Friday, October 24, 2014

Jackrabbits knock off first-place Mustangs, 32-21

Lonoke's Ethan Holland returns an interception late in the first half again CAC (Photos by Mark Buffalo)

By Mark Buffalo
Staff Writer

NORTH LITTLE ROCK — With their backs against the wall, the Lonoke Jackrabbits came out swinging and came away with their biggest win of the season.
Lonoke (3-5, 2-3 4A-2) knocked off Central Arkansas Christian 32-21 on Friday at Mustang Mountain. The Mustangs were tied for first in the 4A-2 conference with West Helena, Newport and Stuttgart entering the game while the Jackrabbits were hoping to come alive at the right time in hopes of making the playoffs. 
"This was one we knew we had to have," Lonoke coach Doug Bost said. "We knew we had to run the ball. We got a different look on offense. We put Justin Meadows back there. He had a heck of a night."
Meadows rushed for 266 yards and two touchdowns on only 13 carries. Josh Coleman had 118 yards on 19 carries. Lonoke finished with 399 yards rushing. 
"The offensive line was blocking … Josh Coleman was lead blocking on a lot of those runs," Bost said. "I'm real proud of the offensive line and Josh there."
CAC took a 7-0 lead on a 6-yard run Braylon Harris with 4:25 left in the first quarter. Lonoke got on the board when Meadows ran 77 yards for his first touchdown with 3:46 left. Coleman added the two-point conversion to give Lonoke an 8-7 lead.
The Jackrabbits forced a punt. Coleman then ran 47 yards to the CAC 16. After two runs by Savonte Rountree went backwards for 4 yards, he made up for it with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Logan Dozier with 44 seconds left in quarter, making the score 14-7.
CAC tied the game at 14-14 on a 2-yard run by Harris. The score was set up by an interception. However, the Jackrabbits would get that score back late in the first half.
Late in the first half, Lonoke's Ethan Holland intercepted Noah Evans pass and returned it to the CAC 17. Three plays later, Rountree scored on a 5-yard run with 33 seconds left, giving Lonoke a 20-14 halftime lead.
After a scoreless third quarter, Lonoke pushed its lead to 26-14 on a 1-yard run by Rountree with 9:19 left. The score was set up by a 32-yard run by Meadows. 
CAC wasted no time in cutting the deficit to 26-21 when Zac Lilly returned the ensuing kickoff for a Mustangs' TD. 
Lonoke punted on its next possession. The Mustangs then drove to the Lonoke 13. On fourth down, Evans threw a pass to Stephen Flanigan but the ball was deflected by Deondray Joyner. Also defending on the play was Meadows.
Three plays later, Lonoke put the game away on a 70-yard scoring run by Meadows with 2:21 left.
CAC turned the ball over on downs with 1:32 left. Lonoke then ran out the clock to get the win. 
"Ethan Holland had two big interceptions to stop drives for them," Bost said. "Deondray, who is 5-5, had to guard the 6-4 receiver and I don't think he caught a pass over him."
Bost said the difference in the win was being able to run the ball consistently. 
"That gets us going," he said. "It starts up front. It's an attitude and they blocked their tails off. Being able to play both offense and defense together, that was important."
The Mustangs had only 255 yards in total offense. Harris rushed for 141 yards on 32 carries. Evans completed 10 of 28 passes for 117 yards. 
Lonoke will travel to Stuttgart next Friday for a 4A-2 conference matchup. Game time is 7 p.m.

Lonoke's Justin Meadowns [8] pulls away from CAC defenders for a long run in the fourth quarter. 

Lonoke quarterback Savonte Rountree leads over CAC's Landon Stevenson for a fourth quarter touchdown. 

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