Scrappers advance to Championship game

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    Luke Reeder
    Sports Reporter

    NASHVILLE – For the first
    time in eight long years the
    Nashville Scrapper Football
    team played for a chance to
    get in the state championship
    game. Friday night the
    Scrappers suited up against
    the Pea Ridge Blackhawks at
    Scrapper Stadium in front of
    a packed stadium of cheering
    fans. For the Nashville
    side the game started and
    ended in a favorable fashion
    as the Scrappers are now on
    their way to play for a state
    title this Saturday after the
    42-20 win over Pea Ridge.
    The first play of the game
    after the opening kickoff
    showed the dominant nature
    Nashville displayed through
    the first half. On the first
    play, quarterback Leonard
    Snell handed the ball to running
    back Darius Hopkins
    who then found a hole in
    the defense and exploited
    it for a 71 yard touchdown
    run. Nashville jumped to a
    7-0 lead over Pea Ridge after
    just 15 seconds had expired
    in the first quarter. Nashville
    did not slow down any in
    the first quarter. With just
    over five minutes to play
    in the quarter after quick
    drive downfield, running
    back Trent Harris was able
    to run for a touchdown from
    five yards out to build the
    Nashville lead to two touchdowns.
    Harris scored again
    with 2:40 seconds to play in
    the first quarter, this time on
    a three yard run. Nashville
    after the second Harris score
    was up 21-0 going into the
    second quarter.
    It took the Scrapper offense
    longer to get going
    in the second quarter, but
    with 6:41 to play in the half
    Hopkins got the Scrapper
    scoring going again with
    a 22 yard run. This gave
    Nashville a commanding
    28-0 lead over Pea Ridge.
    Snell was the next to score
    as he connected with wide
    receiver Hunter White on
    a 20 yard touchdown pass
    adding to the Nashville lead
    and making it 35-0 with 4:20
    left in the first half. The
    Blackhawks were able to get
    a drive going down the field
    late into the second quarter
    and with just 1:23 before
    halftime Pea Ridge were able
    to get their first points of the
    game on a three yard run.
    The Blackhawks attempted
    a two point conversion but
    the Scrapper defense shut
    down the attempt and going
    into the half Nashville
    had a 35-6 lead. The third
    quarter was a quiet one on
    the offensive side of the
    ball. The only score of the
    quarter came from a seven
    yard touchdown run by Snell
    for Nashville with 4:40 left
    to play in the quarter. The
    score marked the start of the
    mercy rule for Nashville as
    they led 42-6. With the mercy
    rule now running the clock
    continuously, the starting
    team for the Scrappers was
    subbed out going into the
    fourth quarter.
    In the final quarter of
    the game the Blackhawks
    attempted to mount a comeback
    as they started the
    fourth quarter off with a
    two yard touchdown run
    that ended with another
    failed two point conversion.
    Though the quarter started
    off quick for Pea Ridge, they
    were unable to score again
    until just 1:19 remained in
    the game. A 24 yard touchdown
    pass capped off with
    a successful two point conversion
    was able to cut the
    Scrapper lead to 42-20, but
    by this time it was too late for
    Pea Ridge to have a chance
    of closing the gap anymore.
    The Nashville offense
    and defense were lights out
    throughout the game. Snell
    was 12/21 for 150 yards, with
    one touchdown and one
    interception in the passing
    game. He was also the second
    leading rusher for Nashville
    with 85 yards on nine
    runs and one touchdown.
    Hopkins led the team in
    rushing with 11 runs for 174
    yards and two touchdowns
    with one being a 71 yard
    run. Andrew Hawthorne led
    in receiving yards with 44 on
    three catches and White was
    the lone receiver to catch a
    touchdown pass.
    For first year head Coach
    Mike Volarvich this season
    has been one to remember.
    Not only was he able to
    come from a college team
    to a high school team and
    be successful, he was able to
    have an undefeated regular
    season and now will look
    to make his mark in the
    state title game. Going into
    the semifinal game, Volarvich
    believed in his team
    and what they had done all
    season, “I thought we had
    a good chance as long as
    we executed and did the
    things we did all season. Last
    week (Warren) we did some
    things and shot ourselves
    in the foot at times so I just
    wanted to come in and play
    a clean game.” Volarvich
    also understands the impact
    this season has had on the
    community of Nashville especially
    now that the team
    is going back to the state
    title game, “I think it is big,
    I know they have missed
    being there since 2007. It is
    great for these kids because
    they grew up watching those
    state championship teams
    and for them to be able to
    get there and for the community
    to go back is a great
    opportunity.”
    With the win the Scrappers
    move on to play the
    Prairie Grove Tigers at War
    Memorial in Little Rock on
    Saturday at 6:30 p.m. for a
    shot at the 4A state title. The
    two teams have met before
    in the playoffs in the past
    two seasons with Nashville
    winning last season and
    Prairie Grove winning the
    season before that. Nashville
    is seeking its fourth state title
    in 10 years.