SPRINGDALE – The season ended for the Nashville Scrappers Friday, Nov. 23, as they lost to Shiloh Christian 40-21 in the quarterfinals of the state Class 4A playoffs.
With the win, Shiloh will advance to this week’s semifinals at home against Arkadelphia. The winner will face Joe T. Robinson or Dumas Dec. 8 for the state championship.
The Scrappers (10-3 on the season) took the lead with eight minutes left in the first quarter on a 74-yard pass from Tristen Jamison to Ty Basiliere. Jhonny Pioquinto’s PAT was good, putting Nashville on top 7-0.
From there, the Saints scored three touchdowns in the first quarter and one in the second, while Nashville scored twice in the second, giving Shiloh the lead 28-21 at halftime.
Scrapper TDs came on a fumble recovery for a score and a 15-yard pass from Jamison to Basiliere.
The second half was all Saints on the scoreboard, as they put up two more touchdowns while Nashville was shut out in the third and fourth quarters.
“Give a lot of credit to Shiloh Christian,” Coach Mike Volarvich said. “Their coaches do a good job. The team is well coached and obviously talented. It’s not easy to win 12 in a row. It takes good coaching and a lot of talent to do that.”
The Scrappers “had some chances but didn’t get it done. We didn’t play our best game” against the Saints, Volarvich said.
Nashville “worked on trick plays all week against things [Shiloh] had done in every game. Then, we gave up two touchdowns on trick plays and a kickoff return. That’s 21 of their first-half points.”
Offensively, “We just didn’t play well enough to win. We moved the ball decently at times but stalled out in the red zone. In the kicking game, we had two missed field goals and gave up a kickoff return,” Volarvich said.
“We talked about this with our guys. Big-time players make big-time plays in big-time games. When you have the opportunity to make the throw, make the catch, make the kick, make the tackle in a big-time game, you have to get it done,” Volarvich said.
“Some of the Shiloh Christian players stepped up and made plays” throwing, catching and returning the ball.
“There were times their quarterback was running for his life, threw up a prayer and converted 12 yards,” Volarvich said. “That’s what the game is all about, making plays.”
For Nashville, “It starts with me having the kids ready to make those plays, to make sure they’re in position to make the plays,” Volarvich said.
With the season completed, Volarvich and the coaching staff will conduct exit interviews with players this week. “It’s about an end-of-year view from them, what’s next for them, how to get better for next year.”
Ninth graders will start off-season work at high school and “get in the routine. We have 3 1/2 weeks to get some work done” before Christmas break.
When school resumes in January, “The cycle starts all over just like it does for every team – get bigger, get faster,” Volarvich said.
The Scrappers ended the regular season 8-2 and entered the playoffs as the two seed from District 7-4A.
They defeated Elkins in the first round of state and Bauxite in the second to advance to the quarterfinals against Shiloh Christian.