VHS opens Class 1A playoffs tonight

Published 3:47 pm Friday, November 10, 2017

For the second-straight year and the third time in four years, Varnado and Ringgold will begin their playoff runs by facing each other at VHS in the bi-district round of the Class 1A state playoffs, tonight at 7 p.m.
The teams began the 2016 and 2014 postseasons against each other and the Wildcats won both games — 44-6 last season and 44-8 in 2014.
Fourth-seeded Varnado capped off a 6-3 regular season last week with a 22-0 victory over Mangham.
The winner will face either No. 13 Arcadia (4-5) or 20th-seeded White Castle (2-8).
James Williams enters this week with nine passing touchdowns and four more rushing touchdowns.
Armontee Kemp begins with three receiving scores while Desmond Harry and Jaccourious Bickham have two each, and ArDarryl McGowan and JaDarrell Magee start with one apiece.
Last week, the Wildcats scored three touchdowns. Williams had one passing to Kemp and another rushing.
Harry ran for a touchdown and a two-point conversion.
Varnado coach Scott Shaffett praised Harry and other members of the offense.
“(Harry has) been injured all year and he’s been banged up, but he’s like a train — he keeps on going,” Shaffett said. “I’m really proud of him. But it’s not just him. JaDarrell has played banged up all year. That’s the thing on offense, they continue to play and work hard. You can’t pull them off the field.”
Defensively, the Wildcats have been solid. They have held five teams to 20 or fewer points and three to single digits — including a pair of shutouts.
Shaffett also spoke glowingly about linebacker Darien Vargas.
“Defensively, I’m so proud of Darien Vargas,” Shaffett said. “He got moved from outside linebacker to inside linebacker. I’m really proud of the way he’s played all season. He is one of our leaders on defense. We’ve played a lot of good defensive football this year and he’s a big reason why.”
No. 29 Ringgold comes in after a tough regular season with a young team.
The Redskins went 1-9 and have been shutout in their last four games. Ringgold has only scored 40 points this year.
“We’re young,” first-year head coach Anthony Milner said. “We’re trying to restart our program up and trying to get some positive things going. We have some young players that have never been in a playoff atmosphere before.
“We’re hoping to go there and have a good showing. The kids play hard and that’s all you can ask for.”
Milner said his team plays in a tough district and he is hoping that will help them in the playoffs.
Milner DeSean Reed, who plays several positions including quarterback, running back and wide receiver, is their athlete and gives them a chance.
Reed, who is a strong safety, is second in the team in tackles behind weakside linebacker Arlondo Iverson. Iverson is also a quarterback.
The running backs are Lamarcus Sims and Jatiree Trent.
The primary wide receiver is Tyler Cook. Milner said Cook is a freshman and he has really come through this year.