Tuesday, October 20, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> ’Rabbits earn win at Helena

Leader sportswriter

Lonoke took care of the football Friday night at Helena-West Helena Central, and broke its four-game losing streak as a result with a hard-fought 26-16 victory over the Cougars.

It was the Jackrabbits’ first win since week two, and their first 4A-2 Conference victory of the season. The win was crucial to keeping Lonoke’s playoff hopes alive.

“Our kids came and they competed hard,” said Lonoke coach Doug Bost. “We didn’t have any turnovers on offense, so that was huge. The week before, we had four turnovers and it led to 28 points for Southside.

“We kind of preached that we needed to protect the football and we did. So that was big.”

Helena (3-4, 2-2) scored the game’s first points on the very first possession. Kay Harvey scored on a 1-yard plunge before the Cougars converted the two-point try to take an early 8-0 lead.

Lonoke (3-4, 1-3) made it a two-point game in the second quarter with an 86-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Savonte Rountree to Justin Meadows. The two-point try was unsuccessful, making it an 8-6 game.

The Jackrabbits, though, took the lead before halftime. Running back Xavier Hodge scored on a 3-yard run toward the end of the half and Meadows scored the two-point conversion to make the score 14-8 at the break.

Neither team scored in the third quarter, but the Jackrabbits found the end zone again 89 seconds into the fourth. That score was another 3-yard run by Hodge, which made it 20-8 Lonoke.

Lonoke’s last score came on defense, when Steven Barrett returned a fumble 65 yards for a touchdown to push the Jackrabbit lead to 26-8. The Cougars scored a touchdown and added a two-point conversion late in the game to set the final score.

“On defense, we were able to turn them over,” Bost said. “We got a big interception by Kameron Cole and we got a 65-yard scoop and score by Steven Barrett that really turned the game for us. So that was big.”

Hodge led Lonoke with 18 carries for 117 yards and two touchdowns. Rountree completed 3 of 7 passes for 100 yards and one score with no interceptions.

Meadows’ 86-yard reception led the Rabbit receiving corps. He also had three carries for 14 yards, giving him 100 yards from scrimmage.

Josh Coleman and Casey Martin caught Rountree’s other two passes. Joe Carter and Michael Hodges led Lonoke with 11 tackles each. Dylan Smith had eight tackles and Jawaun Bryant and Ethan Holland had seven apiece.