The Nashville Scrappers and Dardanelle Sand Lizards will meet Friday, Nov. 22, in the second round of the Class 4A state playoffs. Kickoff at Scrapper Stadium is set for 7 p.m.
Nashville advanced to the playoffs for the 29th straight season, the longest streak of consecutive seasons in Arkansas.
The Scrappers and Sand Lizards are both 10-1 for the season; both finished second in their conferences. Nashville’s only loss was to Joe T. Robinson. Dardanelle fell to undefeated Ozark.
“Expect to get a good team here Friday night,” Coach Mike Volarvich said. “The last time they were here was 2014 and the Scrappers lost [31-19]. We’ve got to be ready to play.”
The Sand Lizards are “very multiple on offense. They have a lot of different formations and personnel groups. It’s important for our defense to be in the right spot,” according to Volarvich. “Don’t get caught up and fooled by what they do.”
Dardanelle’s running back “has pretty good speed. The quarterback plays linebacker too. He’s a good player. They’re matched with a good-sized offensive line,” Volarvich said. “They are a team that wants to run first but will throw the football as well.”
On defense, “Two of their guys are able to be playmakers for them. They have several different looks on defense. They’re coached well and taking care of everybody on their schedule this year.”
Dardanelle averages 40.5 points per game on offense. The Sand Lizards allow only 13.9 points per game. “They score a lot every week and don’t have many points scored on them.”
The Scrappers spent Monday afternoon on the field “correcting mistakes from Friday night,” Volarvich said.
Tuesday and Wednesday saw regular practice schedules for the team.
Going into Friday night’s game, Scrapper quarterback Ty Gordon has completed 71 of 123 passes for 1,147 yards, 11 touchdowns and 5 interceptions.
Keyshawn Stewart has run the ball 121 times for 868 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Carmillias Morrison has 86 carries for 803 yards and 9 TDs. Gordon has 112 carries for 725 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Ty Basiliere is Nashville’s leading receiver with 30 catches for 704 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Davonte Witherspoon leads the Scrappers in tackles with 122. He and Lance Easter have 2 sacks each.
Basiliere, Will Pope and LD Hendrix have 2 interceptions each. Devarious Snell has recovered 2 fumbles.
The Scrappers are fourth in Class 4A in Rex Nelson’s Road to the Rock Rankings and in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s poll.
Round2 Class 2A Playoffs
The Dierks Outlaws picked a fine time to get only their second road win of the season Friday night when they surprised the Hackett Hornets with a 34-6 win to open the Class 2A playoffs.
The win puts the Outlaws at 7-4 overall and points them in the direction of the Gurdon Go-Devils, who move ahead in the playoffs with a 42-20 over Rector.
The Go-Devils are 8-3 overall and finished second in the 7-2A conference behind the Foreman Gators.
Gurdon’s losses came at the hands of Fouke (41-34), Harmony Grove (14-7) and Foreman (16-11) with wins over Bearden (36-6), Dierks (33-0), Mineral Springs (49-14), Murfreesboro (35-12) and Mount Ida (41-8). Gurdon also picked up a 2-0 forfeit win from the Spring Hill Bears.
Hackett came into the first round in second place in 4-2A behind conference champions the Magazine Rattlers, who dispatched the Mineral Springs Hornets 54-22 in the Round 1.
“The win over Hackett was a big victory for us and our program, especially going on the road,” said head Outlaw Jarrod Fannin. “Until that win, we had only won one road game this year.”
Fannin said he was particularly proud of the Outlaw offense and line.
“The offensive line did a great job opening up holes for our running backs,” he said. “We out gained them 440 yards to 114 and the time of possession was huge for us, too.”
Dierks hogged the ball for 33:45 while Hackett had the ball in their possession for only 14:15.
The Outlaw defense forced three Hornet turnovers. J.P. Cothren and Eli Sharp both pulled in interceptions and Fox recovered a Hackett fumble. The Outlaws lost one fumble in the game and had no interceptions.
The Go-Devils are a familiar foe of the Outlaws. Gurdon whipped the Outlaws 33-0 at Gurdon on Sept. 27. But, a lot has changed since then and all of it can go out the window this Friday night. After all, it’s the playoffs.
“The ‘pros’ of playing Gurdon is the familiarity of the program since they are in our conference and also from already playing them once this year,” Fannin said. “That allows us to go back and look at the things we need to work on, offensively and defensively, on how they schemed us.”
Fannin said there is no “cons” when it comes back around to a familiar opponent.
“At some point, there is always the possibility of matching up with your own conference in the playoffs. We just happen to match up in Round 2.”
Dierks arrived at its 7-4 record with wins over Horatio (44-0), Mountain Pine (18-14), Lafayette County (49-0), Mount Ida (52-14) and 2-0 forfeit win over Spring Hill. Losses came from Jessieville (41-13), Gurdon (33-0), Foreman (28-20) and Murfreesboro (50-42).
Friday night in Hackett belonged to the Outlaws. They scored in every quarter while the defense allowed just six points, which came on a 12-yard pass play late in the third quarter.
Dierks opened the scoring when quarterback Chandler Lowery capped a drive from one yard out in the first quarter. Dierks’ next points came in the second quarter when Konnor Shelton broke a 50-yard TD run and Lowery punched in the two-point play for a 14-0 lead. The Outlaws struck again in the second quarter when Lowery again capped a drive with a five-yard TD run.
Lowery broke a 40-yard TD run in the third period for a 26-0 lead.
In response to Hackett’s first score, Shelton dashed in from 15 yards and Lowery capped the score at 34-6 with the two-point play.
The Outlaws’ 440 yards of offense was split up between eight runners with only one pass completion out of six on the night from Lowery to Austin Alexander that was good for four yards.
Shelton led the running game with 19 carries for 151 yards and two TDs while Lowery carried 14 times for 83 yards and three TDs. Adding to the rushing total were Andrew Kirby with 13 carries for 70 yards and Austin Hanson with six carries for 38 yards. Braxton Claborn also had nine carries for 19 yards and Sharp carried six times for 50 yards.
The defense was led by Hanson with seven solo stops and a combined total of 10 stops.
Also making the Outlaw tackle chart were Jett Horn, Alexander, Cothren, David Ainsworth, Kyle Stamps, Trey Overturf, Blake Starks and Bryce Fox.
Hacketts picked up half their yardage with the passing game, hitting five of 12 passes for 70 yards with the rest coming from 26 rushes for 44 yards.
Dierks was penalized six times for 65 yards while the home team was flagged 10 times for 101 yards.