By John R. Schirmer
The Nashville Scrappers opened District 7-4 action with a 71-40 victory over Arkadelphia Friday night at Scrapper Stadium.
Quarterback Tyler Hanson passed for 5 touchdowns, and Darius Hopkins ran for 4 as the Scrappers (4-0, 1-0) wrapped up a 3-game home stand with the win.
“It’s good to start conference 1-0,” Coach Mike Volarvich said. “We were able to pick up a big win against a good team. Arkadelphia will win a bunch of games the rest of the season.”
Nashville jumped out to a 27-7 lead in the first quarter before Arkadelphia put up 3 touchdowns in the second. The Scrappers outscored the Badgers 30-13 in the second half to take the win.
“We didn’t play our best football, but obviously we’re happy with the win,” Volarvich said. “We’re giving up too many explosive plays on defense. Arkadelphia had 7 explosive plays, and 3 led to touchdowns. We have to find a way to limit those. Some who gave up explosive plays had good games except for 1 or 2 plays.”
On defense, “A guy can play really well all game but 1 or 2 plays, and that’s what people remember,” Volarvich said.
Dominick Kight opened the scoring by catching a 16-yard pass from Hanson. Jose Hernandez made the PAT, and Nashville led 7-0.
Hopkins put the Scrappers up 14-0 on a 48-yard scoring run.
Javonte Brown of Arkadelphia responded by catching a 43-yard pass from Alec Lewis. Nathan Warner made the PAT to narrow the gap to 14-7.
Trent Harris ran the ball 42 yards for a Scrapper score, and Ty Pettway caught a 61-yard TD pass from Hanson to close out the opening quarter with a 27-7 Scrapper lead.
Arkadelphia put up 2 scores early in the second quarter on a 50-yard run by Zion Hatley and a 1-yard run by Cannon Turner.
Hopkins ran 18 yards for a Scrapper TD, followed by a 33-yard pass from Hanson to Harris for another score.
Hatley scored for the Badgers on a 1-yard run to end the first half, but the Scrappers led 41-27.
Hernandez kicked his first field goal of the season in the third quarter, a 38-yarder to put Nashville on top 44-27.
The Scrappers added a 24-yard touchdown pass to Kight and a 12-yard run by Hopkins to take a 58-27 lead.
Turner scored on a 1-yard run late in the third quarter and caught a 48-yard pass from Logan Lucas in the fourth to round out the Badgers’ scoring.
Hopkins and Pettway put up the final touchdowns of the night on a 54-yard run and a 39-yard pass reception, respectively.
Hanson completed 11 of 21 passes for 211 yards, 5 touchdowns and an interception.
Hopkins was the leading rusher with 18 carries for 301 yards and 4 TDs. Harris had 15 carries for 131 yards and a touchdown.
TK Hopkins had 4 carries for 8 yards, and Pettway ran the ball once for 4 yards.
Pettway was the leading receiver with 2 catches for 99 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Kight had 5 catches for 65 yards and 2 TDs. Hunter White had 1 reception for 23 yards and a TD.
Harris made 2 catches for 21 yards, and Hopkins had 1 catch for 3 yards.
“We scored 71 points. Obviously that’s good,” Volarvich said, “but we had a fumble, and a couple of deep passes should have connected. We had a couple of busted assignments. Some guys didn’t do things the way they’re coached to do. Give Arkadelphia credit. Our guys need to do what they’re coached to do.”
For the night, the Scrappers had 65 plays to 79 for Arkadelphia.
Nashville rolled up 657 yards total offense, including 211 passing and 446 rushing.
The Scrappers had 13 first downs to 15 for the Badgers.
Nashville converted on 6 of 12 third downs and 2 of 4 fourth downs, while the Badgers were successful on 3 of 15 third down opportunities and 1 of 5 fourth downs.
The Scrappers were penalized 8 times for 78 yards. Arkadelphia had 17 penalties for 148 yards.
On defense, White recorded 14 tackles, 1 assist, a sack and 4 tackles for losses. He also blocked 2 PATs by Arkadelphia.
Garrett Gordon had 8 tackles and 3 assists.
Michael Bevill made 7 tackles and 3 assists. Austin Gibbs had 7 tackles and 2 assists.
“I like the way we’re flying around to the ball. We play aggressive defense,” Volarvich said.
With a 4-0 record, the Scrappers are “where I wanted us to be. We set our goals high. We’re on course.”
Volarvich said the Scrappers are “fairly healthy” after the win over Arkadelphia. “We had a couple of guys cramping up. I knew that would happen after the rain. It was really humid and hot early. We didn’t have any serious injuries and want to keep it that way.”