Saturday, September 19, 2009

SPORTS >> Rabbits fail to capitalize against CAC

Leader staff writer

Missed opportunities came back to bite Lonoke on Mustang Mountain.

The Jackrabbits had a chance to go up by two scores over Central Arkansas Christian heading into halftime, and missed out on two other scoring opportunities in the second half as CAC handed Jackrabbits coach Doug Bost his first loss, 21-7, on Friday.

“We knew CAC was a great team, and we knew that defensively, they were going to blitz the heck out of us and they did that,” Bost said. “We didn’t really get our running game going until the second quarter. If we could have gone up 14-0 or 10-0 at halftime, we would have felt really good about it. But we go three and out to start the third quarter, then they scored from there.

“We had three touchdowns we didn’t get, and three interceptions. We really didn’t have any turnovers in the first two games, but it hit us tonight.”

Lonoke’s only score of the game was set up after an interception by Jackrabbits sophomore linebacker T.J. Scott with 6:32 left in the first half. Lonoke had the ball at its own 16, but a bad snap pinned the Jackrabbits at their 2.

A rush for Brandon Smith was stopped at the line of scrimmage on second down, but he broke through on the next play for a 98-yard touchdown run with 5:21 left in the half. Scott added the extra point to give Lonoke a 7-0 lead.

The Jackrabbits (2-1) tried to add a 20-yard field goal with 2.7 seconds left in the half, but it was wide right.

CAC (2-1) tied the score with a 10-play, 71-yard drive that ended with a 5-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Jay Bona to Jonathan Johnson at the 5:21 mark of the third quarter.

The Mustangs did not get their go-ahead score until 2:54 left in the game on a 1-yard run. CAC added the game-clinching touchdown with 2:18 left to play when Logan Wright intercepted a Lonoke pass and returned it 31 yards.

Lonoke had 284 yards of total offense. Quarterback Michael Nelson was 9 of 25 for 82 yards with three interceptions. Smith had 19 carries for 160 yards and Morgan Linton had five catches for 42 yards.

CAC had 249 total yards. Bona was 13 of 25 passing for 124 yards.

“We were short-handed tonight; we had three starters out,” Bost said. “But we had other guys who stepped up and competed hard. It was our first road game, and we wanted to come away with a win, but it all starts next week.”

The Jackrabbits will begin 2-4A Conference play next week at Heber Springs.