Leader Blues

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

SPORTS >> Lonoke takes momentum to Marianna

Lonoke safety Taylor Blackard, 23, and Brandon O’Bannon recover a fumble.

By TODD TRAUB
Leader sports editor

Lonoke heads back on the road with this week’s 2-4A Conference game at Marianna.

But the Jackrabbits got plenty of mileage out of their latest home appearance.

Lonoke is fresh off its 53-8 whipping of DeWitt in which it scored all its points in the first half, gained 475 yards and rested its starters for the final two quarters.

“We were able to get everybody in after halftime, that’s the kind of game you like right there,” Lonoke coach Doug Bost said of the extended playing time for his reserves.

The only pressure on the backups came from the clock. The big halftime lead triggered the sportsmanship-timing rule commonly known as the mercy rule, in which the clock runs almost continually, and that gave the reserve Jackrabbits only so much time on the field.

As for the starters, they made short work of a DeWitt team still trying to find its first victory.

Brandon Smith gained 202 rushing yards and scored three touchdowns on runs of 1, 15 and 53 yards. Morgan Linton scored on a 19-yard screen pass and a 12-yard run up the middle.

“He ran the ball hard, him and Morgan, I thought,” Bost said of Smith and Linton. “Morgan had some big holes through there so, yeah, the O-line did a great job of opening up holes for them. Hopefully we can continue that for the rest of the season.”

Quarterback Michael Nelson passed for 166 yards and three touchdowns and scored the game’s first touchdown on a 1-yard sneak. Darius Scott and Todd Hobson had touchdown receptions, with Hobson spinning away from tackle and breaking another on his 49-yard catch and run.

Scott’s 5-yard touchdown catch was a welcome sight for more than one reason.

“Darius has been hurt, missed about two and a half games for us,” Bost said. “I think he’s back to full speed now. That’s a definite playmaker we need back there.”

The ‘Rabbits defense held the Dragons to 72 total yards in the first half while Wes Plummer, Justin Smith and Jordan Lynch each pulled down an interception for the Jackrabbits (4-3, 2-2).

Lonoke now travels to face Marianna (2-5, 2-2), a team that has beaten the same 2-4A teams — DeWitt and Batesville Southside — the Jackrabbits have.