Varriano lifts Norman Co. East to win
ERSKINE, Minn. - Nine games into the football season, Norman County East is still finding new ways to use Dave Varriano. The versatile senior, lining up as the deep back in the I-formation, scored the winning touchdown Tuesday as Norman County Ea...
ERSKINE, Minn. - Nine games into the football season, Norman County East is still finding new ways to use Dave Varriano.
The versatile senior, lining up as the deep back in the I-formation, scored the winning touchdown Tuesday as Norman County East rallied to beat Win-E-Mac 26-19 in the quarterfinals of the Minnesota 9-man, Section 6 high school football playoffs.
Varriano followed two blocking backs and the line in for an easy score with 1 minute, 5 seconds remaining to cap a 17-play, 74-yard drive.
Alex Sather ran in the 2-point conversion for the 26-19 advantage.
"That's the first time we've done that all year," NCE coach Steve Radniecki said of using Varriano as the deep back in the I. "We felt that if we had the two backs blocking in front of him, he'd get into the end zone.
"Most of the time, we like him out in space where he can use his athleticism and make moves. He's our best athlete. We made the decision at halftime that we had to get the ball in his hands. And he made some outstanding plays."
The teams were tied 12-12 at halftime. Varriano gave the Eagles an 18-12 lead when he hauled in a Sather pass on the left sideline in the end zone with 2:29 left in the third quarter, leaping in a crowd of defenders for the 20-yard scoring pass.
The Patriots took the lead back with 7:01 remaining when Joseph Lee scored on a 10-yard pass from Travis Plante and Matt Burke kicked the go-ahead extra point. But NCE answered with its scoring drive.
Win-E-Mac, the No. 3 seed, finished its season at 3-6. Norman County East, also 3-6, is at Ada-Borup in a section semifinal game Saturday.
Win-E-Mac 6 6 0 7-19
NCE 6 6 6 8-27
WEM-Burns 4 run (kick failed)
NCE-Variano 1 run (pass failed)
WEM-Burns 7 run (pass failed)
NCE-Holland 1 run (pass failed)
NCE-Variano 21 pass from Sather (pass failed)
WEM-Lee 10 pass from Plaate (Burke kick)
NCE-Variano 2 run (Sather run)
The Grand Forks Herald and The Forum are both owned by Forum Communications Co.
Varriano lifts Norman Co. East to win By Greg DeVillers 20071024