SPORTS >> Lonoke runs wild for win
By RAY BENTON
Leader sports editor
Lonoke’s offense finally began working the way first-year coach Jeff Jones has been wanting. In fact, it worked so well Friday night, that when sophomore Clarence Harris scored with 6:28 left in the third quarter, it started the mercy rule clock for the remainder of the Jackrabbits’ 35-14 victory over North Pulaski. Jones was very pleased with the offensive performance.
“We finally did the things we’ve been doing in practice, in the game,” Jones said. “I’ve been seeing good things in practice that we just haven’t been doing in the games, but tonight they brought it with them.”
The varsity defense also pitched a shutout through three quarters, and Jones noticed one significant difference in that area last night.
“I really liked the speed with which they played tonight,” Jones said. “They were really running after the ball, and that shows that they’re getting more comfortable with what they’re doing. That’s a good sign.”
Lonoke scored four times in the first half, and had the ball on the NP 32 late in the second, but the NP defense finally stiffened up and stopped the Jackrabbits on downs for the first time in the game.
Lonoke got the ball again to start the second half, and took it to the Falcon 1-yard line, where again NP stuffed Lonoke on fourth and inches.
NP took over at its own 2, and went three and out. The punt was returned to the 1-yard line by Harris, but was called back to the 21 for an illegal block in the back.
After quarterback Alex Cash ran up the middle for 14, Harris scored his third touchdown of the game on a 7-yard sweep left. The extra point was good and the continuous clock began. Lonoke scored on its first four possessions, starting with a 58-yard drive that ended with Harris’ first touchdown on the same play as his other two.
After an interception by Daniel Negrete, Lonoke went 54 yards in five plays to go up 14-0. Cash ended that drive with a 5-yard keeper with 2:38 left in the first quarter.
NP finally got the offense going a little bit on its third drive, picking up a couple of first downs. But it stalled on fourth and two when senior running back Charles Baker was dropped for a 4-yard loss.
Lonoke then went 59 yards in six plays, ending with a 26-yard run by Cash with 9:28 left in the half. The final touchdown of the first half came very shortly afterwards.
The kickoff sailed into the end zone, and NP fumbled and lost the snap on the first play of the drive.
Cash went 15 yards on the next play, but two more plays got just four more yards and left the Rabbits with third and goal at the 1. Another sweep was called and another touchdown was scored by Harris to make it 28-0.
The Falcons got on the board in the fourth quarter when sophomore Jordan Anderson rumbled in from 27 yards out.
After holding Lonoke on its next possession, NP set the final margin with a 10-yard run by sophomore quarterback Stanley Appleby.
Cash led all players with 184 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. Harris finished with 71 yards and three scores on 12 carries.