Leader Blues

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

SPORTS >> Lonoke trying to jump back on track

Lonoke’s Darius Scott tries to break away from tacklers during Friday’s home loss to Bald Knob.

By JASON KING
Leader sports writer

Sometimes struggling opponents can be a welcome sight.

That is the case with Lonoke this week after a stunning 33-13 loss to Bald Knob last Friday at Jackrabbit homecoming.

This week, the Jackrabbits (2-3, 0-2 2-4A) will play on the road, but it will be against a school with very little football tradition. Southside Batesville’s program has been in existence for only four years, with an 8-27 record to date. The
Southerners are 0-5 through the first half of this season, with a close, 20-13 loss to Mountain View in Week 1 before suffering four straight blowouts.

In all, the Southerners have been outscored 197-45 through the first five weeks of 2009, including a 49-0 loss at the hands of Stuttgart in Week 4 and a 48-6 loss to Clinton last week.

The Bald Knob Bulldogs limited the ’Rabbits’ rushing game and gained 450-plus yards of their own last week. Lonoke senior running back Brandon Smith, who has posted a couple of performances of 150 yards or more, was held to only 49 rushing yards last week.

“They’re going to come up and stack the box with eight or nine guys. It wasn’t a surprise — they knew who number 5 was,” Bost said.

Senior quarterback Michael Nelson, despite being picked off four times, was still productive against the Bulldogs. He completed 17 of 31 passes last week and got 10 of those to senior receiver Todd Hobson.

“We had to move him from an inside receiver to an outside receiver because our quarterback is only 5-6, so now he can see him a little better,” Bost said.

There were a few passes to Hobson and other receivers that ended up in the hands of Bald Knob defenders. That, and a pair of fumbles Lonoke lost, gave the Bulldogs both constant momentum and great field position.

“The turnovers are killing us,” Bost said. “That makes 10 interceptions and four fumbles in the last three games. We’ve been addressing it. It’s also these momentum killers hurting us. We get in the red zone and just can’t punch it in.”