|Lonoke Public School athletic director Marc Sherrell presents the Central Lonoke County Showdown trophy, sponsored by the Lonoke County Co-op to Jackrabbits coach Doug Bost. (Photos by Mark Buffalo)|
LONOKE — For a half, the Central Lonoke County Showdown was a dogfight.
The Lonoke Jackrabbits rallied from a 12-7 deficit to beat the Carlisle Bison 41-28 in the first meeting between the two teams since 1990.
“I didn’t like the three turnovers in the first half,” Lonoke coach Doug Bost said. “You can’t put points on the board if you don’t have it.”
Bost said the Bison played well in the first half.
“In the first half, they came out and they executed,” he said. “They hit us in the mouth. They are a very physical team.
“At halftime, I thought coach [Taggart] Moore did a great job with his defense, making some adjustments. They were going overload on us. That was something we didn’t see in their scrimmage. We got that ironed out. That group [starting defense] didn’t give up any points in the second half.”
Lonoke got the ball to start the game. The Jackrabbits drove 52 yards in seven plays. Michael Hodges scored on an 8-yard run with 8:23 left in the first quarter. Mario Reyes kicked the extra point to give the Jackrabbits a 7-0 lead.
From there, the Bison responded with an 84-yard, 16-play scoring drive, which took more than 8 minutes off the clock. Ty Golleher scored on a 1-yard run with 14 seconds left in the first quarter. The extra point was no good, leaving the score at 7-6. Carlisle overcame three false start penalties on the drive.
The Bison took a 12-7 lead following Lonoke’s second turnover of the half. Devon Kendrick scored on a 4-yard run with 2:47 left in the first half.
Lonoke reclaimed the lead on the final play of the half. Braidon Bryant scored on a quarterback sneak. Reyes kicked the extra point to give the Jackrabbits a 14-12 lead.
Carlisle got the ball to start the second half and drove from the 50 to the Lonoke 17 but turned the ball over on downs. On the next play from scrimmage, Lonoke’s Steven Barrett ran 83 yards for a touchdown with 7:45 left in the third quarter. Reyes’ PAT made the score 21-12.
“Steven Barrett really kickstarted the offense with his long touchdown run,” Bost said. “It seemed like, after that, we had the momentum. That was a big run for us.”
The Jackrabbits defense came up big on the next Bison possession as Xavier Hodge intercepted a Bison pass and returned it for a touchdown with 5:45 left in the third quarter.
Another Bison turnover led to a 20-yard scoring run by Bryant with 4:13 left, making the score 34-12.
Lonoke’s final score came on a 1-yard run by Bryant with 15 seconds left in the third quarter.
Carlisle scored two late TDs in the fourth quarter. Kendrick scored on a 23-yard run with 2:13 left. Jasean Harper added the two-point conversion.
Carlisle coach Mark Uhiren said depth issues caused his team problems.
“We had 22 available tonight,” he said. “I’m not going to make excuses but it’s a reason. They’ve got a fresh bunch coming in. They rotate some people around. They don’t have to milk them dry.”
Uhiren said he told his team after the game that he couldn’t fault them for their first-half effort.
“It was fantastic, I though,” he said. “We had too many mental breakdowns, and we’re going to work on that. They are still not into the rhythm yet of what we’re doing. But they’ve accepted it and are pretty successful at doing it at times.”
Uhiren was proud of his team’s effort.
“That’s a 4A football team [Lonoke] out there and they are no slouch,” he said. “My little 2A bunch went out there and gave them all they wanted for the first half. And if they hadn’t made some mistakes in the first part of the second half, we would have been even closer.”
Harper scored on a 1-yard run with 52.9 seconds left. Braiden Jenkins passed to Kendrick for the two-point conversion.
Bryant completed all five of his pass attempts for 93 yards.
Barrett had 83 yards rushing on one carry. Hodge had 81 yards on 5 carries. Bryant had 47 yards on 11 carries. Hodges had 25 yards on 5 carries.
Kameron Cole, Isaac Toney, Daniel Seigrist, E’Shaun Brown and Hodge each caught one pass.
Kendrick led the Bison with 97 yards rushing on 17 carries. Brent Bowlan had 83 yards on 9 carries. Golleher had 62 yards on 14 carries. Carson Cunningham completed 4 of 16 passes for 75 yards. Harper had 20 yards rushing and 37 yards receiving.
The Bison host DeWitt in the final non-conference game this Friday at Fred C. Hardke Field. Lonoke plays at Beebe.
|Carlisle running back Devon Kendrick follows his blocking during the Bison's game with Lonoke. Also pictured for Carlisle are Gray Amaden (51) and Carson Cunningham (7)|
|Lonoke DB Kameron Cole looks for daylight after intercepting at Carlisle pass.|