By John R. Schirmer
The Nashville Scrappers will wrap up the regular season with Senior Night Friday at Scrapper Stadium. Kickoff against Bauxite is set for 7 p.m.
“Senior night is a nice tribute to these seniors,” Coach Mike Volarvich said. The Scrapper seniors won district last year and this year.
Senior night recognition includes football players, band and cheerleaders.
The Scrappers are going for an undefeated regular season. “There aren’t many teams that finish 10-0. It would be a great accomplishment,” Volarvich said. “The seniors have been playing for this since they were little kids.”
Bauxite is 1-8 on the season, with their only victory coming against Waldron two weeks ago. The Miners lost to Arkadelphia 50-0 last week.
“It’s been a tough season for them. They’re low on numbers, about 25 kids,” Volarvich said. “It’s been rough for them. We want to go in looking to improve on our game and gain some momentum for the post-season.”
Volarvich said the Scrappers need to “play crisp, play our game and do a good job this week.”
Nashville will enter the state Class 4A playoffs Nov. 13 as the number one seed from District 7-4A. The opening game will be played at Scrapper Stadium.
District 7-4 champs
The Nashville Scrappers won the District 7-4A championship outright Friday night with a 56-14 mercy rule win over Malvern.
With the win, the Scrappers (9-0, 6-0) will take the top seed from 7-4A into the state Class 4A playoffs starting Nov. 13.
“The guys played really well,” Coach Mike Volarvich said. “They did the things we’ve talked about. They put four good quarters together.”
Malvern led briefly in the first quarter when Derek Womack scored on an 18-yard pass from Trace Collie. The PAT was no good, leaving the Leopards on top 6-0 early in the game.
The Scrappers struck quickly on the next series when quarterback Leonard Snell scored on a 38-yard run. Sergio Pacheco’s PAT put Nashville on top to stay 7-0.
Hopkins scored on a 23-yard run on the next possession. Pacheco’s kick was good, and Nashville led 14-6 in the first quarter.
The Scrappers put up 4 touchdowns in the second quarter. Snell threw a 34-yard TD pass to Trey Hughes for the first. Other TDs came on a 20-yard run by Snell, a 24-yard run by Andrew Hawthorne and a 41-yard pass from Snell to Hughes. Pacheco converted on 3 of 4 PATs.
The Leopards scored their final touchdown of the night on a 59-yard pass from Collie to Dalton Bray. The 2-point conversion was good.
Leading 41-14 to start the second half, the Scrappers put the mercy rule into effect on a 35-yard scoring run by Trent Harris. The 2-point conversion was good, putting the Scrappers on top 49-14.
Nashville’s final score of the night came on a 63-yard run by De’Ajeon Armstrong. Pacheco kicked the PAT.
Snell completed 4 of 7 passes for 92 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also ran the ball 10 times for 91 yards and 2 TDs.
Hughes was the leading receiver with 2 catches for 75 yards and 2 TDs. “He’s had 4 catches for 4 touchdowns the last 2 games,” Volarvich said.
Hawthorne had 1 reception for 10 yards. Hunter White recorded 1 catch for 7 yards.
“We ran the ball well,” Volarvich said. Five different players had rushing touchdowns, including 2 from Snell, and one each from Hopkins, Harris, Hawthorne and Armstrong. Hopkins was the leading rusher with 13 carries for 108 yards and a touchdown.
Harris carried the ball 11 times for 91 yards and a TD. Armstrong had 4 carries for 85 yards and a touchdown. Hawthorne ran the ball twice for 37 yards and a score. Gabe Moorer had 1 carry for 5 yards.
For the game, the Scrappers put up 509 yards total offense, including 92 passing and 417 rushing.
The Scrappers “did a good job up front. Our offensive line handled the pressure and blocked how we had worked it,” Volarvich said.
The defense “played well. Most of Malvern’s passing yards came on 3 plays,” Volarvich said.
A defensive play by Terell Grundy helped turn the game around, according to Volarvich. “They threw the ball. Some of our guys missed the receiver who made a long run, then Grundy stripped the ball away. That was a big defensive play.”
Scrapper defenders “were flying around the ball. Everyone was doing his job. Each guy has his specific job to do,” Volarvich said.
Malvern had 255 yards total offense, including 189 passing and 66 rushing.
Nashville put up 11 first downs to 6 for Malvern.
The game’s only turnover was a Malvern fumble recovered by Austin Gibbs of Nashville.
Defensively, Billy Stewart was the Scrappers’ leading tackler with 4 solo tackles, 2 assists and 3 sacks. Michael Bevill had 5 solo tackles and 2 assists. Ashton Nelson had 4 tackles, 1 assists and a tackle for a loss. Shundell Scott had 3 tackles, 2 assists. Grundy had 3 tackles and an assists. Garrett Gordon and Troy Thomas each recorded 3 tackles and 2 assists.
Hopkins had 2 tackles for the Scrappers. Jarvis Holmes had 2 tackles, 2 assists and 1 sack.
Armstrong had a tackle and an assist. Curtis Myers had 1 tackle. Gibbs had 1 tackle, 4 assists. Winland Ogden, Spencer, McFalls and Hile had 1 tackle each. Snell had 2 assists, with 1 assist each from Hawthorne, Hanson, Adcock and Green.
“I was glad to see our guys come out and play. We had good tempo, good speed,” Volarvich said.