Saturday, October 29, 2011

SPORTS>>Stuttgart wears down Lonoke

Special to The Leader

Lonoke looked competitive despite two turnovers in the first half against Stuttgart Friday night at James B. Abraham stadium, but the Ricebirds’ physical play was too much for the Jackrabbits to overcome in the second half.

With the help of a solid run game primarily from Stuttgart’s standout running back Keith Humbert, who racked up 263 yards rushing and three touchdowns on just 16 carries, the Ricebirds all but clinched the No. 2 seed in 2-4A conference play with a 38-20 win over the ‘Rabbits.

“Thirty three, he was a man in there and he was tough to bring down,” said Lonoke Head Coach Doug Bost about the strong game from Humbert. “He ran for a lot of yards on us tonight.”

Stuttgart got on the board first when junior quarterback Dontrell Brown hit senior wideout Jordan Daniels for a 42-yard touchdown pass, capping off a five play drive. Humbert, who is also the team’s place kicker, kicked the extra point to give the Ricebirds the early 7-0 lead.

Lonoke answered with a 10-play drive ending with junior quarterback D.J. Burton taking the quarterback sneak into the endzone with 4:09 left in the first quarter. T.J. Scott kicked the extra point to even the score at 7.

Lonoke’s defense forced a punt on the Ricebirds’ next possession, but Burton fumbled on a quarterback keeper and the Ricebird defense covered the fumble at the Lonoke 26. On the first play of the series, Humbert found a large hole on a sweep play and marched into the endzone from 26-yards out to give the Ricebirds a 14-7 lead.

The Jackrabbit offense had no trouble moving the ball on its next series as the offense managed to grind its way down to the Stuttgart 23-yard line, but another fumble from Burton resulted in yet another turnover.

The Ricebird offense responded with an eight-play drive that ended with Brown finding senior wideout Aaron Lockwood for another touchdown pass. This one coming from seven yards out with 0:26 left in the half. Humbert’s extra point attempt was no good, giving the Ricebirds a 20-7 lead going into the half.

“The two turnovers in the first half hurt us,” Bost said. “We were right there playing with them, moving the ball, and our two turnovers led to 14 points. It’s just a big hole we couldn’t get out of.”

Stuttgart didn’t slow down any in the second half, as the offense scored on its first play of the next two series. The first was a 54-yard touchdown run from Humbert with 10:15 left in the third quarter. The second was a 79-yard run, also from Humbert. Neither conversion attempt was good, giving the Ricebirds a 32-7 lead.

Lonoke answered when Burton hit receiver Blake Mack for a 22-yard touchdown pass with 5:40 left in the third to make the score 32-14, but Stuttgart scored on its next possession in just over four minutes with a quarterback sneak from Brown. The two-point conversion attempt was no good leaving the score at 38-14.

Lonoke sophomore quarterback Grant Dewey threw a touchdown pass as time expired to set the final margin.

“We were just behind with the turnovers and that hurt us early,” Bost said.

Lonoke clinched a spot in the playoffs last week with a win over Marianna-Lee, and will try and improve its seeding next week as the ’Rabbits travel to Clinton to finish the regular season. Kickoff starts at 7 p.m.