Of­fense Clicks As Teams En­ter Play­offs

LIN­COLN AT HAM­BURG, PG AT LONOKE FRI­DAY

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - SPORTS - By Mark Humphrey

LIN­COLN — As Lin­coln cel­e­brated its first win over Prairie Grove in 20 games Fri­day, Don Har­ri­son be­came only the sec­ond coach to guide the Wolves into the play­offs twice.

Brad Har­ris, now at Ben­ton, ac­com­plished the feat in 2011 and 2013.

Har­ri­son aims to make play­offs a com­mon oc­cur­rence and is pre­par­ing the Wolves as Lin­coln (8-2, 5-2 No. 3 4A-1) trav­els to Ham­burg (7-3, 5-2 No. 3 4A-8) Fri­day. The Wolves en­ter post­sea­son with mo­men­tum. De­spite giv­ing up 547 yards of to­tal of­fense to Prairie Grove, Lin­coln found a way to win.

Har­ri­son, who picked up his first win against Prairie Grove, since tak­ing over the Wolves’ foot­ball pro­gram in 2015, praised his as­sis­tants for mak­ing de­fen­sive ad­just­ments that held Prairie Grove to 13 points in the sec­ond half.

“We had to change some stuff cause the sec­ond drive of the game we lost our ‘Mike line­backer,’ Bradley Drain,” Har­ri­son said. “We don’t how bad he is, but hope­fully he comes back and it’s not that bad. He got caught up in a pile and when you lose your line­backer, he’s our ‘Mike line­backer,’ for a rea­son. He’s our dude so it’s tough and we lost him and that kind of messed us up a lit­tle bit.”

Key stops by Blake Arnold, Chris­tian Sell­ers and Hunter Phe­lan forced Prairie Grove into a three-and-out late in the third quar­ter with Lin­coln lead­ing 46-41.

“We had to re­ally ad­just some things and do some dif­fer­ent things,” Har­ri­son said. “We made a huge ad­just­ment at half­time and I mean we only al­lowed 13 points after half­time. That was huge, so re­ally, re­ally proud of the boys, and Coach (Beau) Collins. Coach Collins, Coach (Austin) Lewis, Coach (Er­win) Starts, they did an ad­just­ment at half­time and we only al­lowed 13 points. It was amaz­ing.”

The Wolves of­fense con­tin­ued to roll.

An oc­ca­sional in­com­plete pass never seemed to rat­tle the Wolves. They’d come back to the line of scrimmage on the next down con­fi­dent in their abil­ity to con­vert. On sec­ond-and-10, tail­back Cam Brown ripped off a 20-yard run, and quar­ter­back Caleb Lloyd threw a 13-yard touch­down pass to Ster­ling Mor­phis on fourth-and-7.

“We’ve worked on that all year, like Coach Har­ri­son says, ‘for­get about one play, go on to the next, you do one play and it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t re­ally mat­ter,’” Lloyd said.

In an­other sit­u­a­tion de­fend­ers have Lloyd in their grasp, but he has the up­per body strength and pres­ence of mind to com­plete a pass to Levi Wright trans­form­ing a po­ten­tial neg­a­tive-yardage play into a pos­i­tive gain.

“They had me wrapped up, I was go­ing down, I saw Levi Wright for a quick sec­ond, our tight end No. 5,” Lloyd said. “He did a great job get­ting in the grass, get­ting open. I just kind of caught a glimpse of him be­fore I hit the ground, gave it a shot, took a risk, it paid off.”

Asked about pres­sure to per­form with so many ex­pec­ta­tions cen­tered around him at quar­ter­back, Lloyd shrugs that off.

“I try not to look at it too much be­cause I know the pres­sure can get to you,” Lloyd said. “I just think of the game, just think of what’s go­ing on in the sit­u­a­tion, put the ball where I need to, make plays where I need to.”

Lloyd cred­ited the of­fen­sive line with al­low­ing him to set up and see the field in gen­er­at­ing 687 yards of to­tal of­fense.

“Our line did great, giv­ing me time to throw,” Lloyd said. “Even when I rolled out they knew where to get, they knew who to pick up. They never re­ally let any­one get to me. They do a great job ev­ery time. That’s why I made all my plays is they gave me time to get the ball off.”

Brown’s speed at tail­back fac­tored into the Wolves 301 yards rush­ing draw­ing praise from his coach.

“There’s a guy, I’m re­ally proud of him. There’s a guy, who in­jured him­self early on, had surgery; and it took four weeks to get him back. I don’t think any­body’s ev­ery worked so hard in re­hab to come back,” Har­ri­son said. “I was re­ally proud of him for com­ing back and the way he played the last games.”

Har­ri­son planned to take a good look at the de­fense.

“When I break all this down and I go in­side, I’m go­ing to watch this film tonight and we’re go­ing to fix the things we got to fix,” Har­ri­son said. “To­mor­row morn­ing we’re get­ting film and then we’re go­ing to work on who­ever they put in front of us and that’s the at­ti­tude you have to have,” But, I want our kids and this com­mu­nity and our pro­gram to en­joy this.”

Fri­day kick­off is 7 p.m. for both Lin­coln at Ham­burg and Prairie Grove at Lonoke.

MARK HUMPHREY EN­TER­PRISE-LEADER

Prairie Grove sopho­more Cade Grant (No. 1) breaks a 45-yard touch­down run that helped the Tigers surge ahead, 28-20, in the sec­ond quar­ter Fri­day. Lin­coln ral­lied in the sec­ond half and won 59-48 to break a 19-game los­ing streak to the Tigers.

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