Photographs by Mitchell PE Masilun
Searcy cornerback Bobby Graham II (left) nearly intercepts a pass intended for Lake Hamilton tight end Nick Hammock (9) during the Lions’ 35-22 victory over the Wolves on Friday in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs in Searcy. For more high school football photos, visit arkansasonline.com/galleries.
Saturday, November 11, 2017
SEARCY -- Mason Schucker wasted little time getting Searcy rolling Friday night in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs.
Schucker ran for 1 touchdown and threw for 3 more, and senior cornerback Bobby Graham intercepted 3 passes as the Lions topped the Lake Hamilton Wolves 35-22 at Lion Stadium.
The victory sends the Lions (9-2) to a quarterfinal meeting at El Dorado on Friday.
Searcy put together four scoring drives in the first half, all of which were long on yards and short on time.
"We saw that they weren't covering us deep," said Schucker, who completed 13 of 19 passes for 297 yards. "We took every advantage of that we could."
Searcy's most time-consuming drive came after the opening kickoff, lasting all of 1:32. The five-play possession ended when Schucker took a shotgun snap and raced through the middle 52 yards for the score.
Schucker's previous long run of the season traveled 29 yards.
"We've been game-planning to get him some runs, especially here in the playoffs," Searcy Coach Mark Kelley said. "He was a little bit faster than I thought he was. He did a good job of getting into the end zone."
Schucker relied on his arm the remainder of the night, tossing scoring passes of 50 yards to senior running back Gabe Chapman, 73 yards to senior wide receiver Eli Nevels, and 10 yards to senior wide receiver Trenton Turner.
Lake Hamilton (5-6) also flexed its muscles early, scoring on its first two drives. The Wolves covered 60 yards on 13 plays on its opening possession. Senior quarterback Utah Aitken finished the drive with a 1-yard run with 2:36 left in the first quarter.
The drive tied the game at 7-7 and took 7:52 off the clock, which was two minutes more than Searcy had the ball for in the entire first half.
After Schucker connected with Chapman with 1:17 left in the first quarter, Lake Hamilton's second drive used 10 plays and 60 yards.
Malik Brewer, who ran 24 times for 194 yards, capped the drive with a 5-yard run. The Wolves took a brief 15-14 lead when Kanaan Williams hauled in a two-point conversion.
The lead lasted all of 15 seconds. On the next play from scrimmage, Schucker hit Nevels over the middle for a 73-yard scoring pass.
Searcy led 28-15 at the half, adding a touchdown with 13 seconds left in the second quarter on Turner's catch. Turner led all receivers with five receptions for 94 yards.
Lake Hamilton compiled 180 total yards in the first half, but only 315 for the game. Searcy racked up 530 total yards.
"After those first two touchdowns, our defense came alive," Kelley said. "They played really well."
Chapman led the Lions in rushing, gaining 130 yards on 12 carries. He scored Searcy's final touchdown, a 9-yard run with 8:19 remaining that gave the Lions a 35-15 lead.
Lake Hamilton pulled to within 35-22 with 6:46 left on Jacob Nichols' 2-yard run. The Wolves followed that touchdown by recovering the onside kick.
Lake Hamilton got as close as the Searcy 17 on its final possession, but Graham's third interception ended the Wolves' chances.
Sports on 11/11/2017
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