Varnado travels to Mangham tonight

Published 1:59 pm Friday, November 3, 2017

Varnado takes to the road tonight to play Mangham in non-district action that will cap off the 2017 regular season.
Varnado enters this week with a 5-3 record after a 44-39 victory over Houma Christian School in District 8-1A play. The Wildcats finished second in the league to West St. John.
Varnado is third in the unofficial LHSAA Class 1A power rankings.
The Wildcats’ offense was solid last week.
Desmond Harry ran for 79 yards with five touchdowns, a two-point conversion and he caught a touchdown pass from James Williams.
“Desmond is a fighter,” Varnado coach Scott Shaffett said after last week’s game. “He fights and fights and fights and fights for every yard that he gets. He is a horse and he works. He doesn’t let injuries get in his way. Nothing gets in his way. He is just a workhorse and he’s one of the hardest working kids you will ever see. All he does is fight, fight, fight.”
Williams threw for 128 yards and a touchdown to Harry. Williams has thrown for eight touchdowns this season and has run for two more.
Harry, Armontee Kemp and Jaccourious Bickham all have two touchdown catches while ArDarryl McGowan and JaDarrell Magee enter with one each.
Bickham tallied 41 yards and a touchdown and a pair of two-point conversions last week.
Magee posted 34 yards on the ground.
Defensively, Varnado’s defense had a rare week when the unit struggled. The Wildcats defense allowed 336 yards of offense against Houma Christian.
“We’ve played phenomenal defense all year if you don’t count last week. Even against West St. John, first half, we played phenomenal football. It’s doing what you’ve been taught all year long and getting back to the way we played most of the year.”
Shaffett said the defense has been consistent in playing ball other than two games — last week and the contest against North Vermilion.
Varnado is facing a Mangham that is 7-2 this season. Mangham, which is a Class 2A team, is 11th in the unofficial LHSAA Class 2A power rankings and is ranked 10th by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association in Class 2A.
“We’ve won some games. I guess there are a lot of folks that would like to in our position, but we’ve won games before and we’re trying to position ourselves for the playoffs. I know Scott and those guys are too like everybody else is,” Mangham coach Thomas Tharp said.
Mangham’s losses have been to Rayville and Ferriday. Ferriday is No. 1 in Class 2A while Rayville is 10th in the LHSAA unofficial Class 2A power rankings.
“Mangham is a traditional powerhouse,” Shaffett said. “Every year, they make a deep run in the playoffs. You’re going to their place and you’ve got to play at their house, so that adds to it. It’s week 10 and you’ve got to play your best ball. You’re not looking to put new things in, you’re looking to perfect things. If you don’t do things right, it could hurt you in the playoffs.”
Mangham reached the regional round of the Class 2A playoffs last year after three straight state runner-up finishes. The first two were in Class 1A with the 2015 season in Class 2A.
Mangham defeated Vidalia, 21-7, last week.
Mangham has featured a solid running game this season. The team has run for 2,403 yards and averages 6 yards per carry, led by Donovan Haynes. Haynes enters with 1,202 yards on 202 carries with 18 touchdowns.
Tyler Haynes begins with 434 yards on 62 attempts and five touchdowns. He’s also got four catches for 68 yards.
Joe Colvin is the team’s leading receiver with 73 yards on seven catches and two touchdowns.
Mangham has run the ball 401 times and thrown just 52 passes. They have 341 passing yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions.
Adam Eley is the team’s quarterback. He has thrown for 271 yards with the four touchdowns and two interceptions.
The top defenders are Austin Twiner, Donovan Haynes, Brandon Haynes (Donovan’s twin brother) and Bradley Cleary.
Brandon Haynes leads the team in tackles for loss with 13. He has 45 total tackles.
Twiner tops the team in tackles with 63 and he has made two for a loss.
Donovan Haynes enters with 37 tackles and one for a loss.
Cleary starts the week with 41 stops with three behind the line.