By John R. Schirmer
IDABEL, Okla. – One week after being upset by De Queen, the Scrappers came back and defeated Idabel 51-20 last Friday night.
The win gave Nashville a 2-1 record going into this week’s District 7-4A opener at Arkadelphia.
“It’s good the way we bounced back” after the De Queen loss, Coach Mike Volarvich said. “We had a good week of practice. De Queen was not a good week practice-wise. Our preparation [for Idabel] showed Friday night.”
The Warriors “had a lot of talent. Our guys played hard all week,” Volarvich said. “We knew going in that Idabel had 4 or 5 guys who could score whenever they touched the ball. Some teams have 1 or 2 who can really hurt you from 50 or more yards out. They had 4 or 5 who can hurt you.”
The Scrapper defensive staff “did a great job of game planning,” Volarvich said, with few major plays for the Warriors (1-2).
On Idabel’s three explosive plays, “We had one kid who fell. There was one busted coverage. On their first touchdown, our guys were in place but overran it.”
Overall, “Our defense played really well. We wanted to stop the rush. We held Idabel to 62 yards rushing, with a minus 12 in the second half,” Volarvich said. “They only ran the ball seven times in the second half. We had struggled the week before. That’s an emphasis we made” for Idabel.
The Scrapper offense was “pretty good” Friday night, according to Volarvich. “We were able to score a bunch of points.”
Trent Harris carried the ball 36 times against the Warriors. “We gave him the load.”
Domonick Kight “had another really good game. He had 4 catches for 136 yards and a touchdown. Overall, we had a couple of guys with big catches.”
Carmillias Morrison had 9 rushes for 61 yards and 2 touchdowns. The sophomore “continues to get better every week.”
For the Scrappers, “Overall, it was a solid performance. We had to travel and go to a place that’s pretty tough to play. We played at the middle school. It was a different environment. I thought we put together some things during the week,” Volarvich said.
The Scrappers fell behind early when Idabel scored on a 26-yard run on the opening possession.
Nashville came back with a 4-yard TD run by Trent Harris. Jhonny Pioquinto kicked the PAT to tie the game at 7-7. Pioquinto made 6 of 9 extra points against Idabel.
The Warriors took the lead again, briefly, on a 23-yard field goal later in the first quarter.
Harris scored the second of his 3 TDs on a 1-yard run to give Nashville a 14-10 lead as the opening period wound down.
Nashville put up all the points in the second quarter. Pioquinto hit a 28-yard field goal. Carmillias Morrison scored on a 1-yard run, and Ty Pettway scored on a 12-yard pass from Tyler Hanson to put the Scrappers ahead 31-10 at halftime.
The Warriors scored on passes of 75 and 32 yards in the third quarter as they narrowed the gap to 31-23.
The fourth quarter belonged to the Scrappers. Harris scored on a 2-yard run. Domonick Kight caught a 70-yard TD pass from Hanson. Morrison wrapped up the Scrapper scoring on a 9-yard run to put Nashville ahead 51-23 late in the game.
With the outcome of the game already determined and time running out, Idabel’s first team scored against Scrapper reserves to make the final margin 51-30 Nashville.
For the night, Hanson completed 15 of 30 passes for 253 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
Kight was the leading receiver with 4 catches for 136 yards and a touchdown.
Pettway had 4 receptions for 47 yards and a TD.
Levester Gillard made 2 catches for 22 yards.
Morrison and Harris had one catch each for 9 yards and 1 yard, respectively.
Harris was the leading rusher with 36 carries for 157 yards and 3 TDs.
Morrison ran the ball 9 times for 61 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Hanson had 5 carries for 27 yards.
Jhalon Finley carried once for 6 yards, and Pettway rushed twice for 4 yards.
Jordan White was Nashville’s leading tackler with 5 tackles and 2 assists. Pettway had 3 tackles and 3 assists.
Total assists and tackles for other Scrapper defenders included Kailus Hughes 2; Davion Holmes 2; Dalton Potter 3; J.J. King 2 tackles, a sack and a tackle for a loss; Kight 2; J.R. Middleson 2; Lance Easter 4 with a TFL; Jamarte Gilliam 2; Isaac Johnson 2; Darren May 2 tackles, 1 sack and 1 TFL; D’Ante Jefferson 1; Aaron Lott 2; C.J. Adams a tackle and a TFL; Miguel Hernandez 1.
Johnson and Gillard had 1 fumble recovery a piece.
Jake Moorer punted once for 32 yards.
Nashville ran 83 total plays to 89 for Idabel.
The Scrappers compiled 508 total yards, including 253 passing and 255 rushing.
Nashville had 25 first downs to 8 for Idabel.
Both teams had 2 turnovers, including 2 interceptions for the Scrappers and 2 fumbles for the Warriors.
Nashville was penalized 8 times for 73 yards. Idabel had 5 penalties for 55 yards.
• • • • • • • • • •
By John R. Schirmer
Two of the state’s top-ranked Class 4A teams will meet Friday night when Nashville travels to Arkadelphia to face the Badgers.
Kickoff in Clark County is set for 7 p.m.
The Scrappers (2-1) are ranked sixth in Class 4A by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Arkadelphia (3-0) is fifth in Class 4A. The teams swapped positions in the poll from the previous week.
“It’s a big week for us,” Coach Mike Volarvich said Monday morning. “We’re starting conference. We’re playing for real. The three tune-up games are out of the way. Now we’re in the brutal stretch of conference.”
District 7-4A has three of the spots in the Democrat-Gazette’s Super Six, including Robinson, third; Arkadelphia, fifth; and Nashville, sixth. Pea Ridge is first, Warren second and Prairie Grove fourth.
“Arkadelphia is a good team. Coach [J.R.] Eldridge does a great job. I know the program he runs and the work ethic those kids have,” Volarvich said. “They’ve shown what kind of team they have in the first three games. The defense hasn’t given up a point.”
Volarvich and Eldridge have known each other since Volarvich was offensive coordinator at Henderson State and Eldridge was defensive coordinator at Ouachita Baptist.
“They’ve given up zero points. Their opponents have only crossed the 50 a couple of times,” Volarich said of the Badgers. “They’re scoring 45 points per game. They held their first 3 opponents to 42 yards per game passing and 55 yards rushing. That’s 97 yards per game total offense. That’s hard to do against a scout time, let alone the varsity.”
Arkadelphia has “a bunch of good players. It will be a test for our offense.”
The Badger offense is “pretty solid. They have a really good running back with 495 total yards. The team has 278 rushing yards per game.”
Zion Hatley is the leading Badger rusher, averaging 165 yards per game and 9.5 yards per carry. He’s scored 9 touchdowns already.
Quarterback Cannon Turner, a sophomore, played as a freshman a year ago. He’s the second leading rusher on the team with 207 yards per carry, a touchdown and a 9.5 yards per carry average. He also throws well, Volarvich said. “We have to stop those two.”
For the Scrappers, Friday night will be the third straight road game. They will return to Scrapper Stadium Sept. 29 to host Fountain Lake.
“We’ll continue to get better in all three phases,” Volarvich said. “We’ll keep preparing and try to improve on things we haven’t done well. Arkadelphia will be a big challenge.”
Other District 7-4A games Friday night include Malvern at Bauxite, Joe T. Robinson at Fountain Lake and Ashdown at Mena.
All conference games will start at 7 p.m. for the remainder of the season.