By John R. Schirmer
Nashville wrapped up the regular season Friday, Nov. 3, with a 53-22 victory over Bauxite at Scrapper Stadium.
The Scrappers (7-3 overall, 5-2 District 7-4A) will enter the state Class 4A playoffs as the 3 seed from District 7-4A behind conference champion Joe T. Robinson and runner-up Arkadelphia. Nashville will host Monticello from District 8-4A Friday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m.
“It’s good any time you can get a win,” Coach Mike Volarvich said. “We played pretty well through the entire game, but we picked it up in the second half.”
Bauxite picked up 175 yards total offense in the first half, but the Scrapper defense held the Miners to 95 total yards in the second.
“We had seen that Bauxite played good first halves must of the year. When you run the style offense they do, it takes defenses a while to catch up,” Volarvich said.
The Scrappers struck first against Bauxite when Jamarte Gilliam returned the opening kickoff 54 yards for a touchdown. Jhonny Pioquinto’s PAT was no good. The kickoff return “was a big-time momentum shift. It put us in a good position” to start the game, Volarvich said.
Dominick Kight added another Scrapper TD later in the first quarter on a 34-yard pass from Tyler Hanson. Pioquinto made the first of 5 PATs.
Kight scored again in the second quarter, this time on a 55-yard pass from Hanson. With the PAT, Nashville led 20-0.
Bauxite responded with 2 touchdowns on runs of 28 and 55 yards. The Miners made the 2-point conversion on the second TD and closed the gap to 20-15.
Trent Harris made the contest a 2-possession game again on a 2-yard run.
Bauxite put up a touchdown on the final play of the first half and trailed 27-22.
The third quarter was all Nashville as the Scrappers outscored Bauxite 26-0.
Harris scored on a 64-yard run Kight caught a 61-yard TD strike from Hanson. Harris scored on a 3-yard run, and Carmillias Morrison added the last TD of the night on a 55-yard run.
Nashville substituted freely in the second half, with a number of ninth graders seeing their first high school action after winning the District 7-4A junior high championship the night before.
The young Scrappers were near another touchdown late in the game before going into the victory formation to run out the clock.
“We brought up 22 ninth graders, and we were able to get a lot in the game,” Volarvich said. “That really wasn’t the intention with them just finishing the night before and not having a practice. It speaks a lot for our junior and senior high program that we can bring ninth graders up and they know what we’re talking about. They’re on the same page.”
Volarvich said the second team varsity saw a lot of playing time. “We didn’t want to slight them. They work every day at practice, and they deserve a chance to play. We got all of them in.”
For the night, Hanson completed 6 of 14 passes for 193 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions.
Kight was the leading receiver with 4 catches for 170 yards and 3 TDs. Ty Pettway had 1 catch for 14 yards, and Garrett Lance had 1 reception for 9 yards.
Harris was Nashville’s leading rusher with 16 carries for 181 yards and 3 touchdowns. Morrison had 5 carries for 93 yards and a TD.
Pettway had 1 carry for 5 yards. Jake Moorer ran the ball once for 4 yards. Levester Gillard had 1 carry for 3 yards.
Freshman Keyshawn Stewart ran the ball 11 times for 56 yards, and classmate Quincey Garland had 4 carries for 12 yards.
On defense, “Lance Easter really flew around. He showed up a lot on film,” Volarvich said. Easter had 8 solo tackles, 3 assists and 3 tackles for losses.
Jordan White recorded 9 solo tackles with 2 assists and a tackle for a loss. J.R. Middleton had 8 solo and 6 assists. Isaac Johnson put up 7 tackles and 6 assists.
Kailus Hughes and C.J. Adams had 5 solo tackles each.
Total tackles for other Scrapper defenders include Harris 6, Carren May 7, Dalton Potter 6, D’Ante Jefferson 4, J.J. King, Caleb Clayton, Bubba Reeder, Nathan Romero, Jesse Davis 2 each, and John Grace, Aaron Lott, Walter Phillips, Cole Little and James Hardin 1 each. May, Reeder and Lott had 1 TFL each.
Hughes intercepted a Bauxite pass.
Moorer punted once for 49 yards.
The Scrappers had 547 yards total offense, including 193 passing and 354 rushing. “The run was working, so we stayed with it,” Volarvich said.
Nashville and Bauxite had 14 first downs each.
The Scrappers converted on 6 of 11 third downs and 2 of 4 fourth downs.
Nashville held Bauxite to 5 of 16 conversions on third down. “It’s big to get those stops,” Volarvich said.
Nashville had no turnovers. Bauxite threw 1 interception.
The Scrappers were penalized 6 times for 49 yards. Bauxite had 2 penalties for 10 yards.
• • • • • • • • • •
By John R. Schirmer
The Nashville Scrappers will host a team which they have not played since 1956 when they take on the Monticello Billies Friday, Nov. 10, at Scrapper Stadium in the state playoffs. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Nashville (7-3 overall, 5-2 District 7-4A) and Monticello (5-5, 4-3 in District 8-4A) have met only twice. The first time was in 1955 when the Scrappers won 7-0 at Monticello. The teams met in Nashville the next year, with Nashville winning 19-2.
Friday night’s game will mark the 27th consecutive season that the Scrappers have competed in the state playoffs, a state record. Players from those teams will be recognized during halftime. They are invited to a reception in the Scrapper Room before the game.
The Scrappers are 80-30 in the state playoffs.
Only Arkansas Activities Association passes will be accepted, according to Superintendent Doug Graham. Under AAA rules, no local, corporate or employee passes will be recognized.
There will be no reserved seating, Graham said. “Seating in the orange chairbacks will be first come, first served.”
As the “third season” begins, the Scrappers are “excited to be back in the playoffs. Everybody has a clean slate from here. Everybody is 0-0. Nothing earlier matters whether you were number one in the state or the last one in the playoffs,” Coach Mike Volarvich said.
“The winner keeps going; the loser goes home.”
The Scrappers enter Friday night’s game off a 53-22 home win over Bauxite to close the regular season last week.
Monticello defeated DeWitt 36-22 in a road game last week. The team has been “up and down all year. They won 2 and lost 2 of their last 4 games,” Volarvich said.
The Billies “have some good size and some athletic kids. The defensive line has several 300-pound guys. On offense we’ve seen several different things from them game to game. We have to prepare for a multiple offense,” including the wing and the Spread.
“Some games they used one or the other of those; others, they mixed it up. We have to be ready,” Volarvich said.
The Billies’ offense is led by quarterback Ryan Lambert, who has completed 71 of 137 passes for 1,116 yards, 10 TDs and 7 interceptions.
Scrapper QB Tyler Hanson is 163 of 278 for 2,772 yards, 26 TDs and 18 interceptions.
Monticello’s leading rusher is Kevious Simpson with 106 carries for 645 yards and 10 touchdowns. Aaron Spencer has 91 carries for 509 yards and 3 TDs. Lambert has run the ball 95 times for 314 yards and a touchdown.
Nashville’s leading rushers include Trent Harris with 1,043 yards and 19 touchdowns, Hanson with 395 yards and 4 TDs, and Carmillias Morrison with 484 yards and 10 TDs.
The leading receiver for the Billies is Jiehron Yarbrough with 9 catches for 297 yards and 3 TDs.
Dominick Kight leads the Scrappers with 48 receptions for 1,281 yards and 18 TDs.
Austin Patton leads Monticello with 56.
On defense, “They’re similar to the 3-4 we’ve gone against the last couple of weeks. They bring some blitzes and pressure. We’ll have to pick those up,” Volarvich said.
“We’re looking forward to a great crowd” Friday night, according to Volarvich. “We’re glad to get one more home game and glad for our fans to see us play at home.”