Hornets pull away from Jackrabbits in second round

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Lonoke quarterback Kody Smith carries the ball against Maumelle on Friday. (Photo by Scott Ward)

The Lonoke Jackrabbits football season came to an end with a 34-13 loss to the Maumelle Hornets in the second round of the Class 4A state playoffs Friday at James B. Abraham Stadium.

Lonoke ends its season at 9-3 — it’s best finish since playing in the Class 4A state championship game in 2009.

Lonoke took a 7-0 lead with 6:32 left in the first quarter on a 3-yard run by Kody Smith. Jose Garcia kicked the extra point.

Maumelle responded with a touchdown of its own, tying the score at 7-7 with 5:44 left. TyShaun Robinson threw an 82-yard touchdown pass to J.B. Minix. Hunter Cockrell kicked the extra point.

Early in the second quarter, Lonoke tried a pass on fourth and eight but Maumelle’s DaRayun Canada intercepted Smith’s attempt and returned 80 yards for a Maumelle touchdown, giving the Hornets a 14-7 lead with 11:42 left in the first half.

The Hornets added another touchdown in the second quarter on a 17-yard pass from Robinson to Braylon Waits with 7:35 left to lead 21-7 at halftime.

Lonoke cut the deficit to 21-13 early in the third quarter when Josh Coleman scored on a 16-yard run.

The score remained the same until Robinson threw a 12-yard scoring pass to Waits with 48 seconds left in the third quarter to give the Hornets a 27-13 lead.

The scoring ended when Michael Cole returned an interception 22 yards for a touchdown with 38.5 seconds left.

Lonoke coach Doug Bost said the Hornets gave his team some problems on defense but he thought it was more what his team didn’t do in the loss.

“They were 2 out of 6 passing and they both went for touchdowns and they were breakdowns in the secondary,” Bost said of his defense. “We had two pick-sixes. We felt like we let 28 points slip away. But I take nothing away from them. They are a good football team. Their speed gave us some problems but it’s one we’d like to get a do-over on.”

Coleman rushed for 150 yards on 21 carries. Smith had 82 yards on 18 carries.

Nick Watson led Lonoke with three receptions.

Ethan Holland led the defense with eight tackles. Chandler Elmore had six. Dylan Walker had five.

“We were very proud of our kids,” Bost said. “Going 9-3 and being able to host two playoff games, that was great. We played a young man at quarterback (Smith) who played receiver for us the last two years. He probably had over 2,500 combined yards and 30 touchdowns. I’m real proud of him.”

Bost said the offensive line stayed healthy this year.

“We were very healthy right up to the last game,” Bost said. “Those guys started every single game for us. We had 3,800 yards rushing as a team. I’m very proud of those guys. They did a great job.”

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