Leader Blues

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

SPORTS >>Jackrabbits alert, aren't overlooking underdogs

Leader sports writer

It will not be the strongest challenge of the year for Lonoke this Friday, but the Jackrabbits are still preparing for the trip to Mountain View to play the struggling Yellowjackets just the same. A roster of only 15 players has made being competitive an impossibility in the tough 4A-2 Conference this season for Mountain View.

The ‘Jackets have been held scoreless in five of their six games so far this season. The only points for them this year came in a 36-6 win over upstarts Cave City. In all, Mountain View has been outscored 210 to 36 on the year, giving up an average of 35 points per game.

Putting points on the scoreboard has not been a problem for the Jackrabbits recently in the slightest. Lonoke has outscored its last two opponents 116-22, including last week’s 55-0 shutout over Southside Batesville.

With powerhouse Marianna waiting in the wings for Lonoke next week, ‘Rabbits head coach Jeff Jones says the key this week is to keep his players focused on the task at hand, and not look too far into the future.

“We have some tough games down the road,” Jones said. “We certainly don’t want to overlook Mountain View, though. They are in a rebuilding cycle right now; they have kind of struggled some. They are a little low in numbers, but they have a pretty balanced run-and-pass attack.”

It has been business as usual for the Jackrabbits the past couple of weeks. The only significant change on the chart is the emergence of young running back Tyler Crow. Crow has run very well the last two weeks, allowing the coaching staff to use senior Wendell Scales primarily on defense. Scales started the season as starting tailback and starting linebacker, effectively putting him on the field for nearly the entire 48 minutes.

Jones has referred to Scales as the heart and soul of the Jackrabbits team since the summer. His defensive efforts have proven to be very valuable for Lonoke so far this season, but Jones says he is still polished on the running game if needed.
“Our sophomore Tyler Crow has done a good job in the backfield for us the last couple of weeks,” Jones said. “We are pretty excited about that. We’ve been able to give Wendell a little bit of a break and let him concentrate on defense. He is still capable of running the ball if we need him. Clarence Harris is still doing a good job for us on offense, but we’ve been spreading the ball around a little more these last two weeks.”

Jones says the team is healthy, save for a couple of bumps and bruises. Although the offense still continues to make strides weekly, Jones says the increase was not as dramatic last week as it has been in the previous couple of weeks. The ‘Rabbits could potentially use this game with the Yellowjackets as a primer for next week’s showdown with Marianna.