go up by double digits on their next possession. Varnado forced a punt from its own 45, but the snap went over the punter’s head. The punter picked up the ball around his own 30, but could go no further, as a few defenders were there to make the stop.

The Wildcats moved the ball to the 18, but the second-down pass was intercepted in the end zone by Austin Edgar, who returned it to the 19 at the 2:28 mark of the first quarter.

It was the first of consecutive drives with turnovers by Varnado, and Logansport scored on both. Dalton Shaw connected with Madrid Johnson Jr. for 26 yards and Nakendric Peterson ran it in from the 4. Edgar hit the first extra point. The Tigers faked the second point after, with Dayton West throwing to Joe Caraway to make it 15-6 with 9:12 left in the first half.

The Tigers added one more touchdown before the conclusion of the first half when Shaw found John Stephens Jr. on a 20-yard scoring pass. Edgar hit the extra point and it was 22-6 with 1:14 left and that was the margin at halftime.

Logansport scored the first two touchdowns of the third quarter, as Peterson scored on a run from the 3 and Shaw found Braylen Wilson on a 28-yard pass. Edgar connected on both extra points for a 36-6 lead with 5:03 remaining in the third period.

Varnado responded quickly. One play after the kickoff, James Williams delivered a pass to Desmond Harry, and Harry then outran the defenders for a 66-yard touchdown reception. Jadarrell Magee ran for the two-point conversion and the lead was down to 36-14.

Logansport scored the final two touchdowns on runs of 29 yards and 84 yards by Debell Crawford. Edgar hit both extra points.

Seventh-seeded Varnado finished a solid season with an 8-4 record. The District 8-1A Champion Wildcats entered Friday’s game on a six-game winning streak.

Varnado coach Scott Shaffett had nothing but praise for his team.

“I tell you what, I’m so proud of these guys because you fight through adversity and these guys have fought through adversity through the four years,” he said. “These seniors that have fought through it and these younger guys have fought through it and they have fought through adversity and they don’t quit, they play.

“I’m proud of these guys because they have fought and played all year long. It says a lot when you’re in the third round of the playoffs. I’d like to be in that next round, but you’ve got to give them credit. We played a great team and they were just a little better than us tonight.”

No. 2 Logansport advances to the semifinal round and will host third-seeded Kentwood.