Tuesday, September 06, 2016

SPORTS STORY >> Records irrelevant for Beebe, Lonoke

Leader sports editor

Beebe and Lonoke meet up once again this Friday to continue a rivalry game that stretches back to the 1950s. The two teams are coming off much different performances in week one, but that’s no indication of what will take place this Friday at A.S. Bro Irwin Stadium in Beebe.

Lonoke coach Doug Bost and Beebe coach John Shannon have both held their posts for several years, and Shannon was a player in the rivalry for the Badgers. They are both aware that records mean nothing when the Badgers and Jackrabbits meet up.

“It’s just an old fashioned rivalry game,” said Beebe coach John Shannon. It means a lot to people in both towns. You can just kind of throw out the records and forget everything in the past. It’s just one of those games. You never can tell what’s going to happen when Beebe plays Lonoke.”

Bost didn’t have as much to say about the rivalry, other than “it’s always a battle.” He was more concerned with getting his team prepared to stop a style of offense it rarely sees.

“That dad gum Dead-T is just a tough offense,” Bost said. “We don’t see an offense like that the rest of the year. It’s hard to mimic. I definitely don’t have the size linemen they do, and I don’t have a scout team line that can fire off the line of scrimmage like they do. It’s just tremendously hard to prepare for.”

Lonoke has managed it well the last few years. The Jackrabbits have not lost to Beebe since 2011, when Beebe won 36-33. The 2012 game was called off in the second quarter because of persistent lightning with Lonoke leading 14-7. The Jackrabbits won 41-14 in 2013, 30-26 in 2014 and 39-22 last year.

Last week, Lonoke opened the season against another old rival, a really old rival. The Jackrabbits beat Carlisle 41-28 in the first meeting between the two teams since 1990.

Beebe lost 54-33 at Greenbrier in its season opener.

The Badgers and Jackrabbits both struggled with turnovers in week one, but Lonoke seemed to get them corrected in the second half.

“I was really disappointed in the three turnovers,” said Bost. “We just stopped ourselves. That’s something we definitely preach to them, especially against the team we’re about to play. You might never get it back. They can just suck all the time off the clock while you’re offense is standing over there watching. So we need to get that corrected, and we did that in the second half. We just have to keep it that way.”

Beebe committed five turnovers against Greenbrier, including one in the second quarter that Shannon felt was the turning point.

“We were driving down the field with a chance to take the lead when we gave up the ball,” Shannon said. “They hit a quick one on us and it just kind of snowballed from there. Most of it was youth and mistakes we have to get fixed. I thought the line did pretty good when we held onto the ball. We moved it down the field. We just didn’t finish. I don’t think its anything we can get fixed.”

Lonoke’s projected starting quarterback, Logan Dozier, sat out the opener with Carlisle because of an injury. Bost says he is now day to day, and doesn’t know if he will play this week. If not, he was pleased with how sophomore Braidon Bryant handled being thrown into the starting role in his first-ever varsity game.

“I though, for a sophomore, he came in and did really well,” Bost said of Bryant. “He was poised and he did a really good job of leading our offense.”