Sunday, October 14, 2018

Jackrabbits win third in a row, now tied for second in 4A-2 play

Lonoke senior punter Hannah Moseley (72) is congratulated by teammates after seeing her first action of the season in the Jackrabbits' 35-8 win over Mills University Studies High on Friday night. (Photo by Ashley McGowan)

By Mark Buffalo
Staff Writer

LONOKE — For the first time in four seasons, the Lonoke Jackrabbits have won three consecutive games.
The Jackrabbits routed Mills University Studies High 35-8 on homecoming Friday night to improve to 4-3 overall and 3-1 in 4A-2 play. The victory was Lonoke’s third in a row after dropping three games in a row. The last time the Jackrabbits were winners of three in a row was the 2014 season. 
“I’m glad we were able to come out and overcome all the distractions of homecoming week,” Lonoke coach Taggart Moore said. “I think we are starting to click and get on a roll at the right time.”
Lonoke led 21-0 after one quarter, 28-0 at halftime and 35-0 after three quarters. Mills’ lone score came in the fourth quarter. 
Lonoke’s Anthony Parks continued his hot streak running the football. He rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Davonta Adams had 119 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. 
Lonoke quarterback Braidon Bryant completed 5 of 7 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown. Parks caught three passes for 65 yards. Shawn Lake caught one pass. Dalton Smith caught one pass for 12 yards and a touchdown. 
Smith also returned an interception for a touchdown. 
Nick Tate kicked five extra points. 
Jackson Ward led Lonoke with 10 tackles. Brayden Coble and Antonio Earl had eight tackles each. 
Also, Hannah Moseley, possibly the first female football player in school history, at least the first in the last 25 years, saw her first action of the season. She had a punt for 30 years in the fourth quarter. 
The Jackrabbits are tied for second in the conference at 3-1 with Heber Springs, which holds the tiebreaker by virtue of it’s previous win over Lonoke in the conference opener. Stuttgart is undefeated at 4-0. The Jackrabbits are primed for their first playoff spot since 2015 if they win at Central Arkansas Christian on Friday night at Mustang Mountain. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Bison score early, often in beating Marvell for first win

Carlisle's Davarius Allen heads into the end zone during the Bison's win over Marvell. (Photo by Mark Buffalo)

By Mark Buffalo
Staff Writer

CARLISLE — The Marvell Mustangs were just what the doctor ordered for the Carlisle Bison football team.
Carlisle scored 52 first-quarter points in a 66-12 win over the Mustangs on Thursday at Fred C. Hardke Field. The win was the first for new head coach Caleb Shock and the Bison are now 1-4-1 overall and 1-2 in 2A-6 play.
“These guys have been working hard since coming back the week after the dead period in July,” Shock said. “We put in a lot of work in July and August and all through September. It was time for a win in Week 1 but it didn’t happen in Week 1 and every other week after that. But it was just good to get one Thursday night. I think the guys are really trying to do things the right way. I’m glad it was able to pay off for them on the scoreboard.”
Carlisle got the ball to start the game. After a long kickoff return by Kamryn Taylor, his teammate Mitchell Couch recovered his fumble at the Marvell 20. Two plays later Davarius Allen scored on a 2-yard run with 11:12 left to give the Bison a 6-0 lead.
Marvell fumbled the ensuing kickoff with Carlisle’s Will Carter recovering the ball at the Marvell 34. Three plays later, Bison quarterback Braiden Jenkins scored on a 5-yard run. He threw to Carter for the two-point conversion to make the score 14-0. 
Carlisle’s third touchdown came on a 38-yard run by Taylor with 7:35 left. Kaden Bray scored the two-point conversion to make the score 22-0.
Marvell fumbled the next kickoff with Carter recovering again. That led to Taylor scoring on a 13-yard run with 4:45 left and Bray adding the two-point conversion, making the score 30-0.
After a Marvell punt, the Bison scored again on a 19-yard run by Jenkins with 2:41 left, bringing the score to 36-0.
Marvell fumbled again on the next kickoff and the Bison pushed the lead to 4-0 on a 10-yard run by Jasean Harper. Allen added the two-point conversion, making the score 44-0.
The Bison’s final first-quarter touchdown came on a 25-yard run by Taylor with 31 seconds left. Jenkins scored the two-point conversion. 
Marvell scored the next two touchdowns to make the score 52-12. 
Carlisle scored a defensive touchdown when Carter returned an interception 65 yards for a touchdown. Collin Jinks also scored a touchdown on a  33-yard run. Bray added the two-point conversion. 
Taylor led the Bison with 76 yards rushing on three carries. Harper had 60 yards on four carries. Allen had 45 yards on six carries. 
C.J. James led the Bison with five tackles. 
Shock said he thinks the Bison can build off this win. 
“Two weeks ago, beginning of the Des Arc week, we scrapped a lot of what we were doing on offense,” Shock said, referring to the spread. “We installed the Wing T. We were already doing some Wing T principles. It wasn’t like it was a completely different concept. We basically put in a new offense. Every week, right now for us with these guys, is getting on the film and taking the things we did well, taking the things we thought we did well, and going back and learning off those. We did that Friday afternoon.
“We tried to learn a lot about blocking schemes and what we needed to do better, especially on the offensive side of the ball. The kids are learning a few new blocking rules. Each week, we’ve got to build off that and get better. Hopefully, we’ll be prepared where we’re sitting in a spot to where we are playing in the playoffs and have some things polished up by then.”
The Bison host Marianna for homecoming this Friday. 

Jackrabbits get signature win by beating defending conference champs

Lonoke's Anthony Parks makes a cut during the Jackrabbits' win over Southside Batesville. (Photo by Mark Buffalo)

By Mark Buffalo
Staff Writer

LONOKE — As Lou Brown said in the movie Major League, “It’s starting to come together.” Well that can be said for the Lonoke Jackrabbits football team.
A week after beating a team for  their first time with a winning record in several seasons, Lonoke followed it up with an even bigger surprise — shocking the defending 4A-2 conference champions.
Lonoke beat Southside Batesville 27-23 on Friday night to improve to 3-3 on the season and 2-1 in league play. The Jackrabbits had to hold on for dear life after leading 27-7 early in the fourth quarter.
“This is easily the biggest win,” third-year Lonoke coach Taggart Moore said. “This game had a little bit of everything in it. I was worried there at the end. But this is the second week in a row that these guys have come together in the end and overcome adversity.”
Lonoke had lost three in a row after beating Carlisle in the season opener. They beat Bald Knob 28-21 on Sept. 28. 
“These guys are tough,” he said of his team. “It’s going to be a tough run to the playoffs.”
Southside took a 7-0 lead after a Lonoke fumble at the Southside 3. The Southerners drove 97 yards and scored on a 6-yard run by Caden Huskey early in the second quarter.
Lonoke responded with a scoring drive of its own, capped by a Davonta Adams 6-yard touchdown run with 8:09 left in the first half. Nick Tate added the extra point. 
Lonoke’s Dalton Smith intercepted a Koby Rich pass and returned deep. A penalty on the return set Lonoke up at the Southside 7. Two plays later, Lonoke quarterback Braidon Bryant scored on a two-yard run with 5:04 left in the first half. Tate’s extra point made the score 14-7. 
Lonoke pushed its lead to 20-7 on a 42-yard run by Anthony Parks with 1:20 left in the third quarter. The extra point was blocked.
On the next Southside possession, Parks intercepted a tipped pass, setting up Lonoke at the Southside 40. Bryant then scored on a 40-yard run with 11:48 left in the game, making the score 27-7.
Southside then did its best to get back into the game. 
 The Southerners cut the deficit to 27-14 on a two-yard run by Alex Palmer with 7:32 left.
Lonoke recovered the onside kick attempt but were forced to punt. But the punt was kicked out of bounds. On the next play, Rich threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to Kilynn Dugger with 5:34 left to make the score 27-21.
Southside then recovered the onside kick and drove the ball to the Lonoke 7. On fourth down, Lonoke’s defense stopped Rich short of a first down.
The Jackrabbits were forced to take a safety, trying to end the game but when Bryant stepped out of the end zone, the clock read 0.2 seconds. 
The Southerners were not able to return the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown. 
Moore said his defense made the plays when it needed to
“I never had a question about them,” he said. “Coach [Jack] Keith has them right. They play tough. Down there on fourth down, I knew those guys would not let them get that first down.”
Parks led the Jackrabbits with 139 yards rushing on 13 carries. Bryant had 110 yards on 10 carries Adams had 81 yards on 18 carries. The Jackrabbits finished with 322 yards in total offense.
“Anthony is tough,” Moore said of Parks. “He’s a stud. He’s a sophomore. Like I’ve said, these kids [sophomores] were my seventh-grade group. I’ve been waiting on that group.”
Southside was led by Brayden Duncan, who had 175 yards rushing on 22 carries. Rich completed 11 of 20 passes for 188 yards. Huskey caught five passes for 105 yards.
Jackson Ward led Lonoke with 18 tackles. Dalton and Dayton Smith had 14 tackles each. Terry Moore had nine. Brayden Coble, Josh Lawson and Antonio Earl had seven each. 
Lonoke hosts Mills for homecoming this Friday. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Bison getting close but still winless

Carlisle senior Baylor Craig looks to block during the season opener with Lonoke. (Photo by Mark Buffalo)

By Mark Buffalo
Staff Writer

DES ARC — The Carlisle Bison are still in search of their first victory after a 32-14 loss to Des Arc on Friday night at Eagles Field.
Carlisle is now 0-4-1 on the season and 0-2 in 6A-2 play. 
The Bison got off to a quick start, leading 8-0 following a 50-yard touchdown run by Kamryn Taylor in the first quarter. Will Carter scored the two-point conversion.
Des Arc scored 16 second-quarter points to lead 16-8 at halftime. Des Arc’s Luke Morton scored on a 34-yard run. Turner Holland added the two-point conversion. Donald McCoy then scored on a two-yard run and scored the two-point conversion to make the score 16-8. 
The Eagles pushed their lead to 24-8 in the third quarter when Cooper Roberts scored on a 71-yard run. McCoy added the two-point conversion.
The Bison finally broke the string of 24 consecutive Eagles points when Davarius Allen scored on a one-yard run. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the score at 24-14.
Des Arc’s final points came on a three-yard run by McCoy in the fourth quarter. Morton scored the two-point conversion. 
Bison quarterback Braiden Jenkins completed 5 of 11 passes for 82 yards. 
Allen rushed for 61 yards on 11 carries. Taylor had 56 yards on seven carries.
Carter caught four passes for 74 yards. 
The Bison will host Marvell on Thursday night. The junior high game starts at 5:15 p.m. followed by the junior high homecoming ceremony. The senior high game will follow. 

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Lonoke gets biggest win in Taggart Moore era as coach

Lonoke's Davonta Adams rushed for 154 yards on 20 carries in the Jackrabbits' 28-21 win over Bald Knob. (Photo by Mark Buffalo)

By Mark Buffalo
Staff Writer

BALD KNOB — For the first time in three seasons, the Lonoke Jackrabbits beat a team with a winning record.
Lonoke, ranked 32nd in Class 4A by Hooten’s Arkansas Football, scored late to beat No. 17 Bald Knob 28-21 on Friday night. Lonoke is now 2-3 overall and 1-1 in 4A-2 play. The Bulldogs are 3-2 overall and 1-1 in league play. 
Lonoke took a 6-0 lead when Brayden Coble recovered a fumble in the end zone. The Jackrabbits missed the extra point.
Bald Knob took a 7-6 lead in the first quarter. Lonoke reclaimed the lead at 14-6, scoring a touchdown and a two-point conversion by Dayton Smith.
Lonoke pushed it’s lead to 21-7 on a 3-yard run by Anthony Parks. Nick Tate added the extra point.
Bald Knob kicked a 25-yard field goal to make the score 21-10 at halftime. 
The Bulldogs scored 11 points in the third quarter to tie the game at 21-21.
Lonoke reclaimed the lead at 28-21 after a 99 yard scoring drive. Tate kicked the extra point to make the score 28-21 in the fourth quarter.
Bald Knob had two scoring chances, including driving the ball inside the Lonoke 5 but turned it over on downs. 
After a Lonoke punt, Bald Knob had one final shot but Lonoke’s Braidon Bryant intercepted a pass near the goal line to end the game. 
The Jackrabbits rushed for 458 yards on 51 carries. Davonta Adams had 154 yards on 20 carries. Bryant had 150 yards on 15 carries. He also scored a touchdown. Parks had 138 yards on 12 carries. He scored two touchdowns. 
Bryant completed 3 of 5 passes for 25 yards. Riley Miller caught two passes for 21 yards. 
Third-year Lonoke coach Taggart Moore said he was proud of his team’s play.
“I want to give credit to Bald Knob,” he said. “They are a well-coached team and play tough. Our kids came together and played as a family tonight.
“I was proud of our defense having three red-zone stands. I was also proud of our offense putting up big numbers in the run game.”
Dayton Smith led Lonoke with 18 tackles. Will McNeill had 15. Jackson Ward has 12. Antonio Earl had 10. Cable had nine. 
Lonoke hosts Southside Batesville this Friday at James B. Abraham Stadium. The Southerners are 3-2 on the season and 1-1 in league play. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Jackrabbits can't keep up with Greyhounds

Lonoke running back Davonta Adams carries the ball during the Jackrabbits' win over Carlisle in the season opener Aug. 31. Adams rushed for 56 yards against Newport on Friday. (Photo by Mark Buffalo)

By Mark Buffalo
Staff Writer

NEWPORT — The Lonoke Jackrabbits looked good early against Newport but the Greyhounds ran away for a 35-14 win in the final non-conference game for both teams.
Lonoke is now 1-2 while Class 3A Newport is 2-1. 
Lonoke kicked off to start the game and recovered an onside kick at the Newport 43. Quarterback Braidon Bryant threw a 43-yard pass to Dalton Smith down to the Newport 3. On the next play, Davonta Adams scored on a  3-yard run. Nick Tate kicked the extra point to give the Jackrabbits a 7-0 lead. 
Newport tied it at 7-7 on a 9-yard run by Tharon Davis with 51.9 seconds left in the first quarter.
Newport scored two more first-half touchdowns to lead 21-7 at halftime. 
Lonoke cut it to 28-14 on an 8-yard run by Bryant with 6:48 left in the third quarter. That score would remain the same until Newport put the game away on a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Cash Forrester with 5:22 left in the game. 
Lonoke coach Taggart Moore gave credit to the Greyhounds for the victory.
“Give credit to Newport,” he said. “They will run a run for a state title this year. We had our chances but couldn’t take advantage of them.”
Adams led the Jackrabbits with 56 yards rushing on 13 carries. Bryant had 35 yards on 10 carries.
Bryant completed 6 of 15 passes for 108 yards. 
Smith caught two passes for 63 yards. Adams caught two passes for 25 yards. Nicholas Dixon caught 1 pass for 19 yards. Anthony Parks caught 1 pass for 25 yards. 
Forrester completed 10 of 20 passes for 185 yards. He had one interception. That was made by Lonoke’s Riley Miler. 
Dayton Smith led Lonoke with 10 tackles. Miller and John Lawson had 7 tackles each. Dalton Smith and six. Will McNeil had five. 
Lonoke opens 4A-2 conference play at home Friday against Heber Springs. The Panthers are 0-3 with losses to Clinton, Greenbrier and Harding Academy.
“It’s been a tough non-conference schedule the last two weeks to prepare us for conference,” Moore said. 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

OT rules ignored: Bison-Baptist game ends in 12-12 tie

Carlisle's Kamryn Taylor heads toward the end zone for a Bison touchdown against Baptist Prep. (Photo courtesy of Julie Carter)

By Mark Buffalo
Staff Writer

CARLISLE — For the first time in 10 years, a Carlisle game ended in a tie. However, that should not have happened per Arkansas Activities Association rules.
Carlisle and Baptist Prep were tied 12-12 at the end of the fourth quarter. The game should have been extended with an overtime with both teams getting a possession at the opponent’s 10-yard line. 
However, the game officials ended the contest. 
The rule was changed three years ago to allow non-conference games to play overtime. Previous to that, only conference games would use overtime to decide a game.
“It was a poor job on all sides — officials, coaches, everybody for not knowing, enforcing, pushing the current rule,” Carlisle coach Caleb Shock said. “For years and years and years, non-conference games could end in a tie. You’ve got officials and coaches both who did not pursue it the way it should have been done.”
Shock said he told the officials that he wanted to play overtime. 
“We agreed to that,” he said. “We do a coin flip. We’re about to start overtime. The officials told us that this will not count, and that this will go down as a tie.
“After they conferenced about it, it was decided not to play the game because of that. That should not have been the decision that was made.”
Shock said he will take the blame for the game not being played to a conclusion.
“Ultimately, I’m going to put it on me,” he said. “Nobody knew the correct rule. if I had done my job and known it, I would have just sat out there on the field and argued and not got off the field until we got a rulebook and gotten the right thing done.” 
Carlisle’s last tie was a 13-13 game with Perryville in 2008. The Mustangs were coached by former Carlisle coach James Clayton.
The Bison are now 0-2-1 while Baptist is 1-1-1.
The Bison trailed 6-0 in the first quarter after the Eagles recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown. The Bison tied it at 6-6 when Eli Moody scored on a 5-yard run with 9:16 left in the first half. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the score at 6-6. 
Baptist reclaimed the lead at 12-6 when Robert Lewis threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Mitchell Leavitt.
The Bison tied it at 12-12 on a 21-yard run by Kamryn Taylor with 2:21 left in the first half. 
“We had 223 yards in total offense and we had an additional 110 yards in penalties,” Shock said. “We should have had 350 yards of offense last night. If we had done that, I have no doubt in my mind if we had done that, there would have been no discussion about overtime.”
Moody completed 10 of 20 passes for 51 yards. Jasean Harper rushed for 73 yards on 18 carries. Moody had 29 yards on 11 carries. Taylor had 21 yards on six carries. 
Shock also said his defense played well, giving up only one touchdown. 
Ian Seidenschwarz led the Bison defense with 13 total tackles. Davarius Allen had six. Kaleb Boyle and Harper had five tackles each.
The Bison will host undefeated Hazen in the 2A-6 opener this Friday at Fred C. Hardke Field. Shock said he knows Hazen is a good team but is looking forward to the game.
“We look at this as an opportunity to play a very good team in Hazen.,” he said.