By John R. Schirmer
HOPE – The Nashville Scrappers put up 61 points in the first half and cruised to a 61-14 mercy rule win over the Hope Bobcats Friday night at Hammons Stadium in the season opener for both schools.
Hope tied the game at 7-7 midway through the first quarter, but the rest of the contest belonged to the Scrappers.
“It was a good one. Overall, our guys had a good attitude. They were excited to play,” Coach Mike Volarvich said. “The players did what they were supposed to do. They were sound assignment-wise.”
The Scrappers “didn’t have a lot of self-inflicted mistakes as far as pre-snap penalties. I’m happy with that. In Week 1, we talked about the team making fewer mistakes winning,” Volarvich said.
“Defensively, we flew around to the football. We played with really good effort, really good enthusiasm. Offensively, we made a couple of big plays at the skill positions. The O-line did the job, did what we asked them to do with the confusion Hope creates on defense.”
The Scrappers had two fumbles for the night, compared to two fumbles and two interceptions by Hope.
That being said, “We have a lot to clean up. Some people missed blocking assignments. Some didn’t cover the right guys. We had the two fumbles. We had some things go wrong, but we still had successful plays. We can fix what we did wrong,” according to Volarvich.
“These are typical early mistakes to clean up. Hope didn’t take advantage of some of our mistakes,” Volarvich said.
Hope quarterback Austin Stubber completed 31 of 54 passes for 304 yards. “We knew he was a good player coming into the game,” Volarvich said. “They had three explosive plays on us. Those are good teaching moments.”
The Scrappers left some points on the field, according to Volarvich. They missed two PATs and fumbled on the goalline. “We left nine or 10 points out there.”
On defense, Hunter White “had a really good game. He made eight tackles, had a pas break-up and half a sack. He played really well,” Volarvich said.
Offensively, Trent Harris carried the ball nine times for 160 yards and three touchdowns. Darius Hopkins had nine carries for 143 yards and two TDs.
Quarterback Tyler Hanson “did a good job. He was 10 of 12 for 204 yards and three touchdowns,” Volarvich said.
Ty Pettway caught five passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns. Dominick Kight had three catches for 86 yards and a touchdown.
Volarvich credited the offensive line for much of the team’s success moving the ball and scoring. “We had 634 yards total offense on 50 plays. That’s 12.7 yards per play. It’s hard to do that without a great job by the O-line.”
The scoring summary includes the following:
First quarter – Darius Hopkins scored the first TD of the season on a one-yard run. Jose Hernandez kicked the PAT for a 7-0 lead. Hope scored on a 40-yard pass. Trent Harris picked up the other Scrapper score on a 23-yard run. The PAT was no good, leaving Nashville on top 13-7.
Second quarter – Harris scored on a three-yard run. Kight scored on a 51-yard pass from Hanson. Harris scored on a 45-yard run. Hopkins scored on a 64-yard run. Hopkins scored on a 10-yard run. Pettway scored on passes of 39 and 33 yards to round out the Scrapper scoring.
The mercy rule was in effect the entire second half.
Dennis Scott and Kailus Hughes had a fumble recovery each for the Scrappers. Garrett Gordon and Kight had an interception each.