Varnado defeated in the quarterfinals

Published 1:27 pm Wednesday, November 29, 2017

LOGANSPORT — Varnado trailed 14-0 early, got within two, but late first-half scores by Logansport along with another in the second half were the story in Friday’s Class 1A 40-18 quarterfinal loss on the road.
Logansport scored the game’s opening 14 points over the first 5:30, with touchdown runs of 2 and 52 yards by Madrid Johnson Jr. and Tresmin Brown. Austin Edgar hit both extra points to make it 14-0. Brown ran for 197 yards while Johnson had 16. Both tallied two touchdowns.
Varnado countered with two touchdowns of its own.
Desmond Harry broke loose on third-and-6 and ran 47 yards to make it 14-6 with 4:15 left in the first after the two-point conversion was no good. Harry finished the game with 94 yards rushing and he completed a 40-yard pass to Armontee Kemp. Kemp finished with four catches for 82 yards.
JaDarrell Magee scored on a 2-yard run with 9:01 left in the second quarter. The two-point conversion failed, but the Wildcats cut Logansport’s lead to 14-12.
The teams exchanged punts and then Logansport tallied the final 12 points of the first half and added seven more to begin the second half to go up, 33-12, early in the third quarter.
Johnson ran for 9 yards at 1:55 and Dalton Shaw connected with Patrick Mims on a 52-yarder with four seconds left to make it 26-14 at halftime, as the extra point and two-point attempts were no good.
Shaw threw for 336 yards and two touchdowns. Mims had 149 receiving and two scores.
Varnado downed a punt on the 8 on the next possession, but Logansport scored in three plays.
Brown picked up 5 yards on the first play and Shaw connected with John Stephens Jr. on a 73-yard pass on the second, which became 80 yards after a facemask penalty, bringing the ball to the 7. Following an offsides flag on Varnado and an illegal procedure penalty on Logansport, the ball was at the 9 when Johnson ran the needed yardage for the score. The point after was no good, keeping it a one-possession game at 20-12. Stephens made five catches for 123 yards.
Varnado punted and then Logansport went 73 yards, with the final 52 coming when Shaw threw a quick pass to Mims. Mims eluded a tackler and went the distance with four seconds left on the clock. The two-point conversion failed and it was 26-14 at halftime.
Logansport returned the second-half kickoff to its 28 and tallied on the first play when Brown scored on a 72-yard run. Edgar’s point after was good for a 33-12 game.
Each team scored once more, both in the fourth quarter.
James Williams snuck in from the 4, and Varnado’s two-point attempt was no good. Williams threw for 86 yards.
Also for Varnado, Ardaryl McGowan had a catch for 21 yards and Jacorrius Bickham ran for 36 yards.
The game’s final points came when Shaw threw a touchdown to Mims. Edgar was good for Logansport in the 40-18 contest.
It was the fifth-seeded Tigers’ 27th-consecutive win. Logansport (13-0) will face top-seeded West St. John on the road in the semis. The winner will play either second-seeded Oak Grove or third-seeded Kentwood for the state title.
“They’re a great team,” Varnado coach Scott Shaffett said. “When you go 27-0, it says a lot about a team.”
Shaffett said Logansport is big and fast.
“They’ve got the skill positions. They’re bigger at receiver than you are. They’re bigger at running back, they’re bigger on the line, and they’ve got a great quarterback,” Shaffett said. “You play hard and you give it and it’s so hard. You love these kids and they fight to get this far. You’ve got to give it to them and you’ve got to give it to their kids too, because they played their butts off too and there’s reason they’re 27-0. I just wish it wouldn’t have went (the way it did). I wish it would’ve been 26-1, but you know how it goes.”
Fourth-seeded Varnado finished another solid season with an 8-4 record. This was the second-straight year that Varnado has reached the quarterfinals.
Their senior class was part of a 28-19 record over the last four years. The Wildcats won at least one playoff game each year, reaching the Class 1A quarters this year and last season and the second round the two years before.
Shaffett gave tremendous praise to his senior class.
“They are hard workers. You’ve got to give it to them because on the football field, in the classroom, in the community, I mean, these are first-class guys,” Shaffett said. “They’re first-class, they’re leaders, they get the job done, they work their butts off. You know, I don’t want to see it end for them, but I can tell you what, they’ve got a bright future. Every one of these kids, we’re going to see them down the road because they’re going to be successful in whatever they do. The seniors — that’s a special bunch.”

Varnado’s James Williams looks downfield to throw in Friday’s game. Williams threw for 86 yards and had a rushing touchdown.