By John R. Schirmer
Scrapper quarterback Tyler Hanson passed for 2 touchdowns and ran for 2 more as Nashville mercy ruled Monticello 47-7 in the opening round of the Class 4A state playoffs Friday, Nov. 10, at Scrapper Stadium.
Nashville defenders held the Billies to -10 yards total offense in the second half.
“I thought we played a really solid game against Monticello,” Coach Mike Volarvich said.
“I’m happy with the way we came out on offense and the way we executed our first drive. I liked the tempo we played with. We were solid on all our assignments all night long. The offensive line played its best game of the year. We played physical, and we played almost perfect football on assignments.”
Nashville (8-3 overall) rolled up 322 yards total offense in the first half, including 146 yards rushing and 177 passing. For the game, the Scrappers had 494 total yards.
The Scrappers did all their scoring in the first and third quarters, with 27 points in the first and 20 in the third. Monticello’s only TD came on a trick play in the first quarter.
“We played a very solid first half,” Volarvich said. “In the second half, the mercy rule was in effect and we played a lot of different guys.”
Hanson completed 15 of 18 passes for 205 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also ran the ball 8 times for 68 yards and 2 TDs. “It was a solid game for him,” Volarvich said.
Jhalon Finley caught 7 passes for 90 yards. Ty Pettway had 4 receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown. Dominick Kight made 2 catches for 16 yards and a touchdown. Jaiden Medina had 1 catch for 15 yards. Trent Harris caught the ball once for 15 yards. Levester Gillard made 1 reception for 9 yards.
Harris was the Scrappers’ leading rusher with 15 carries for 134 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was followed by Hanson with 68 yards and 2 TDs, Carmillias Morrison with 6 carries for 35 yards and a TD, Keyshawn Stewart with 5 rushes for 13 yards, Gillard with 1 run for 10 yards, Jake Moorer with 1 run for 2 yards. Moorer was also 1 for 1 passing for 15 yards.
Defensively, “We gave up a couple of trick plays early, back to back. That was the only score” for Monticello, Volarvich said.
“At halftime, I said we’re never concerned just with what the scoreboard says but with the level of play. In the second half, we did a really good job. This was our fourth game in a row with no score in the second half,” according to Volarvich.
Isaac Johnson was the leading tackler for Nashville with 15 total and a tackle for a loss. Dalton Potter recorded 7 tackles and 3 TFLs. Kailus Hughes had 6 tackles, J.R. Middleton 7; Darren May 10 tackles and 2 sacks; Jordan White 8, Jamarte Gilliam 5, C.J. Adams 6 with a TFL, J.J. King 2 and a TFL, Lance Easter 6 and a TFL, Aaron Lott 3, Austin Hanson 2 tackles, a sack and a TFL, Gillard, Robert Dunham, John Grace, Detrick Young and John Hardin 1 tackle each; Cole Little 2, Caleb Clayton 2, Davion Holmes 1, Ty Gordon 3, Colton Patterson, Jesse Davis, Garrett Dixon, Trey Maroon, Nick Garcia and Michael Hendrix 1 each.
Gordon recovered a Monticello fumble.
Harris opened the Scrapper scoring on a 6-yard run. Jhonny Pioquinto kicked the first of 5 successful PATs.
Monticello came back to tie the game at 7-7 on a 41-yard pass from Ryan Lambert to Mason Morgan and a PAT from Tyon Rhodes.
Kight caught a 5-yard scoring pass from Hanson to put Nashville ahead 14-7.
Hanson ran the ball in from the 10-yardline for the Scrappers’ next TD, followed by a 42-yard pass from Hanson to Pettway to give Nashville a 27-7 first half lead.
In the third quarter, Harris scored on a 1-yard run. Morrison ran the ball 14 yards for a touchdown. The 2-point conversion failed.
Hanson scored the last touchdown of the night on a 7-yard run.
The Scrappers ran 57 plays, with 60 for the Billies.
Nashville recorded 26 first downs to 13 for Monticello.
The Scrappers converted on 3 of 6 third downs and 1 of 2 fourth downs.
The Billies were 4 of 13 on third down conversions and 0 for 5 on fourth downs.
Nashville and Monticello (5-6 overall) lost 2 fumbles each.
The Scrappers were penalized 3 times for 48 yards.
Monticello had 4 penalties for 20 yards.
• • • • • • • • • •
By John R. Schirmer
Two playoff opponents who know each other well will meet again Friday, Nov. 17, as Nashville travels to Booneville for the second round of the Class 4A state playoffs. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
The Scrappers (8-3) enter the game off a 47-7 home win over Monticello Nov. 10.
Booneville (9-1) drew a bye for the opening round.
Nashville finished third in District 7-4A; Booneville was the winner of 4-4A.
The Scrappers have competed in the state playoffs 27 consecutive seasons, compiling a record of 81-30. Both are state records.
The Bearcats are 61-35 in the playoffs.
The Booneville series is tied at 4 wins for each team. Nashville won the last meeting 56-7 in 2007 en route to the Scrappers’ third straight championship.
“We’re playing on the road,” Coach Mike Volarvich said. “We’ll get on the bus and drive 2 hours, 45 minutes” to Logan County.
The Bearcats are a “really good team. They lost to Pea Ridge in their first game. They were up 19-0, and Pea Ridge came back to win. They haven’t lost since,” Volarvich said.
Booneville mercy ruled its last 2 regular-season opponents, Westfork and Subiaco. With starters seeing limited duty in those games and the Bearcats coming off a bye week, “They should be well rested,” Volarvich said.
Booneville is a double wing team, Volarvich said. “They want to run the football,” but the Bearcats also pass on occasion. “The quarterback [Brandon Ulmer] has committed to Arkansas State for baseball. They get into the Spread formation too and let him throw. They’ve made several scores throwing the last few weeks on some big plays.”
Ulmer has completed 37 of 69 passes for 735 yards, 8 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
The Bearcats “aren’t an overly big team. They’re not overly fast. They’re a hard-nosed football team with a lot of tradition. They play very hard, and they’re very sound on offense and defense,” Volarvich said.
The Bearcats “play a bunch of guys both ways. They have about 7 starters who play on both sides of the ball and a couple of others who rotate. You notice their guys on film when you see them on offense and defense both. They take a lot of reps.”
Carson Ray is the team’s top rusher and plays linebacker as well, Volarvich said. He’s carried the ball 105 times for 530 yards and 13 touchdowns. Ulmer has 88 carries for 463 yards and 3 touchdowns. Michael Hesson has 443 yards and 5 TDs on 67 carries.
Ethan Dobbs is the Bearcats’ leading receiver with 19 catches for 418 yards and 4 touchdowns. Trent Wooldridge has 12 receptions for 186 yards and 2 TDs.
Cam Brasher is the leading tackler for Booneville with 62 for the season to date. Noah Reyes has recorded 3 sacks. Dobbs and Wooldridge have 2 interceptions each.
Going into the game, Scrapper quarterback Tyler Hanson has completed 178 of 296 yards for 2,977 yards, 28 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. He’s also run the ball 63 times for 463 yards and 6 touchdowns, with 2 of those coming last week against Monticello.
Dominick Kight is Nashville’s leading receiver with 50 catches for 1,297 yards and 18 TDs. Ty Pettway has 39 receptions for 554 yards and 4 touchdowns. Jhalon Finley has 41 catches for 545 yards and a touchdown.
Trent Harris has run the ball 166 times for 1,177 yards and 21 TDs. Carmillias Morrison has 84 carries for 519 yards and 11 TDs. Hanson has rushed 63 times for 463 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Jordan White leads the Scrappers with 110 tackles on the season.
Lance Easter leads the team in sacks with 3.
Kight has the most interceptions with 5.
The Bearcats “have been ranked as one of the top 4A teams all year,” Volarvich said. “We want to play well and get better each week.”