By Dixon Land
The Scrappers traveled to Hope for the 2015 Hope 7-on-7 Football Tournament on Friday, where they lost in the quarterfinals to Camden-Fairview.
Nashville started off slow, suffering loses to Hope and Ashdown in pool play before lunch.
“We like to come in and run stuff that we are going to cover during the year and work on things that we are going to be good at and successful at. Sometimes that doesn’t always match up well in 7on7,” said Head Coach Mike Volarvich.
Ashdown began the game with a 7-0 lead on a sustained drive, capped off by a swing pass where the receiver glided in. The Scrappers responded when Leonard Snell found Andrew Hawthorne on a slant for a four-yard touchdown after a drive of their own.
On the very next play, Ashdown responded with a 40-yard bomb, giving the Panthers a 14-7 lead with just over 14 minutes to play.
The Scrappers went three and out on the next drive and the Panthers scored on a sustained drive resulting in a six-yard pass into the end zone for another score.
Garrett Lance made the score 21-14 when he caught a 40-yard pass from Leonard Snell for the Scrappers. Shondell Scott intercepted an Ashdown throw on second down during the next drive, and the Scrappers trailed 21-16.
“Defensively, we lost seven of the last nine tacklers from last year’s team and offensively, you loose LaMichael Pettway and I think Grundy had one and Trey Hughes maybe had five or six,” Volarvich said. “We have a bunch of guys that haven’t played a lot and we are looking for those guys that can get in there and step up.”
Ashdown responded with a touchdown of their own, then intercepted a Snell pass across the middle, giving them a 30-16 lead with just over five minutes to play.
Ashdown scored once more late, giving them a 37-16 final.
The Scrappers finished 0-2 in pool play on the morning.
As tournament play began, the Scrappers battled Murfreesboro in Round 1.
Snell hit Andrew Hawthorne in the back right corner of the end zone for a score on the first drive. Murfreesboro went three-and-out on their first drive and Nashville scored on the next play when Snell hit Trey Hughes down the right sideline for a 40-yard touchdown giving the Scrappers a 14-0 lead.
“We had a couple of guys step up and make plays and I thought our guys played well and ran their routes crisper offensively than we did this morning,” Volarvich said.
Murfreesboro responded, with a 36-yard touchdown on second down.
On third down of the next drive for the Scrappers, Snell found Dennis Scott who made a diving catch to extend the drive. Just three plays later, Snell hit Hughes in the end zone for a 21-7 Scrapper lead.
After a Rattler turnover on downs, Snell found Scott in the end zone for another touchdown and a 28-7 lead.
The final score for Nashville came when Lee Scroggins caught a pass out of the backfield and strolled into the end zone from ten yards out.
“We put a couple of drives together that were how you want drives to look. And that certainly was the positive of the day,” Volarvich said.
The Rattlers scored with just seconds left, making the Round 1 final score 35-14.
Nashville advanced to play Camden Fairview in the quarterfinals of the tournament. The Cardinals won that game 34-0. Nashville had three interceptions in that game, failing to achieve one first down all game.
“Camden is tough. They are very athletic. Some of the things that they do in 7on7 is tough for other teams,” Volarvich said. “They play Cover 2 man every snap which is a defense that you don’t normally run in 11on11 football and we were going into this thing with five or six offensive pass plays. We didn’t have a lot of stuff that would be very successful against a coverage like that.”
The Scrappers finished the day with a quarterfinals finish, but a record of just 1-3. They will not participate in any more team camps or 7on7 tournaments this summer. They play Hope High School in the football opener on Sept. 4 at Scrapper Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.