• John Macon Gillespie

Coverage Recap: Vardaman 24 | Leake County 12

The offensive prowess of the Vardaman Rams proved to be too much for Leake County on Friday night.

The Rams defeated the Leake County Gators 24-12 to earn their first region win of the season. Patrick Pratt found the end zone on the ground twice for Vardaman, and Trae Owen connected with Tanner Havens for the Rams’ sole passing score. Owen also knocked in a field goal in the first quarter.

The success offensively for both teams came via the ground game. Vardaman found a rhythm towards the end of the first half through runs with their four-headed backfield in Owen, Pratt, Michael Williams and Kody Townsend. Once the Ram offense began moving the ball efficiently on the ground, the passing game opened. Trae Owen found Tanner Havens on multiple occasions, including a long completion that set up a Patrick Pratt touchdown run in the third quarter. Havens has been recovering from an ankle sprain suffered a few weeks ago, and last night marked his first offensive playing time in three weeks. Owen also connected with another teammate that has suffered from injury problems this season: Wesley Casey. Casey has been sidelined with a meniscus tear but is back at full speed after limited action last week.

The Wing-T offensive scheme for Leake County showed its bright spots in intervals throughout the game. Speed from running back Donte Hudson and quarterback Jaden Mann gave the Vardaman defense trouble at times, but the Rams ultimately made enough big hits and forced enough mistakes to squelch Leake County’s momentum. Although the Gators’ offense is not built for the pass, Mann found an open Ladarius Lewis in the end zone for a touchdown in the third quarter. Lewis was left wide open after two Vardaman defensive backs collided on the play. The Gators’ only other score came via a quarterback sneak on 4th and goal by Jaden Mann in the second quarter. Leake County inherited a short field on that early scoring drive after Trae Owen threw an interception.

Region 3-1A will be very interesting to watch as the season rolls on. Vardaman is led by a talented senior class while Leake County is young. Make no mistake, however. The Gators can make a lot of noise this season and in the years to come. Quarterback Jaden Mann is a very impressive athlete, and he has a lot of weapons at his disposal.

Vardaman (3-2, 1-1) will travel to West Lowndes next week while Leake County (3-2, 1-1) will travel to Ethel.

#LeakeCounty #Vardaman #JohnMaconGillespie

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