By RAY BENTON
Special to The Leader
Lonoke enjoyed an easy homecoming on a breezy and cool Friday night, cruising past Cave City 41-8 and staying in the thick of the race for the 2-4A Conference title.
The Cavemen got off to a good enough start by dominating time of possession and intercepting two Jackrabbits passes. They also blocked a Lonoke extra-point early on, but everything else went Lonoke’s way.
Lonoke (6-1, 3-1 2-4A Conference) ran only 22 plays in the first half, and scored on five of them. Jackrabbit senior Darius Scott also scored on a 48-yard punt return that pushed the score to 41-0 just seconds before intermission.
With little to worry about from the winless opponent, Lonoke coach Doug Bost was glad to see his team come out focused from the very beginning of the game.
“We didn’t do that last week,” Bost said. “We came out flat last week and didn’t play well early. We talked about that a lot this week and they came out ready to play tonight.”
Scott also got the fireworks underway on Lonoke’s second snap. After a 32-yard pass from quarterback Logan DeWhitt to Eric Williams, a screen pass to Scott went for 39 and a touchdown with 10:17 left in the first quarter.
Cave City’s next possession generated the first of its two first downs of the half, a 21-yard pass play from Jeremy Runyan to Jacob Martin.
Three more plays gained just one yard and Lonoke wasted little time after getting the ball back. After a sack that lost 10 yards, DeWhitt found receiver Blake Dill over the top for a 79-yard scoring pass. The extra point made it 14-0 with 5:43 left in the first.
Backup quarterback Tarrale Watson led Lonoke’s next drive. He marched the ’Rabbits 39 yards and scored on a 1-yard sneak with 27 seconds left to go in the game’s opening period.
Dill then picked off a Runyan pass on the Cavemen’s second play of their next drive.
That set up a one-play, 28-yard Lonoke drive when Watson hit Scott over the middle to give the Rabbits a 28-0 lead with 10:54 left in the half.
Another Caveman drive lost 3 yards, but Runyan intercepted Watson and returned it 51 yards to the Lonoke 34.
The Jackrabbits defense got the ball back in just four plays, and the offense needed just one snap to get on the board again. This time, DeWhitt was back in, and found Darius Scott behind the Caveman defense for a 74-yard strike that concluded the offensive explosion with 3:47 left in the half.
Cave City scored on its first snap of the second half when Tyler Poulette scampered 53 yards on a dive play for the final score of the game.
Lonoke finished with 417 total yards, 358 coming in the first half. Scott finished the first half and the game with four receptions for 151 yards and two touchdowns. He finished with 210 all-purpose yards and three scores.