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Weak 5

Searcy plays host to West Memphis for the 2017 Homecoming game.

By Bruce Guthrie sports@thedailycitizen.com

Too many turnovers. Too many penalties at inopportune times. Too many missed plays.

"Whenever you don't do the little things and hurt yourself, it's really hard to win ballgames, especially against a good team like West Memphis," Searcy head coach Mark Kelley said.

That summed up Searcy's first loss of the season, a 36-21 setback to West Memphis at Lions' Stadium on Friday.

For West Memphis, it was the performance of Guren Holmes who rushed for more than 200 yards, the majority of that in the second half.

Searcy started the night on their own 22. Schucker's first completion came on a third down pass to Trenton Turner for 12 yards for Searcy's first first down.

Searcy capped the drive with a 5-yard throwback to Catrell Green to give Searcy a quick 7-0 lead at the 7:54 mark of the first quarter.

"We hadn't run any specials this year yet," Kelley said. "We saw that they rushed really hard off the edge, and Catrell probably has some of the best hands on the team."

The Lions had to convert a fourth-and-10 at the West Memphis 20. Schucker found Alonzo Tripp for 12 yards to keep the drive alive.

Searcy's defense held West Memphis to a three and out and took over on their own 30.

Schucker and Tripp got another first down on third-and-15 to West Memphis' 39. Schucker had to convert another fourth down and did so to Tim Williams who fought for the line to gain.

The drive died on a fumble on an quarterback to running back exchange at West Memphis' 19 with 2:07 to go in the first quarter.

The game stood at 7-0 after the first 12 minutes of play.

But West Memphis was driving.

They capped that drive with 5-yard touchdown run by Kelvin Love. The PAT tied the score at 7-7 with 9:41 to go.

The Lions fumbled the ensuing sky kick and the Blue Devils recovered at Searcy's 30.

On the first play from scrimmage after the turnover, Bobby Graham got the ball back picking off Micheal Troxler's pass and returned it to West Memphis' 41-yard line.

After watching the first play bounce off his hands, Eli Nevels caught a pass on second down and worked his way down to the two. Schucker's sneak capped the drive. Wright's PAT gave Searcy their touchdown lead back at 14-7.

West Memphis returned the ensuing kick to Sear Searcy's 39. Guren Holmes found the endzone from 18 yards out with 6:59 to go in the half to tie the score again at 14-14.

A late hit penalty on the kickoff put Searcy at their own 45, but a bad shotgun snap pushed the Lions back five yards. After Chapman got the five yards back, Schucker nearly got Nevels streaking down the sideline, but the ball slipped through Nevels' hands bringing up fourth down forcing Schucker to punt on fourth down.

Searcy got the ball back after forcing another three and out, but got behind the sticks thanks to a pair of penalties. Schucker's fumble, Searcy's third of the half, at his own 38 gave West Memphis the football back.

Searcy's defense held and the game remained tied at 14-14.

The Lions pulled out an onside kick from the bag of tricks to open the second half. Christian Delgado pounced on the live ball at West Memphis' 47.

But an incomplete pass on fourth-and-1 gave West Memphis the ball at their own 37.

The Devils began feeding Holmes.

Six straight runs and a 5-yard facemask penalty put West Mempis at the 12.

"They wanted to try to keep our offense off the field," Kelley said. "We weren't able to get first downs."

Searcy stopped Holmes on his ninth straight run which set up fourth down at Searcy's six.

That's when West Memphis kicked a 23-yard field goal to go up 17-14 with 5:18 to go in the third quarter.

Searcy's offense again stalled after a holding penalty. A punt put West Memphis on their own 44.

Holmes then hit again for 20 yards on the first play of the drive. But the Searcy defense held at their own 16 when a Troxler pass fell short in the endzone on fourth down.

The third-quarter clock expired with West Memphis clinging to their three-point lead.

West Memphis extended their lead with a 5-yard TD run by Amarius Stinnett. The PAT failed, but the Blue Devils still held a 23-14 cushion with 7:11 to go in the game.

Schucker then fumbled on third down at the Lions' 31 and Nicholas Brown scooped and scored the touchdown. that put the Devils up 29-14 after a failed two-point conversion.

"Anytime you're behind in penalties and turnovers, they have so many plays," Kelley said. "They have a really good offensive line, and you get kind of tired and stuff."

Chapman scored Searcy's final TD on a 1-yard run with 3:26 to go in the game.

The Lions travel to Marion on Friday.