In a year when so many things have gone wrong – Covid-19, toilet paper shortages, natural disasters and murder hornets, to name a few – there’s something that just seems right about Friday night’s Class 4A quarterfinal round at Scrapper Stadium.
It’s Nashville hosting Warren, just as the playoffs should be this time of year. Orange and black vs. orange and black in a series that goes back to 1948. The game of the week in Class 4A.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
“Obviously, Warren is one of the storied programs in the state,” Scrapper Coach Mike Volarvich said. “There’s a lot of history between the teams, a lot of good games. I expect another good one Friday night.”
The Scrappers (9-2) are coming off a 48-6 playoff win over Elkins last week in Nashville’s first game since Nov. 6. The Scrappers are the top seed from District 7-4A.
Warren (7-4) defeated Arkadelphia 35-20 last week. The Lumberjacks are the three seed from District 8-4A.
“We’re excited about the chance to move on and advance to the semifinals,” Volarvich said.
Standing in the way of that move – the Lumberjacks.
Warren is “a team that likes to run the ball. They do a good job running,” according to Volarvich. “They’re good on the offensive and defensive lines. They have good size. They have skill kids who can run. It’s a typical Warren team,” Volarvich said.
Former Scrapper Braden Hood is the offensive line coach for the Lumberjacks. He played college ball at Harding University and is in his first year at Warren.
As the Scrappers prepare for the Lumberjacks, Volarvich said the team’s weeks “are usually pretty consistent. We want to be sure we understand Warren’s formations and the offensive scheme they use. The defense will work to read what we’re supposed to and react.”
Offensively, the Scrappers “will work on execution. We want to make sure we block who we’re supposed to block, throw and catch the ball,” Volarvich said.
Nashville and Warren first played in 1948, with the Lumberjacks winning 14-6.
The Scrappers lead the overall series 8-3. Nashville has won four straight games going back to a 32-29 win in 2003.
The teams met for the Class 4A state championship at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock in 2006. The game went to double overtime with the Scrappers winning 21-20. Warren scored late and went for the win with a two-point conversion attempt. Nashville’s Brad Chesshir stopped Jarius Wright just short of the goalline to preserve the Scrapper victory and earn the second of three consecutive state titles for Nashville under Coach Billy Dawson.
The teams met again in 2007 at Warren, with the Scrappers winning 49-39.
In the most recent meeting, Volarvich led Nashville to a 42-37 playoff victory in 2015 on the way to a 15-0 season and the state 4A championship in his first season with the Scrappers.
Nashville’s other victory over the Lumberjacks was a 17-7 win in 1995 under Coach Billy Laird.
Warren posted back-to-back wins in 2000 and 2001.
The Scrappers have reached the state quarterfinals for the third straight season. “Only three teams are in the quarterfinals three years in a row,” Volarvich said.
Nashville has advanced to the playoffs for the 30th straight year, a state record.
Going into this week’s game, the Scrappers are averaging 39.3 points per game while allowing 19.5
Warren averages 30.1 points per game and gives up 19.4.
Nashville averages 406.9 yards per game total offense, including 160.1 passing and 246.8 rushing. The Scrappers have allowed 285.3 yards per game defensively, including 178.1 rushing and 107.2 passing.
The Lumberjacks have compiled 345.7 yards per game, 121.9 passing and 223.7 rushing. They’ve given up 251.6 hards per game, including 149.9 rushing and 101.7 passing.
Nashville quarterback Ty Gordon has completed 93 of 144 passes for 1,448 yards, 17 touchdowns and four interceptions.
Maddox Lassiter of Warren has completed 66 of 119 passes for 896 yards, 11 touchdowns and three interceptions.
Scrapper Keyshawn Stewart has run the ball 125 times for 819 yards and 14 touchdowns. Gordon has 119 carries for 672 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Warren’s Trelon Marshall has rushed 111 times for 912 yards and nine TDs.
Isaiah Jones leads the Scrapper receivers with 26 catches for 485 yards and four touchdowns. Teammate De’Vay Ragland has 27 receptions for 437 yards and eight TDs.
Payton Byrd of Warren has 16 catches for 243 yards and four touchdowns.
Will Pope has recorded 65 total tackles for the Scrappers.
De’Vay Ragland has three sacks.
Three Scrappers have recovered one fumble each. LD Hendrix has picked off four passes.
Playoff tickets available online only
Ticket sales are underway for the Scrappers’ quarterfinal playoff game Friday, Dec. 4, against Warren at Scrapper Stadum.
Tickets must be purchased online, similar to ticket orders for University of Arkansas events at Razorback Stadium and Bud Walton Arena.
Fan may order tickets while the limited supply lasts. They may order at nashvillesd.com and follow the ticket link. Tickets may also be purchased on the Nashville High School Facebook page and at Scrapper athletics on Twitter.
When the order is placed, the purchaser will receive the tickets on his or her Smartphone.They will be validated at the gate.
No tickets will be available at the school district’s central office, and none will be sold at the game.
Tickets are $6 each plus an Arkansas Activities Association “convenience fee.”
Similar procedures for ordering playoff tickets are in effect statewide.