By John R. Schirmer
Trent Harris ran the ball 11 times for 177 yards, and Tyler Hanson passed for 145 yards as the Nashville Scrappers defeated Mena 45-7 on Homecoming night Oct. 20.
“I’m proud of the way our guys responded after a big, emotional game with Ashdown,” Coach Mike Volarvich said.
“You always worry about a letdown. We had a good week of practice. We challenged the team to enjoy Homecoming but to focus on practice and take care of the business at hand. I’m glad that transferred to the game,” Volarvich said.
The Scrappers (5-3, 3-2) “wanted to start fast, and we knew if they [Bearcats] could hang around early, they could make it a tough game.”
All of Nashville’s touchdowns came in the first half. The Scrappers added a field goal in the third quarter.
Harris suffered a sprained ankle late in the first half on a tackle near the goalline. “He was better Sunday when he came in for treatment,” Volarvich said. “I asked him how it felt, and he said ‘a lot better.’”
Volarvich said he is “proud of the way our defense played. We held Mena to 113 yards total offense. We played pretty dominant football on that side of the ball,” Volarvich said. “Isaac Johnson and J.R. Middleton were really solid at linebacker. Our secondary was pretty solid. Kailus Hughes made 2 interceptions. Our defensive line played a lot of guys. We started rotating in and out in the first quarter,” Volarvich said.
On offense, the Scrappers rolled up 435 yards in the first half, including 290 yards rushing and 145 passing. Nashville had 523 yards total for the game.
The second half saw the mercy rule in effect, limiting the number of possessions for the Scrapper offense as the clock ran down quickly.
“We got everybody in the game,” Volarvich said of a contest which was over shortly after 9 p.m.
Hanson completed 10 of 15 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown in the first half. Jake Moorer was 3 for 3 for 36 yards in the second half.
Harris was the leading rusher for Nashville with 177 yards and 2 touchdowns. Carmillias Morrison had 11 carries for 73 yards and 2 TDs. Hanson ran the ball 5 times for 40 yards and a touchdown. J.J. King had 6 carries for 36 yards. Moorer rushed twice for 16 yards.
Ty Pettway was the leading receiver with 2 catches for 66 yards and a touchdown. Jhalon Finley had 3 receptions for 45 yards.
Ty Basilier caught the ball once for 28 yards. Dominick Kight made 3 receptions for 24 yards. Levester Gillard had 2 catches for 10 yards. Casen Drummond recorded 2 receptions for 8 yards.
The Scrappers lost 1 turnover on a fumbled exchange. The Bearcats lost the ball twice. Volarvich said lack of turnovers was a key to the Scrappers’ victory.
Nashville converted on 7 of 10 third downs and 1 of 1 fourth down attempts. The Scrappers held Mena to 3 of 11 conversions on third down and none on fourth.
“Both conversion rates are good,” Volarvich said.
The victory left Nashville in a tie for third place in District 7-4A with 2 regular-season games left.
Morrison opened the Scrapper scoring with a 5-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Jhonny Pioquinto was 6 of 6 on PATS.
Hanson scored on a 12 yard run, and Harris wrapped up the first quarter with a 36-yard TD run.
Morrison scored on a 7-yard run in the second quarter. Hanson threw a 50-yard TD pass to Pettway, and Harris scored on a 1-yard run.
Pioquinto kicked a 30-yard field goal in the third quarter.
Mena’s only score came in the fourth quarter on a 5-yard run.
Jordan White was the leading tackler for Nashville with 5 solo and 2 assists.
Lance Easter recorded 4 solo tackles, 1 assist and a tackle for a loss.
Johnson had 3 tackles and 4 assists. Jamarte GIlliam had 3 tackles and a TFL.
Other tackles for Scrapper defenders included Devon Reisinger 3 total, Middleton 7 total along with a sack and a TFL, Darren May 2 tackles and 2 TFLs, Davion Holmes 3 total, Aaron Lott 2 tackles and a TFL, Detrick Young 3 total, Gillard, King, Caleb Clayton and Cole Little 1 tackle each, Shun Childress 1 tackle and a TFL, Colton Patterson 1 assist and Armani Hatchet 2 assists.
Moorer punted once for 22 yards.
The Scrappers put of 16 first downs to 6 for Mena.
Nashville was penalized 6 times for 65 yards. Mena had 6 penalties for 50 yards.
• • • • • • • • • •
By John R. Schirmer
Coming off a Homecoming victory over Mena, the Nashville Scrappers will travel to Malvern Friday, Oct. 27, for a District 7-4A game against the Leopards. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
The Scrappers (5-3, 3-2) enter the game after a 45-7 victory over Mena. Malvern (3-5, 2-3) defeated Fountain Lake 42-23 last Friday. “They pretty much dominated it,” Coach Mike Volarvich said of the game.
Weather conditions could play a role in the Scrappers’ matchup with Malvern.
“We’re looking for temperatures to drop into the 30s Friday night, and there’s a chance of rain,” Volarvich said. “We’ll see how our kids react to it. They haven’t seen cold, wet weather yet.”
The Leopards rely on quarterback Demias Jimerson for much of their offense.
“He’s maybe the most dynamic player in the conference,” Volarvich said. “He’s a very talented player with a strong arm. He throws the ball well, and he has a very dangerous run game. Their offense goes through him. Stop him, and you stop their offense.”
For the season, Jimerson has completed 75 of 113 passes for 764 yards, 4 TDs and an interception.
He’s run the ball 81 times for 910 yards and 13 touchdowns.
The Leopards have 305 yards total offense per game. Nashville has given up 320 yards per game.
Malvern’s defense “applies a lot of pressure. They’re a heavy blitzing team, and they pay a lot of man-to-man. We’ll have to be assignment-sound and understand what to do to handle the blitzing.”
The Leopards have held their opponents to an average of 398 yards total offense per game. Nashville has averaged 479 yards total offense and 41.5 points per game.
Nashville leads the series with Malvern 17-6, including a 54-21 victory last year.