By John R. Schirmer
MALVERN – Senior Domonick Kight set 2 school records and tied a state record Friday night, Oct. 27, during the Nashville Scrappers’ 64-28 mercy rule victory over Malvern.
Kight caught 5 touchdown passes against the Leopards, a school record for a single game. He also had 295 yards in pass receptions, another school record. In addition, Kight returned a Malvern punt for a touchdown.
The 5 TD catches tie him for first place in the Arkansas Activities Association record books, and the 295 receiving yards are good for fifth in state records for a single game.
Quarterback Tyler Hanson completed 14 of 21 passes for 422 yards and those 5 TD passes to Kight. Hanson moved into first place in school history for most passing yards in a single game when he threw for 445 against Arkadelphia Sept. 22. His performance against Malvern also put him into third place all-time in Scrapper history behind Jared McBride.
Hanson has thrown for 2,579 yards on the season, good for eighth in school history.
Overall, Coach Mike Volarvich said he is “proud of the way we came out and handled our business Friday night against the Leopards. Malvern has had an up and down season. We felt they were a dangerous team.”
The Scrappers (6-3, 4-2 in District 7-4A) “came out a little slow with them [the Leopards] returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown. They moved the ball on us early. Once we got going, we got control of the game and dominated in the second half,” Volarvich said.
“Kight had a great game. He did what we wanted him to do,” Volarvich said. The efforts of Kight, Hanson and other Scrappers led to a “good offensive game.
Kight’s school-record 5 TD catches broke the previous mark of 4 which began in 1996 and continued until Friday night. Scrappers with 4 touchdown receptions in a single game included Greg Washington, 1996; Montrel Wright, 2008; Lavonte Thomas, 2011; and LaMichael Pettway, 2013.
For the game, Kight’s 7 receptions for 295 yards broke Pettway’s record of 259 yards set in 2013.
Defensively, “I thought we did a good job,” Volarvich said. Scrapper defenders gave up 14 points, Volarvich said. The other 2 Malvern touchdowns came on a fake punt and Demias Jimerson’s kickoff return for a touchdown.
“Our secondary covered well other than screens and a fake punt. We held Jimerson [Malvern’s quarterback] to 9 for 22 passing, and 5 of those were screens and a fake We covered well,” Volarvich said.
The Scrappers went to halftime realizing they “had to execute better. Jimerson is a good player. He makes you miss him. We had to eliminate missed tackles. The fake punt before half was disappointing,” Volarvich said.
For the night, the Scrappers “did some good things. Jhonny Pioquinto kicked a field goal” and made 7 of 8 PATS. “We also have some things to improve on. Our special teams need improvement. Malvern got 2 touchdowns off special teams. Our kickoff team rarely got the ball where we wanted it to go. We’ve got to get better.”
Malvern scored first on Jimerson’s 88-yard return of the opening kickoff.
Nashville came back with a 59-yard touchdown pass from Hanson to Kight. The PAT was no good.
Pioquinto put the Scrappers ahead 9-7 later in the first quarter on a field goal.
The Leopards went on top again on a 22-yard TD pass.
Hanson threw 57 yards to Kight for the final score of the first quarter. Pioquinto’s kick gave Nashville a 16-14 lead
Kight opened the scoring in the second quarter on a 77-yard TD pass from Hanson. He followed that TD with a 52-yard punt return for a score. The 2-point conversion failed, leaving Nashville on top 29-14.
The Leopards closed the gap to 29-21 on a 7-yard scoring run.
Kight caught a 48-yard pass from Hanson for a touchdown later in the quarter. Pioquinto’s kick put Nashville ahead 36-21.
The Leopards’ final touchdown of the night came on a 70-yard pass late in the first half, making the score at break 36-28 Nashville.
The second half belonged to the Scrappers. Nashville put up 3 touchdowns in the third quarter, including a 3-yard run by Trent Harris, a 31-yard scoring pass from Hanson to Kight, and a 7-yard TD run by Hanson.
J.J. King scored the last touchdown of the game on a 4-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Hanson put up 422 yards passing, completing 14 of 21 for 5 touchdowns and 1 interception. His longest pass was 77 yards.
Kight was Nashville’s leading receiver with 7 receptions for the record-setting 295 yards and 5 TDs.
Ty Pettway had 4 catches for 111 yards. Jhalon Finley had 3 receptions for 27 yards.
Harris was Nashville’s leading rusher with 18 carries for 90 yards and a touchdown.
Hanson ran the ball 3 times for 67 yards and a touchdown.
King rushed 10 times for 32 yards and a touchdown. He fumbled the ball once.
Carmillias Morrison had 7 carries for 7 yards. Jake Moorer ran the ball 1 time for 3 yards.
Defensively, Jordan White had 7 total tackles. Darren May had 5. Isaac Johnson had 6 total tackles and a tackle for a loss. Harris recorded 4 total tackles and a TFL.
J.R. Middleton had 5 tackles, Trey Maroon 4, C.J. Adams 2, Davion Holmes 2, Dalton Potter 4, Ta’Kris Verge 2 and Devon Reisinger 2.
Shun Childress had 1 tackle and a sack.
Lance Easter had 3 tackles with 2 TFLs. Kight, Nathan Romero, Kailus Hughes, Jamarte Gilliam and Aaron Lott had 2 tackles each.
King, Levester Gillard, Caleb Clayton, John Grace and Armani Hatchett had 1 tackle each.
Middleton intercepted a Malvern pass.
The Scrappers recorded 621 yards total offense, including 422 passing and 199 rushing.
Nashville posted 15 first downs to 12 for Malvern.
The Scrappers converted on 5 of 9 third downs for 56 percent. They were 3 for 3 on fourth downs.
Malvern converted 33 percent of third downs and 67 percent of fourth downs.
Nashville was penalized 6 times for 53 yards. The Leopards had 8 penalties for 65 yards.
• • • • • • • • • •
By John R. Schirmer
Nashville will close out the regular season Friday night at Scrapper Stadium against Bauxite. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
The game will be senior night for Scrapper football players, cheerleaders and band members. They will be introduced during pre-game activities.
“This is our last regular-season home game. It will be an emotional night for these seniors who have put in all their time,” Coach Mike Volarvich said.
The Scrappers (6-3, 4-2) enter the game off a 64-28 victory over Malvern Oct. 27.
Bauxite (4-5, 2-4) lost 35-0 last week at Arkadelphia.
Despite the loss, the Miners are “much improved from the past,” according to Volarvich. Bauxite was 0-10 last year. Daryl Patton is in his second year as the Miners’ head coach.
The Miners are “hard nosed, physical. They try to run the ball and control the clock,” Volarvich said. “Their defense will try to get some stops and get off the field. The offense will take advantage when they get the ball.”
Bauxite played Arkadelphia to 7-0 at halftime last week, and the Miners held the ball for the first 9 minutes against league-leading Joe T. Robinson, Volarvich said. Bauxite put together a 7- or 8-minute drive on the Miners’ next possession. Both drives stalled in the red zone.
“This should be a big challenge,” Volarvich said of Friday night’s game.
Bauxite’s leading rusher is Dawson Dabbs, who has carried the ball 115 times for 958 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Quarterback Seth McDowell has completed 9 of 30 passes for 171 yards, 2 TDs and no interceptions. Hunter Davis has completed 3 of 15 for 69 yards, 1 touchdown and an interception.
Zach Lesage has recorded 4 sacks for Bauxite. Elijah Cruz has 3 interceptions for the season.
Nashville defeated Bauxite 49-12 last season. The Scrappers lead the series 10-0.
The regular season wraps up Friday night. The Class 4A state playoffs will open Friday, Nov. 10.
Robinson will enter the playoffs as the top seed from District 7-4A. Arkadelphia will be second, with the Scrappers third.
The Scrappers will be at home for the first playoff game.