By John R. Schirmer
Quarterback Tyler Hanson completed 15 of 26 passes for 280 yards and 4 touchdowns Friday night as the Nashville Scrappers mercy ruled Fountain Lake 65-28 at Scrapper Stadium.
All 4 of Hanson’s TD passes went to Dominick Kight, who had 8 catches for 183 yards.
“Kight had another amazing game,” Coach Mike Volarvich said of the senior’s performance.
Along with his stellar showing on offense, Kight made 2 interceptions against the Cobras. “He had a really good night,” Volarvich said.
Hanson’s offensive production wasn’t only through the air. He also ran the ball 8 times for 127 yards, the longest a 60-yard trek down the field.
“That’s something he’s not given us in the past,” Volarvich said. “We haven’t run him a lot. I’m glad to see that dimension the other night.”
While the Scrappers (3-2, 1-1) had numerous bright spots on offense and defense, they also showed areas for improvement. The Scrappers were assessed 15 penalties for 139 yards, while Fountain Lake was flagged 8 times for 57 yards.
Nashville lost 1 fumble and threw 2 interceptions, while Fountain Lake lost 3 interceptions.
“I think that Fountain Lake was kind of a good showing of where the team’s been most of the year,” Volarvich said. “At times, we played very well; at times, not so good.”
The Scrappers “are getting better every week. We were able to be a little more consistent. We need to keep building on that and play 4 quarters of good football,” Volarvich said.
Nashville “did some good things defensively. We generated some turnovers,” according to Volarvich. “We hit Fountain Lake for 8 negative-yardage plays. We also gave up a couple of big plays. We’ll work this week to eliminate those.”
Offensively, “We generated some really big plays at times. Other times, we sputtered a little bit or got bailed out by a flag on Fountain Lake. We look to keep improving every week and play a little bit more consistently,” Volarvich said.
“We work on controlling the things we can control – alignment, assignment, doing what we’re coached to do. If you look at our bad plays, they were people not doing their assignments. The few times we’re getting whipped by the guy across form us, it’s usually when somebody leaves his assignment, or a defensive player in the wrong gap, or somebody tries to do too much.”
Repetitions will help, Volarvich said. “Work it over and over.”
Volarvich said he was “happy about third downs” during the game, as the Scrappers converted on 5 of 9 third downs for 56 percent. Fourth downs were even better at 3 of 3 for 100 percent. For the night, Nashville was 8 of 12 on third and fourth downs for 67 percent. “We’re right at where we want to be,” Volarvich said.
“In the games we’ve lost, we were terrible on third downs offensively and defensively. The games we won, we were good on third downs.”
The Scrapper defense held Fountain Lake to 5 of 12 third down conversions for 42 percent. The Cobras made only 1 of 4 fourth down attempts. “They were 6 of 16 on third and fourth downs. We want to be at about 33 percent on defense. This was the closest we’ve been all year. Looking at it from an analytical standpoint, when we’re good on third and fourth downs, we’re winning,” Volarvich said.
Trent Harris opened the scoring for the Scrappers on a 51-yard TD run in the first quarter. Jhonny Pioquinto kicked the first of 8 PATs for the night.
Kight scored next on a 23-yard pass from Hanson, putting the Scrappers on top 14-0.
Carmillias Morrison added another first quarter TD to give Nashville a 21-0 lead.
Fountain Lake tried to mount a comeback, scoring twice in the closing minutes of the first quarter to narrow the gap to 21-14.
Harris added 2 touchdowns in the second quarter on runs of 14 yards and 4 yards. Kight caught a 9-yard pass from Hanson for the last TD of the half. Fountain Lake scored once in the quarter, and Nashville led 42-21 at halftime.
The Scrappers picked up where they left off to start the third quarter, scoring on a 73-yard pass from Hanson to Kight. Later in the quarter, Pioquinto kicked a 20-yard field goal to put Nashville ahead 52-21.
Later in the third, a bizarre set of circumstances led to Harris’s ejection. A Cobra defender stopped Harris on a run, then drove him backward after the whistle before throwing him to the ground.
At that point, the officials threw a flag on Fountain Lake.
Harris then was flagged as he got up from the ground, his second unsportsmanlike conduct call of the night. He was subsequently ejected.
However, the officials did not enforce any penalty on Fountain Lake after initially throwing a flag on the Cobras. Volarvich attempted to question them about the call but had to ask for a time out before they would listen to his questions.
Fans were interjecting their opinions that the situation called for offsetting penalties, which would have reinstated Harris.
After a lengthy discussion, nothing was done about the flag on Fountain Lake, and Harris was out for the remainder of the game.
Volarvich was awaiting word earlier this week from the Arkansas Activities Association about Harris’ status for Friday’s game at Joe T. Robinson.
When play resumed, Nashville held a 52-21 lead to end the third quarter.
Fountain Lake’s final TD came in the fourth quarter on a 33-yard pass.
Nashville responded with an 18-yard pass from Hanson to Kight. Ty Basiliere scored the final TD of the night on an 18-yard pass from Jake Moorer, who completed 2 of 2 passes for 27 yards and the touchdown.
Hanson was the Scrappers’ leading rusher with 127 yards.
Harris had 12 carries for 105 yards and 3 TDs.
Morrison ran the ball 13 times for 29 yards and a score. Jhalon Finley rushed twice for 25 yards. Ty Pettway had 1 carry for 2 yards.
Kight’s 8 receptions for 183 yards and 4 TDs led all Scrapper receivers. Harris had 2 catches for 42 yards.
Pettway caught the ball twice for 34 yards. Basiliere had 1 catch for 18 yards and a touchdown. Garrett Lance had 2 catches for 13 yards, and Levester Gillard had 1 reception for 8 yards.
Isaac Johnson had 9 total tackles, including 6 solo and 3 assists, along with a tackle for a loss.
Jordan White had 7 total, with 1 TFL. J.R. Middleton recorded 8 total tackles.
Other tacklers and their totals include Kailus Hughes 4 with 1 TFL, Darren May 5 with a TFL, Kight 3, Gillard 4, Dalton Potter 3, Jamarte Gilliam 2, Shun Childress 2, Pettway 2 with a TFL, Lance Easter 3 and a TFL, J.J. King 2 and a TFL, Aaron Lott 2, Harris 1, Nathan Romero 1, Armani Hatchett 1, James Hardin 1, C.J. Adams 3, Jesse Davis 1, Trey Maroon 1, Walter Phillips 2.
Kight recorded 2 interceptions, with 1 for Gilliam.
Pioquinto kicked 1 field goal and 8 PATs.
Nashville put up 595 yards total offense, including 307 passing and 288 rushing.
• • • • • • • • • •
By John R. Schirmer
The Nashville Scrappers will make their longest trip of the regular season Friday night as they travel to Little Rock to take on Joe T. Robinson.
Kickoff in Pulaski County is set for 7 p.m.
The Senators (5-0, 2-0) “are a very talented team. They have good size and good speed,” Coach Mike Volarvich said.
Robinson is averaging 45 points per game on offense while holding opponents to 10 points per game.
The Senators scored late to take a 21-17 win over previously unbeaten Arkadelphia last week. “That was a big win for them,” Volarvich said. “They won on a halfback pass at the end.”
Robinson had 5 turnovers “and still won. We have our work cut out for us.”
The Senators “rely heavily on the run game. Arkadelphia has a good run defense, and Robinson had 1 kid with 225 rushing yards on Arkadelphia,” Volarvich said.
Robinson has “a big, physical line and big running backs. They’re hit or miss with the passing game,” Volarvich said.
The Scrapper defense “will have a big job Friday night. We have to stop the run. Robinson is different than last year,” Volarvich said. “Last year, Robinson was a pass-first offense.”
Defensively, the Senators are “big and fast. They have several who are getting SEC looks. Some have taken visits to SEC schools,” including a couple of defensive linemen, defensive backs and linebackers. They can cause a lot of trouble. They’re doing some good stuff,” according to Volarvich.
The Scrappers “have to take care of the football. We have to put drives together. We want to get on the bus and go up there and play a good game,” Volarvich said.