One for the ages as Pan­thers, Scrap­pers face off tonight

Texarkana Gazette - - SPORTS - By Earl Gill

NASH­VILLE, Ark.—The lights at Scrap­per Sta­dium will brightly shine when the Pan­thers and Scrap­pers tan­gle at 7 p.m.

Ash­down (6-0, 3-0) trav­els to Nash­ville (3-3, 1-2) for a Con­fer­ence 7-4A show­down in Scrap­per Coun­try.

“We have another big chal­lenge ahead of us in Ash­down,” Nash­ville head foot­ball coach Mike Vo­lar­vich said. “This is our third un­de­feated op­po­nent in the past four weeks. It’s been a tough stretch but we’re ex­cited for the op­por­tu­nity.”

The Scrap­pers have given up 195 points, while pro­duc­ing 252 points on of­fense.

The un­blem­ished Pan­thers have outscored op­po­nents 26248 through six games this sea­son.

“This is just reg­u­lar ball game,” Ash­down head foot­ball coach Matt Richard­son. “I un­der­stand there’s a lot of peo­ple in this town that say that this is a ri­valry but when it comes down to it, it’s just the next game on the sched­ule. As of Satur­day, this week will be over, so how big of a game could it be?

“We’ve told the kids to stop think­ing it’s any big­ger than what it is. We told them to go out and keep do­ing what their do­ing.”

Ash­down boasts two of

the state’s top de­fend­ers in Mis­sis­sippi State com­mit Ladar­rius Bishop and Arkansas State com­mit Tre Green.

“They’re ob­vi­ously very ath­letic,” Vo­lar­vich said. “They have sev­eral Di­vi­sion 1 play­ers on their team. Any­time you have a player like Ladar­rius Bishop, who can score six touch­downs de­fen­sively or on spe­cial teams, you have some­thing there. They have sev­eral oth­ers as well.

“I told our guys to­day that we haven’t scored a touch­down on de­fense or spe­cial teams and they have one guy who has scored six. Any­time you go against great ath­letes like that, you have to do a great job. Last week, I be­lieve they scored a touch­down on a on­side kick. They’re very dy­namic in their re­turn game, so we have to be care­ful of who we kick it to and tackle well.”

Nash­ville is no slouch by any means of­fen­sively.

Scrap­per se­nior Tyler Han­son has thrown for 1,814 yards and 16 touch­downs in six games. Se­nior Trent Har­ris has rushed for 489 yards for Nash­ville, col­lect­ing 10 rush­ing touch­downs.

“We have to play hard and sound de­fen­sively,” Richard­son said. “Our kids have done a great job of keep­ing their as­sign­ment for us this sea­son, so hope­fully we can make some pre-snap reads and fill the gaps.

The big thing that’s go­ing on around here is the kids are play­ing for each other. Our guys are play­ing great with­out the ball. Our kids are be­ing re­ally un­selfish and play­ing for each other. Tre and Ladar­rius are mak­ing plays be­cause they are play­ing hard with­out the ball in their hands. That’s how our big plays hap­pen.”

Ju­nior Jor­don White leads the Scrap­pers in tack­les with 78 and Tre Green has 13 to­tal touch­downs this sea­son for Ash­down.

The Pan­thers have only given up one sack all sea­son.

South­west Arkansas Sched­ule

Hope at Hot Springs Lake­side, 7 p.m. Cam­den Fairview at De Queen, 7 p.m. Hot Springs at Mag­no­lia, 7 p.m. Prescott at Glen Rose, 7 p.m. Bismarck at Ho­ra­tio, 7 p.m. McGe­hee at Fouke, 7 p.m. Drew Cen­tral at Genoa Cen­tral, 7 p.m. Spring Hill at Moun­tain Pine, 7 p.m. Fore­man at Mount Ida, 7 p.m. Murfrees­boro at Min­eral Springs, 7 p.m. Lafayette County at Dierks, 7 p.m.

J. WHITE Nash­ville

C. FRENCH Ash­down

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