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Gravette gets off to quick start

by Mickey Doyle | November 17, 2007 at 3:02 a.m.

GRAVETTE - Gravette's defense surrendered some yards to Lonoke, but not when it mattered.

The Lions held five times on fourth down, scoring touchdowns after four of them, to defeat the Jackrabbits 39-14 in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs Friday at Lions Stadium.

Gravette (9-2) stays home next Friday for the third round against Dardanelle. Lonoke finished its season 8-4.

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The Lions scored on three of their first four possessions, including twice after fourth-down defensive stands and once after a blocked punt. Lonoke was never in contention after the blocked punt and ensuing touchdown staked Gravette to a 14-0 lead early in the game.

"When you get to the playoffs you want to weather the storm in the first four minutes, and we didn't batten down the hatches," Lonoke Coach Jeff Jones said. "If we'd secured the anchor a little better maybe we could've hung in and gave them a game, but we didn't do it."

Lonoke finished with 280 yards offense, but the Jackrabbits were only 2 of 7 on fourth-down attempts.

Gravette, which has won nine consecutive games, drove 63 yards on the first possession of the game. Travis Eden caught an 8-yard pass from Ethan McKinzie for a 7-0 lead.

Jeremy Henry then blocked a Tyler Crow punt, and Eden ran 8 yards for the second touchdown.

After a fourth-down incompletion by Lonoke quarterback Clarence Harris, the Lions drove 69 yards to take a 21-0 lead with 54 seconds left in the first quarter on McKinzie's 25-yard pass to Frankie Walburn.

The lead was 27-0 at halftime after McKinzie hit Zach Dailey for a 12-yard touchdown with 1:34 left in the half.

The Jackrabbits avoided a shutout with two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Jacob Taylor passed to Michael Howard for both touchdowns, 10 yards for the first and 28 yards for the second after Gravette had fumbled at Lonoke's 9.

The Lions limited Harris, who also played receiver, to 11 yards rushing and 10 yards passing.

McKinzie was 11 of 14 for 163 yards and 4 touchdowns. Selby rushed for 127 yards as the Lions piled up 423 total offense.

DARDANELLE 21, HIGHLAND 14

HARDY - Junior tailback Mark Haney rushed 20 times for 142 yards and 2 touchdowns to lead Dardanelle past Highland in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs.

Dardanelle (10-2) will play at Gravette in the quarterfinals next week. Highland (8-2-1) closed with two consecutive losses.

Trailing 21-7 at halftime, the Rebels dominated the second half, but could score only on a 10-yard run by senior quarterback David Street with seven minutes left in the third quarter.

Highland then ran out of downs at the Dardanelle 47, 11 and 9 on its next three possessions.

Highland's last threat ended when Street, under heavy pressure, threw incomplete with 2:37 remaining to play.

The Sand Lizards converted one first down, a 12-yard run by junior quarterback Kendall Pinkney, to run out the clock.

Dardanelle overcame four turnovers to finish with 368 total yards, including 342 yards rushing.

Pinkney finished with 118 yards rushing on nine carries. Senior fullback Dalton Alverson ran 14 times for 88 yards and 1 touchdown.

Highland was led by senior tailback Preston King, who rushed 14 times for 99 yards and 1 touchdown.

Dardanelle rushed for 277 yards in the first half.

Sports, Pages 34 on 11/17/2007

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