By John R. Schirmer
LITTLE ROCK – The game was still close at halftime, but undefeated Joe T. Robinson started pulling away from the Scrappers in the third quarter and went on to a 34-10 victory over Nashville Oct. 6 at Little Rock.
The Scrappers (3-3, 1-2) trailed 14-10 at halftime before Robinson began to wear them down.
“It was a tough loss against a good team,” Coach Mike Volarvich said.
“Our defense played well at times. We really stressed our defensive play on third down,” Volarvich said. “We held [Robinson] to 2 of 10 on third downs. That was our best third down performance of the year.”
The Scrappers “knew we had to stop the run. We did at times, but we wore down the last quarter and a half,” Volarvich said.
Offensively, “It was a bad performance. They won the battle in the trenches. It’s hard to be successful then. Give their players credit. They did their job. They have some good defensive players,” Volarvich said of the Senators.
Robinson led 14-0 early in the second quarter before the Scrappers scored their only touchdown of the night came on an 8-yard run by Carmillias Morrison with 5:51 left before halftime. Jhonny Pioquinto kicked the PAT to close the gap to 14-7 Senators.
Nashville’s final points of the game came on a 39-yard field goal by Pioquinto with 6:58 left in the third quarter.
The Scrappers “will continue to improve. This should be a good learning experience for a lot of our guys.”
On defense, “For the first 2 1/2 quarters, I’m proud of the way our defensive line played.”
Individually, “J.R. Middleton probably played his best game of the season at Little Rock,” Volarvich said.
Robinson put up 306 yards total offense, including 277 on the ground. The Senators threw only 5 passes.
The Scrappers ran the ball 22 times for 53 yards. Quarterback Tyler Hanson completed 22 of 40 passes for 184 yards, giving Nashville 237 yards total offense.
“In the second half, I thought about trying to run a little more, but in the first half, we had 13 rushes for 11 yards,” Volarvich said. “We’d try to establish the running game, then look up and it’s third and 11. We abandoned the run. The wind was a factor going one direction.”
Overall, “It was a bad game. We’ll try to find a way to be successful on offense and move forward,” Volarvich said.
• • • • • • • • • •
By John R. Schirmer
For the third time in four weeks, the Nashville Scrappers will face an undefeated opponent when Ashdown comes to Scrapper Stadium Friday, Oct. 13, for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
“Statistically, they’re the best defense we’ve seen all year,” Coach Mike Volarvich said of the Panthers, who have given up only 8 points per game. Ashdown (6-0, 3-0) defeated Malvern 42-7 last week.
The Panthers are “very athletic. They have some guys who’ll be D-1 players,” Volarvich said.
Ashdown is “one of the more athletic teams in the state. They’re yet to have a close game,” Volarvich said.
“Anytime you get in a situation with the athletes they have, they’re going to be good on offense,” Volarvich said. The Panthers have D-1 prospects at running back and receiver, among other spots. “They have several very talented guys at the skill positions.”
With an injury to senior quarterback xxxx, sophomore Brett Bond will start at QB against the Scrappers. Last week against Malvern, Bond completed 12 of 17 passes for 135 yards 1 TD and no interceptions.
The Panthers are averaging 44 points per game.
“We haven’t had the chance to see the new quarterback. This changes things some. [Bond] is surrounded by good athletes,” Volarvich said.
Nashville leads the series with Ashdown 51-17 and has won 9 of the last 10 games. The Scrappers defeated the Panthers 56-51 in a come-from-behind battle last year in Ashdown.
“This should be an exciting night. It’s good to be back home,” Volarvich said.
The Scrapper Booster Club will sponsor a tailgate party before the game on the old practice field south of the high school building
At 6:40 p.m., the Scrapper baseball team will receive state championship rings. Nashville defeated Shiloh Christian in May to earn the Class 4A state title.