Lonoke: Offensive line, senior leadership strengths for Jackrabbits

After posting double-digit wins in the previous two seasons, the Jackrabbits hit a bit of a lull in 2010, finishing 6-4 and just shy of postseason play.

“The four losses were all conference games,” coach Doug Bost said. “We had the lead in all four of the games we lost. We had big wins against Star City, Beebe and Heber Springs, but then had a big loss against Newport. In the Newport loss, we had a 33-10 lead midway through the third quarter.”

Fourteen starters return looking to improve after last year’s frustrations. Lonoke’s shotgun offense will rely on the strength of its offensive line, which is led by four seniors, including Tyler Grady (6-1, 230) at center; Brenden Ellington (6-0, 335) at guard; and Justin Carpenter (6-4, 290) at tackle.

“Our strength on offense is our offensive line,” Bost said. “I hope to run the ball with juniors Eric Williams (5-6, 150) and Dra Offord (5-11, 215). Junior D.J. Burton (5-11, 165) gives us a dual threat at quarterback.

“On defense our strength is our linebackers led by three-year starter T.J. Scott (5-11, 250). Also senior Dallas Martin (5-11, 205), junior Brent Sims (5-6, 165) and junior Blake Gooden (5-8, 155) were all starters at linebacker in 2010.”

The Jackrabbits face a tough 2-4A to get back to the playoffs.

“Heber Springs, Stuttgart, Lonoke, Newport, Clinton, Marianna – we are all fighting for a playoff spot,” Bost said. “One of our strengths is that we have great senior leadership.”