Cardinals taking .500 Jackrabbits seriously


This week could be the definition of a trap game for Dollarway.

Next week, the Cardinals (6-0) travel to Stuttgart (6-0), setting up a matchup between the No. 1 (Stuttgart) and the No. 3 teams (Dollarway) in 4A, according to Hootens.com.

But Dollarway has to travel to and beat Lonoke this week before the next week’s key 2-4A Conference matchup.

“It’s a very important game and we take the moniker one game at a time,” Dollarway coach Cortez Lee said. “We know (Lonoke) is going to come out and give it their best. They want to get a victory in front of their friends and we need to take it serious from the opening snap.”

Lonoke (3-3) is 1-2 in conference play, including a 42-28 loss to Newport, which Dollarway beat to open up the conference season.

“I would say a record isn’t always an indicator of your team,” Lee said. “Just looking at them on film, they come out hard and have one to two situations that change the course of a game.

“We are looking at them as if they are undefeated and going after a playoff spot.”

Lonoke could have those situations arise again that could cost the Jackrabbits the game. In order to take advantage of that, Lee said his team will have to make certain reads.

“Things that we have scouted that we make the correct adjustments,” he said. “Make sure all 11 players are hustling to the ball and execute on offense.”

The Jackrabbits give up 23 points per game, but that is helped by holding Beebe and Little Rock McClellan to 13 combined points in the second and third weeks of the season, respectively.

Dollarway is averaging 43 points per game this season, and Lee said he feels the offense can continue with its potent running attack and keep working in the pass the way they have.

“We think we can most definitely run the ball and then pass it as well,” he said. “Just do what we have been doing all year and stick with that. Let the cards fall where they may.”

Defensively, Dollarway will have to keep an eye on Lonoke’s two tailbacks — D.J. Burton and Eric Williams. Last week in a 30-point win over Batesville Southside, the two combined for 276 yards.

The key to Lonoke’s running game is spread the opponent’s defense out.

“They have a lot of plays where they spread you out and their intention is to run,” Lee said. “Their running backs are solid and we have to make sure we have a hold on them.”

Even though Lonoke is 1-2 in the conference, the Jackrabbits are tied for fourth and are battling for a playoff spot. So Lee knows his team has to be ready for a tough game.

“It’s going to be a key game and we need to make sure we are prepared and do everything to the best of our ability,” he said. “Lonoke is a solid team, so we have to come out with our A-game.”