Leader Blues

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

SPORTS >> Badgers, Lonoke continue old rivalry

By RICKY HARVEY
Leader managing editor

There’s no telling what kind of game to expect when rivals Beebe and Lonoke face off Friday night in Lonoke.
The game could be a shootout like last season when the Jackrabbits won 34-26 at Beebe, or the game could be low-scoring, like in 2003 when the Badgers came away with an 8-2 victory.
One thing is certain, however: The game will likely be competitive.

“It’s a war every time we play,” Lonoke coach Marcel Vincent said. “The game has come down to the end the last two years. We always seem to match up well with each other. It’s just a classic game.”
Since 1976, Lonoke leads the series against Beebe 12-11.

“We got a nice little rivalry going,” Vincent said. Lonoke (0-1) is coming off a 41-14 season-opening loss to class AAA power Pine Bluff Dollarway, a game which saw the Jackrabbits have a turnover-filled first half lead to an early 28-0 deficit. Lonoke trailed by as many as 33-0 before scoring two touchdowns in the second half.
“Dollarway is a very good club and I think everyone realizes that, but we didn’t help ourselves by turning the ball over,” Vincent said. “We spotted them 28 points before we started really playing and I was disappointed by that.

“But there were some bright spots. We played much better at the end of the game than we did in the first half so that’s a positive. Our special teams also played really well and we threw the ball a lot. We had open receivers, we just need to work on making better reads.”
Beebe junior quarterback Jared Mathis had plenty of good reads in a 32-26 victory over Greenbrier on Thursday at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.

Mathis threw for four touchdowns and added another rushing score as the Badgers (1-0) held on for the season-opening victory. Mathis finished 16 of 28 for 218 yards.

“He’s got a lot of confidence right now,” Vincent said of Mathis. “Their offense really clicked behind him and he was a great leader in that game. He’s certainly an area we’ve got to be concerned about.”
While he’s concerned with what will be effective against Beebe, Vincent is mainly concerned about his team, and getting it ready for a rugged 6AAA conference schedule, which begins in two weeks.

“We’ve had the state champion come out of our conference the past two years so we’re going to know fairly early where we stand,” Vincent said. “We’ve got to get ready for it.”