Lonoke’s Jackrabbits did what they wanted to do last week in their 49-14 win over Baptist Prep, which moved them to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in 2-4A conference play.
“We played well, established the run and ended up with our best running performance of the year,” coach Taggart Moore said of his team’s 424 yards of total offense, which included 364 on the ground. “We changed some things up as far as personnel to establish the run.”
The changes included running two backs and a tight end — and the return of senior running back Xavier Hodge from an ankle injury.
“Having him back helps the run,” Moore said. “With the two backs and a tight end, we are trying to establish an identity on offense that will in turn open the short passing game. That was our goal going in, and we felt like we did what we needed to do.”
After leading by 21-7 at the break, the Jackrabbits added rushing TDs by Davonte Adams, Hodge, Daniel Seigrist and a kickoff return by Adams. Adams finished with 123 yards and two TDs on seven carries. Hodge added 95 yards and two scores on five carries. Lexington Mays added 76 yards on seven rushes.
Seigrist completed one of two passes for 60 yards, hitting Braidon Bryant for the 60-yard score.
Defensively, Michael Hodges led the tackle charts with 10. Tallon Swint added eight. Jackson Ward and Colton Davidson recorded six apiece.
The Jackrabbits get a chance Friday at league-leading Southside Batesville, which in its 12th season of football is off to the best start in school history (5-0, 2-0).
“They’re pretty good,” Moore said of the Southerners. “They do a lot of different things on offense, They run a 3-4 on defense, which is not something we haven’t seen. They are definitely a good team, and it will be a good test for us, but we think we can play with them. We think we can beat them.”
Southside finished 8-4 last season, earning its first playoff appearance after a third-place finish in the 2-4A, which included a 42-7 win at Lonoke. The Southerners returned six starters on offense and seven on defense.
The Southerners have beaten Stuttgart, the preseason favorite to win the conference, 21-7; and previously unbeaten Riverview last week, 14-10.
“Our kids are excited,” Moore said. “We get to play on the turf. It’s their homecoming, so we’d love to go down there and ruin that.
“We played them in the summer, and just a few things happened at team camp that made us mark this one on the schedule. We respect them but also want to get them.”
Keys for the Jackrabbits to continue their winning streak?
“Establishing the run again,” Moore said. “We’ve got to take care of the football. They don’t run a whole lot on offense, but they do have a few plays out of the same formation, so we’ve got to get aligned correctly. We’ve got to move the football. We need to score and not give up big plays on defense.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.