|Lonoke's Dalton Smith runs with the ball after getting an interception in the third quarter against Riverview. He is following the blocking of his brother Dayton . Also pictured is Anthony Parks. (Photo by Mark Buffalo)|
By Mark Buffalo
LONOKE — For the first time in five years, the Lonoke Jackrabbits will host a home playoff football game.
Lonoke, which beat Riverview 33-8 in the regular season finale Thursday at James B. Abraham Stadium, finished the regular season 5-5 and 4-3 in the 4A-2 conference, earning the third seed and a home playoff game with the Prairie Grove Tigers this Friday.
“It’s exciting,” said Lonoke coach Taggart Moore, whose team hasn’t played in the postseason since 2015. “It’s exciting for our community. We’re really ready for Friday night. We think the environment is going to be electric. I’m glad that this group of seniors is the ones who got to bring a playoff game back home to Lonoke.”
Moore said this season has gone beyond expectations.
“We knew we wanted to be a playoff team,” he said. “We beat some teams that we weren’t picked to beat. That put us in this position to get this home playoff game. The seniors are a huge part of that but also the juniors and sophomores have been really good for us all year.
“We’ve got a good, bright future.”
Prairie Grove finished fourth in the 4A-1 conference. The Tigers are 5-5 overall and 4-3 in league play.
“i was there last night, watching them and Lincoln,” Moore said. “They are tough. They run the Wing T and a 3-4 defense. Traditionally, they are in the playoffs every year. They know how to play in the postseason. They know how to play when it’s 30 degrees outside. They are going to be physical and grind it out. They do some things that we’ve got to be ready for. I think the heart of our team is our defensive line and linebackers. i think that plays into our hands.”
Lonoke led 20-0 after one quarter. The Jackrabbits then scored seven points in the second and six in the third to lead 33-0.
Riverview scored it’s lone touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Lonoke quarterback Braidon Bryant completed 5 of 8 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown. Spencer Pepper, playing his first high school game, caught a 35-yard touchdown pass from Bryant. Dalton Smith caught three passes for 80 yards.
Davonta Adams led Lonoke with 89 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 8 carries. Anthony Parks had 80 yards and a touchdown on 8 carries.
Dalton Smith also returned an interception for a touchdown.
Dayton Smith led Lonoke with eight tackles. Jackson Ward had six. Deon Campbell and Chris Lucas had five tackles each.
Nick Tate kicked three extra points.