Saturday, November 05, 2011

SPORTS>>’Rabbits fall back fast in Clinton loss

Leader sports editor

Lonoke will be the four seed in the class 4A state playoffs that begin next week. The Jackrabbits went to Clinton with third place on the line, and was routed 55-28 by the Yellow Jackets. Clinton scored the first 28 points of the game and never led by less than 21 after that point.

Lonoke wasn’t entirely without bright spots heading into the postseason. Sophomore Grant Dewey took over at quarterback in the second quarter after six consecutive incomplete passes. Dewey entered the game at the 7:13 mark with the Jackrabbits trailing 28-0. He made an immediate impact, completing a 53-yard touchdown pass on third and long.

All four of Lonoke’s touchdown drives took less than two minutes, and two of them took less than 60 seconds, but the Rabbit defense couldn’t stop Clinton’s multiple-set offense.

The Yellow Jackets alternated between the spread and the wing T formation, and were equally successful in both.

It was senior night at Clinton High and it was seniors who did the damage. Running back Dillon Toney had 132 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns.

Clinton scored on its first four possessions, with Toney scoring the first on a 1-yard run and the fourth on a 12-yard reception. Between his scores, wing back Skyler Donahue scored on a 17-yard run and quarterback Park Parish got a 1-yard keeper to put the home team up 28 points.

After Dewey’s touchdown pass, Clinton went down the field and scored, going 47 yards in four plays with Donahue getting another 17-yard touchdown run with 4:06 left in the half.

Lonoke junior D.J. Burton, who started at quarterback, moved to running back after Dewey entered the game. After a 13-yard run and a 17-yard completion by Dewey, Burton took the handoff and raced 35 yards for the score. T.J. Scott’s extra point made it 35-14 with 3:23 left in the half. That’s how it remained until intermission.

Lonoke got it to start the second half, but Clinton scored the first two touchdowns to invoke the sportsmanship rule with 3:47 left in the third quarter.

The Yellow Jackets went 42 yards in six plays after Lonoke turned it over on downs. Parish dropped back to pass but took off for a 13-yard scoring run when he found no one open.

After three Lonoke plays and a punt, Clinton marched 61 yards in seven plays with another 1-yard plunge by Toney capping the drive.

Lonoke’s third scoring drive took just 90 seconds. Three-straight completions by Dewey ate up 65 yards and made it 49-21.

Lonoke’s defense finally stopped Clinton on the next drive, but the Rabbits couldn’t respond with any points.

Clinton went up 55-21 on a 20-yard pass from backup quarterback David Keeling to Devin Shubert with 2:11left to play.

Lonoke set the final margin with a two-play, 80-yard drive that lasted 46 seconds.

Clinton finished with 471 total yards to 402 for Lonoke. Dewey completed 12 of 20 pass attempts for 246 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.

The loss drops Lonoke to 3-7 overall and 3-4 in the 4A-2 Conference. The Jackrabbits will travel to the third place team in the 4A-4 Conference next week in the first round of the playoffs.

Clinton will host Maumelle next Friday.