In a game that at times resembled a heavy weight fight, the Charleston Tigers could not quite complete a comeback on their final drive of the night to tie the game with Nashville and send it toward a potential overtime period. Nashville, from the 4A-7 conference and predicted by many to challenge Arkadelphia for their conference championship, maintained a slim lead for most of the game. But perhaps an indication of playing a big game early in the regular season, both teams made several critical mistakes that ranged from penalties to turnovers that marred an otherwise good football game between two very good football teams.
Charleston senior quarterback Brandon Scott tried to put the Tigers on his back and carry them to victory by running tough and into the teeth of a physical Scrappers defense. The Charleston defense had trouble defending a talented Nashville offense that had good speed at the wide receivers positions and in the backfield with their quarterback, Sloan Perrin.
Both teams scored in the first quarter, but a missed Charleston PAT left the score 7-6 in favor of the Scrappers. Nashville took a 21-12 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Charleston defense was able to contain Nashville in the third, holding the Scrapper scoreless. But a late Nashville score in the fourth was enough to give the Scrappers the lead for good, despite a Brandon Scott touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. Charleston got the ball back with approximately four minutes remaining in the game, but ran out of downs when the Scrappers held Charleston on a fourth and long final offensive play. Nashville ran a few plays to end the game before finally taking a knee to run out the clock.
After the game, Charleston coach Ricky May said, “Nashville has a good team. They made the plays when they needed them and we didn’t. We had several opportunities to catch up but just didn’t. Our kids played their tails off, but we made too many mistakes, as well. We have to get better; conference starts next week.”
With the loss, Charleston’s record drops to 2-1 overall, having played three Class 4A teams during their non-conference schedule. The Tigers defeated the top-two predicted finishers in the 4A-1 conference in Elkins and Ozark, and lost on Friday to a very talented 4A team from Southwest Arkansas. Charleston will play the Scrappers again next year, but it will be Charleston making the near three-hour drive to Nashville in 2023.
Charleston travels to Greenland next Friday night to open conference play against the Pirates. Look for a preview of this game in next week’s RNN Logan County weekly newspaper. If you have not yet subscribed to this rapidly growing and increasingly popular publication, you can do so by going to the RNN website at residentnewsnetwork.com and clicking on the subscription link.
And speaking of the Logan County paper, look for a special photo essay of tonight’s game in the September 27 edition. Included in the photo spread will be an aerial view of the Charleston campus that was taken by a drone camera this afternoon. You will not want to miss the photography of Charleston photojournalist Ronni Tate Young and myself from tonight’s game! Just our way of saying thanks to the Charleston fans, and to express our pride in bringing you Charleston sports at RNN Sports!
Good luck to the Tigers next week when they open conference play at Greenland.