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Michael Long Special to the Daily CitizenSearcy's Demacio Whittier wrestles Sheridan quarterback Hunter Tucker to the ground in Searcy's 39-7 win on Friday night.

By Bruce Guthrie sports@thedailycitizen.com

SHERIDAN -- Although the Yellowjackets got a pick-six early Friday, it was Searcy's defense that kept the Yellowjackets' offense in check in the Lions' 39-7 win at Sheridan.

"Our defense played outstanding," Lions' head coach Mark Kelley said. "I don't think we gave up any points."

The shutout by Searcy's defense came in large part to sacks by Demacio Whittier and Hayden Miles as well as a fumble return for a touchdown by Daniel Perry.

Searcy's first drive was stopped on an interception by Dylan Palmer at Sheridan's 30. The Lions returned the favor 11 yards down the field when Sawyer Jackson reached up and snagged a pass over the middle at Sheridan's 41.

After a false start penalty, Sheridan's Peyton Edwards intercepted Dixon's pass and ran down the sideline for a 65-yard interception return for a touchdown. The point after put Sheridan up 7-0 with 6:52 to go in the first quarter.

On the ensuing possession, the Lions went no-huddle. In just over two minutes, the Lions moved down the field on a drive that culminated with an touchdown by Johnson Guthrie from eight yards out.

Guthrie rushed for 122 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries.

The extra point was missed, keeping Searcy down a point at 7-6 at the 4:08 mark.

After stopping Sheridan on their next possession, the Lions took over on their own seven and scored on a hitch pass from Dixon to Tanner Leonard who worked his way down the sideline for an 80-yard touchdown as the quarter expired.

Dixon finished the night with 366 yards passing with three touchdowns and three picks. He also rushed for 35 yards and a touchdown as well.

The point after put the Lions up for the first time at 13-7 going into the second quarter.

Dixon found Leonard again from 30 yards out with 8:35 to go in the half. After Edwards blocked the first of his two extra-point attempts Searcy settled for a 19-7 cushion.

"Two really good football players," Kelley said. "Bryce is extremely athletic, runs around, and Tanner is just a really good athlete as well."

15 seconds later Sheridan's Alden Lucas fumbled, and Perry made his move scooping up the loose football and returning it to the end zone for the touchdown putting Searcy up 26-7.

That's where things stood at halftime.

It took just a minute and nine seconds into the second half for Dixon and Leonard to hook up again. This time from 39 yards out, which pushed Searcy out to a 33-7 lead.

Dixon and Leonard hooked up for three touchdown passes. Leonard finished the night with five catches for 162 yards and three TDs. Griffin Love caught eight passes for 127 yards. Marlon Crockett snagged four balls for 46 yards while Dallas Loftis finished the night with three receptions for 28 yards.

Searcy had a chance to tack on points, but a 25-yard field goal sailed wide right with 4:42 to go in the third.

The Lions had one more big play in their back pocket. At the 6:19 mark, Love caught a pass for 48 yards down to Sheridan's 19.

Dixon's 12-yard scramble for a touchdown sealed it for the Lions.

"Anytime we get a chance to win, it's all good," Kelley said. "We didn't play extremely well on the offensive side...we turned the ball over, so we definitely have to step up from where we are right here from an offensive perspective."

The Lions host Batesville next week at Lions' Stadium.