Tuesday, October 14, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> Easy homecoming win

Special to The Leader

The Lonoke Jackrabbits celebrated homecoming with a 40-6 victory over the Southside Batesville Southerners Friday night at James B. Abraham Stadium.

The Jackrabbits were leading 20-0 at the half when the weather struck, and a 65-minute delay occurred.

When the game resumed, Lonoke (2-4, 1-2) doubled its score in the second half, and the Southerners (0-6, 0-3) got on the board late for the final 40-6 margin.

“A much needed win,” said Lonoke head coach Doug Bost. “I’m just proud of the kids, how they came out tonight and competed. They had good energy. We had a good week of practice and then carried it over to tonight.

“I’m real proud of the offensive line, making us be able to run the ball tonight. Our offense starts with us being able to run the ball. That will open up the passing game, and really we didn’t have to throw many passes tonight, because we had two running backs that were running hard for us tonight.”

Lonoke had 244 yards of offense in the first half, 217 of those on the ground. The Jackrabbits added 166 yards in the second half for a total of 410 yards, while holding Southside to 218 yards.

Josh Coleman led Lonoke with 127 yards rushing, Justin Meadows added 85 yards, Devin Mosley rushed for 72 yards, and Joe Carter for 56 yards.

Lonoke pinned the Southerners back on their own 4-yard line on the opening kickoff. The Jackrabbits forced a punt, and the short kick gave Lonoke excellent field position on the Southside 29-yard line. Jawaun Bryant took the ball on the first play and broke free, but fumbled the ball into the end zone for a touchback.

The two teams exchanged punts, then the Southerners moved the ball from their own 21-yard line to the Lonoke 19-yard line. After a penalty moved the ball back to the 24-yard line, quarterback Josh Milliken was intercepted by Trey Bevis for the Jackrabbits to the Lonoke 31-yard line.

Coleman picked up 30 yards on five carries at the beginning of the Lonoke drive and capped it off with a 27-yard touchdown run. Jacob Vandiver’s extra point was blocked, and the score was 6-0 with 11:13 to go in the second quarter.

The Southerners’ Dakota Cook got free on the ensuing kickoff and returned it to the Lonoke 20-yard line, with Caleb Bailey making a touchdown saving tackle for the Jackrabbits. Bailey then knocked away a pass on third and 9, and Deondray Joyner broke up another pass on fourth and 9, and the Jackrabbits took over on downs.

Lonoke took over on the 19-yard line and Meadows had runs of 15 and 12 yards before finishing the drive with a 40-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion was good by Logan Dozier to give a 14-0 lead to the home team.

Jackrabbit quarterback SaVonte Rountree kept the ball and ran it into the end zone from 39 yards away for an additional score with 2:30 to go in the half to make the advantage 20-0.

When play continued after the weather delay during halftime, Lonoke had the first possession. On third down and 8, Roundtree completed a pass to Meadows for 16 yards and when a personal foul penalty was added, the ball was on the 5-yard line. Coleman ran it in from there for the touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good, and the lead was 26-0. Coleman scored again on a 19-yard touchdown run with 2:23 to go in the third quarter. Again the two-point conversion was no good, and the advantage was 32-0.

The final Lonoke score was on the first play of the visitors’ next possession and was a 73-yard pick six by Chandler Elmore with 1:50 to go in the quarter. This time the two-point conversion was successful by Bryant, and the Jackrabbits led 40-0.

Southside put together an 85-yard touchdown drive with Milliken hitting Lucas Branscum for a 40-yard touchdown completion to set the final score of 40-6.

Lonoke hosts Helena-West Helena Central on Friday.