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. 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Bison play better in loss to Dragons

Carlisle's Jasean Harper runs the ball against Lonoke in the season opener. Harper rushed for 125 yards on 18 carries against DeWitt on Friday night. (Photo by Mark Buffalo)

By Mark Buffalo
Staff Writer

CARLISLE — Even though the result was the same, it was a complete turnaround for the Carlisle Bison football team.
After dropping a 37-0 decision to Lonoke in the season opener, Carlisle went toe-to-toe with Class 4A DeWitt but fell 26-12 in the home opener, which was delayed 90 minutes because of lighting. 
Against Lonoke, the Bison had less than 30 yards in total offense. Against DeWitt, the Bison finished with 222 yards, including 184 yards rushing. 
“We played a lot better … I thought we tried to play pretty physical,” first-year Carlisle coach Caleb Shock said. “Effort has continually gotten better.”
Shock said senior Jasean Harper stepped up after his performance against Lonoke. He rushed for 125 yards on 18 carries. 
“We were on him pretty hard this week,” Shock said. “Last week at Lonoke, he had some pretty decent effort when he had the ball in his hands. But when he didn’t have the ball, he didn’t give very good effort, doing some other things, like blocking and carrying out fakes. 
“It was completely night and day. He gave really good effort without the ball. He did a good job blocking for us. He did a pretty good job on defense. I was really proud to see he responded this week and did things he needed to do.”
Shock also spoke highly of junior lineman Kaleb Boyle.
“He is one, on film, who played his tail off on both sides of the ball,” Shock said. “Across the board,we had much better effort. Execution on some things, we’re still cleaning those up. We’re a couple of plays here or there from the outcome being different.”
DeWitt took an 8-0 lead on the game’s first possession. Tiner Gunnell scored on a 2-yard run with 7:11 left in the first quarter. Seth Courtney scored the two-point conversion.
Carlisle then ran off the rest of the first quarter clock then Harper scored on a 33-yard run on the first play of the second quarter. The two-point conversion failed, leaving DeWitt ahead at 8-6.
DeWitt pushed its lead to 14-6 on a 61-yard run by Courtney with 5:04 left in the first half. 
Carlisle got the ball to start the second half. After a 28-yard run by Harper down to the DeWitt 24, a few plays later, Carlisle’s Kamryn Taylor scored on a 9-yard run with 11:08 left to make the score 14-12. The two-point conversion failed. 
DeWitt pushed its lead back to eight points at 20-12 with 6:10 left in the third quarter on a 16-yard pass from Courtney to Dylan Moser. 
Carlisle looked to have a chance to tie the game but a long run by Taylor was negated by a holding penalty. The Bison did pick up a first down after the penalty but turned the ball over on downs at the DeWitt 20 with 3:33 left in the third quarter.
DeWitt’s final points came on a 9-yard pas from Courtney to Moser with 8:08 left in the game. 
Carlisle quarterback Eli Moody completed 4 of 13 passes for 38 yards. Will Carter caught three passes for 28 yards. Carter also had in interception for the Bison defense. 
Ian Seidenschwarz led the Bison with 12 total tackles. Carter had seven. Boyle had six. 
Carlisle will host Baptist Prep in the final non-conference game this Friday at Fred C. Hardke Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. The Eagles enter the game at 1-1. They beat Bismarck 35-29 in the season opener then lost to Central Arkansas Christian 38-13 on Friday. 

Jackrabbits come up short on scoreboard against Beebe

Lonoke's Shawn Lake runs away from a Beebe defender en route to a touchdown in the Jackrabbits' 17-7 loss to the Badgers on Friday night. (Photo by Ashley McGowan)

By Mark Buffalo
Staff Writer

BEEBE — The Lonoke Jackrabbits appeared to have beaten Beebe in most things in their game Friday except the only thing that counts — the scoreboard.
Beebe came away with a 17-7 win over the Jackrabbits on Friday night at Bro. Erwin Stadium on Friday night.
Lonoke is now 1-1 on the season. 
Lonoke forced three Beebe turnovers but couldn’t take advantage of any of them.
Beebe led 3-0 at halftime following a field goal by Daniel Martinez in the first quarter.
Lonoke had a chance to take the lead after a long screen pass to Davonta Adams down to the Beebe 1. 
The Jackrabbits could not get the ball into the end zone, even though it appeared they did on replay. On fourth down at the Beebe 3, Lonoke’s Nick Tate attempted a 20-yard field goal. However, Beebe’s defense was called for encroachment, moving the ball up to the 1 1/2. Lonoke attempted another field goal but the kick was blocked, leaving the score at 3-0. 
The Jackrabbits had another chance to take the lead late in the half but a touchdown pass from Braidon Bryant to Dalton Smith was ruled to be out of bounds in the end zone. 
Beebe got the ball to start the second half but turned it over on downs at the Lonoke 11
On the next play, Bryant threw a pass to Shawn Lake, who then took it 89 yards for a Lonoke touchdown. After the play, the officials called two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on the Jackrabbits, forcing them to kick off from their own 13 instead of the 40. That set Beebe up with a short field. 
Beebe’s Alex Boyce scored on a 7-yard run to give the Badgers a 10-7 lead.
After trading punts, Lonoke had the ball at it’s own 12. But a tipped pass led to an interception at the Lonoke 27. Beebe’s Hayden Howard scored on a 3-yard run with 4:41 left in the game. 
Lonoke turned the ball over on downs with 2:52 left. From there, Beebe ran out the clock to get the win. 
Despite the loss, Lonoke coach Taggart Moore was proud of his team’s effort. 
“We were the better team tonight,” he said. “We outplayed them. We had bad breaks that were out of control.
“I wouldn’t want to be the coach of another team and play us.”
Bryant completed 6 of 16 passes for 154 yards. 
Lake caught two passes for 95 yards. Smith caught two passes for 19 yards. Adams had one catch for 43 yards. 
Adams led Lonoke with 31 yards rushing on eight carries. Bryant had 20 yards on nine carries. 
Dayton Smith led Lonoke with 18 tackles. Dalton Smith had 10. Will McNeil and Antonio Earl had nine tackles each.
Lonoke will play at Newport next Friday in the final non-conference game. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. 

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Jackrabbits get big win over Bison

Lonoke running back Davonta Adams makes a move on Carlisle's Will Carter during the second quarter of the Jackrabbits' 37-0 over the Bison on Friday. (Photos by Mark Buffalo) 

By Mark Buffalo
Staff Writer

LONOKE — For the third consecutive season since the rivalry was renewed after a 26-year hiatus, the Lonoke Jackrabbits routed the Carlisle Bison, 37-0, on Friday night at James B. Abraham Stadium in the season opener for both teams.
However, it didn’t look good for the Jackrabbits on the opening kickoff.
Lonoke’s Shawn Lake returned the the kickoff but was stripped of the ball by Carlisle’s Jack Bednar and teammate Blane Sharp recovered the ball at the Lonoke 32.
However, the Bison went backwards from there and turned it over on downs at the Carlisle 41 following a bad snap on a punt attempt.
On the next play, Lonoke quarterback Braidon Bryant threw a deep pass to Anthony Parks, who tipped the ball to himself then walked into the end zone with 10:15 left in the first quarter. Nick Tate kicked the first of four extra points to give the Jackrabbits a 7-0 lead. 
After a Bison punt, Lonoke was held to a field goal attempt, which Tate made from 27 yards out to give the Jackrabbits a 10-0 lead with 5:10 left in the first quarter. 
Lonoke pushed the lead to 17-0 late in the first quarter on a 17-yard pass from Bryant to Parks.
Lonoke scored twice in the second quarter to lead 30-0 at halftime. Davonta Adams, who rushed for 138 yards on 16 carries, scored on 2-yard run with 8:12 left. Bryant scored on a 2-yard run with 3:40 left.
Carlisle, which one the opening coin toss and had deferred to the second half, got the ball to start the third quarter. The Bison picked up a first down to start the half but turned it over on downs at the Lonoke 36.
Three plays later, Bryant scored on a 40-yard run to give the Jackrabbits a 37-0 lead with 7:02 left. From there, the game was played with a running clock. 
“I was happy with the way we played but we still have way too manny penalties and way too many mental errors,” Lonoke coach Taggart Moore said. “But that happens in Week 1. I’m very proud of the way they played. They played tough. They got the ‘W’ and that’s all I’m worried about.”
In addition to Adams’ feat on the ground, Bryant completed 7 of 11 passes for 82 yards. He also rushed for 66 yards on 5 carries. Brayden Coble had 53 yards on 9 carries. 
Parks caught 4 passes for 60 yards. 
Lonoke’s defense limited Carlisle to only 13 total yards. 
Bison quarterback Eli Moody completed 8 of 12 passes for 23 yards. The Bison had minus-10 yards rushing. 
“It didn’t feel like we had a single first down the whole game,” said first-year Carlisle coach Caleb Shock. “We didn’t move the ball well on offense. We didn’t block well. We tried to run plays and Lonoke’s whole defensive line is in our backfield every play.
“As coaches, we didn’t do our job getting us ready for our opponent the way that we should have.”
Lonoke travels to Beebe this Friday while Carlisle hosts DeWitt in the home opener. Kickoff for both games is 7 p.m. 

Carlisle's Isaac Monroe and Drew Sanders run down the field on the opening kickoff.