Scrappers advance to 4A semi-finals

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    Scrapper De’Ajeon Armstrong stiff arms a Warren defender on his way to positive yards.

    LUKE REEDER
    Sports Reporter
    WARREN – Friday night
    the Nashville Scrapper football
    team traveled to Warren
    to face the defending 4A
    State Champions. The Lumberjacks
    and the Scrappers
    are longtime rivals and have
    faced off in two state title
    games that Nashville was
    able to win. On Friday the
    Scrappers overcame a mistake
    riddled first half to win
    42-37 in a come-from-behind
    fashion in the second half.
    The first quarter set
    the game up to be a close
    matchup. Nashville struck
    first with a two yard touchdown
    run from Darius Hopkins
    with 8:51 to play in the
    quarter. Four minutes later
    after Nashville’s quarterback
    Leonard Snell threw
    an interception the Scrapper
    defense was able to hold
    Warren to just a field goal to
    make the game 7-3. With 3:10
    to play in the first quarter
    Hopkins took the ball again
    for a touchdown run and this
    time from 27 yards out to
    build Nashville’s lead to 14-3.
    But on the next Lumberjack
    drive just twenty seconds
    later, Warren was able to
    complete a 69 yard pass for
    a touchdown and this cut the
    Scrapper lead to just three
    points going into the second
    quarter of play.
    In the second quarter the
    Lumberjacks took control
    of the game and the lead.
    Warren was able to score
    twice in the second quarter
    and the Nashville offense
    was stopped dead in their
    tracks. With 10:05 left to
    play in the second Warren
    was able to break free for a
    61 yard touchdown run
    and with 3:01 left until halftime
    they scored their second
    touchdown of the half
    on a one yard run. This gave
    the Lumberjacks a 24-14 lead over Nashville as the two teams
    went into the locker rooms for halftime.
    The first half for Nashville was riddled with mistakes offensively.
    The Scrappers lost two fumbles to Warren in the
    first half and Snell threw three interceptions in the first two
    quarters. Because of the five turnovers Nashville was behind
    at halftime for the first time in the playoffs.
    After the half, the Scrapper offense seemed to have a new
    breath of life along with the defense that held the Lumberjacks
    to no points in the third quarter. Less than five minutes
    into the third quarter Nashville got its first score of the second
    half as Snell connected to Ty Pettway for 60 yards and
    a touchdown. This score brought Nashville to within three
    points of the defending state champions. With 3:43 left to play
    in the quarter Nashville regained the lead for the first time
    since early in the second quarter. Terrell Grundy was able to
    muscle his way into the end zone on a one yard touchdown
    run. Nashville now had a 28-24 lead that they never gave
    up for the rest of the game. Just 18 seconds before the final
    quarter, Hopkins was able to extend that lead to 35-24 after
    a four yard touchdown run to end the quarter on.
    In the final quarter of play Warren begin to mount a
    comeback but it ended up being too little too late. Nashville
    scored their last touchdown of the game with 6:06 left to
    play in the game as Grundy got his second touchdown run
    of the game from eight yards out this go around. This gave
    Nashville a 42-24 lead, but in the coming minutes Warren
    would come within one touchdown of that lead. After the
    Grundy touchdown, Warren was able to take the ensuing
    kickoff 95 yards to make it 42-31. Warren got its final score
    of the game with 1:40 left to play on a 22 yard touchdown
    pass, but the Lumberjacks were unable to convert on the
    two point conversion attempt. The Lumberjacks looked to
    be in a onside kick situation but instead opted to kick the
    ball over Nashville’s onside kick return formation and into
    the end zone. With just over a minute and a half to play,
    Nashville was able to takes a few kneels and run the clock off.
    The Scrapper defense was one to marvel at in the game
    as Billy Stewart gained his 20th sack of the season to break
    the 4A state sack record for a season.
    On the offensive side of the ball Snell was able to complete
    four of ten passes for 124 yards and one touchdown.
    Snell also led the team in rushing yards with 114 yards on
    18 carries. Hopkins followed with 87 yards on 21 carries and
    three touchdowns. Pettway had a breakthrough game in the
    receiver position as he caught three catches for 111 yards
    and one went for a touchdown.
    Even with a five turnover half, the Scrappers were able to
    come back strong in the second half to prevail over the tough
    Lumberjacks, “I had to get mad, we didn’t have a great week
    of practice with Thanksgiving break we had kids scattered
    from Nashville to Texarkana so it was hard to get them there
    (practice) and it was a distraction. Turning the ball over five
    times in the first half, it is hard to win like that,” Head Coach
    Mike Volarvich explained. But the Scrappers found a way
    to overcome their tough first half and now move onto the
    semifinals to face Pea Ridge at home Friday night.

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