Season ends in Searcy
Lions 49, Panthers 42 Lions top Panthers in 49-42 shootout
SEARCY — Siloam Springs’ offense produced a season-high 505 yards of offense and the Panthers kept pace with Searcy’s high-octane offense and even took a 4241 lead early in the fourth quarter.
But Searcy scored the go-ahead touchdown with 6 minutes, 37 seconds remaining and the Lions’ defense came up with stops on three more occasions to defeat Siloam Springs 49-42 Friday in the opening round of the Class 6A playoffs at Lion Stadium.
The Lions (9-2) advance to this week’s 6A quarterfinals at defending state champion Greenwood (9-1), while the Panthers’ season ends at 5-6 under first-year coach Brandon Craig.
It was Siloam Springs’ first playoff appearance since the 2014 season.
“It’s a tribute to our seniors and their leadership and what they’ve done throughout the course of the summer and all the way through fall camp and everything they’ve been through,” Craig said. “We were down and could have easily thrown in the towel, but they just kept fighting. We found a way to put some points up and keep pace for a little while, but we just ran out of gas in the end.”
Searcy took a 13-0 lead on big plays in both the running game and passing game before Siloam Springs got on the board.
Landon Ellis threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Stewart with 54 seconds left in the first quarter to bring the Panthers within 13-7, and for the next two quarters, the teams traded touchdown possessions with Siloam Springs remaining one score behind.
Kaiden Thrailkill ran for two touchdowns in the second quarter, including a score with four seconds left to cut the Searcy halftime lead to 34-28. Primo Agbehi, who had his best game of the season, also caught a 15-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter as well.
Searcy went up 41-28 to start the third quarter, but Siloam Springs kept coming.
With long runs from Thrailkill and Ellis, the Panthers cut the lead to 41-35 with Thrailkill’s third touchdown of the game.
Siloam Springs need a stop on defense and got it on their next possession when Johnson Guthrie fumbled deep in Siloam Springs territory and Corbin Collins recovered for Siloam Springs at the 9.
“It just takes one,” Craig said. “That’s what I told our kids. It just takes one stop to go get the lead and maybe turn the game differently. That was obviously a big play for us, getting the turnover and getting the ball in the end zone and taking the lead.”
Ellis then hit Agbehi for a 32yard pass near midfield and the Panthers crossed into Searcy territory heading into the fourth quarter.
Ellis ran for 14 yards to the 24 and then two plays later went for 20 yards up the middle to give the Panthers a 42-41 lead.
Siloam Springs had a chance to force a turnover on downs on its next possession, but Searcy quarterback Peyton Wright threw a 10-yard completion to receiver Tim Williams on fourth-and-nine to keep a drive alive.
Wright hit Tanner Leonard for a 14-yard score with 6:37 left and then hit Dallas Loftis for the twopoint conversion as the Lions retook the lead.
“Just wish we could have gotten one more stop,” Craig said. “That’s all we needed. It was just one of those nights where we needed one more stop.”
Siloam Springs drove back into
Searcy 49, Siloam Springs 42
Siloam Springs 7 21 7 7 — 42
Searcy 20 14 7 8 — 49
Searcy — Young 78 run (Wright kick), 7:56.
Searcy — Leonard 39 pass from Wright (kick failed), 4:46. Siloam — Stewart 13 pass from Ellis (Westbrook kick), 0:54. Searcy — Young 38 run (Wright kick), 0:05.
Siloam — Thrailkill 2 run (Westbrook kick), 6:50.
Searcy — Williams 68 pass from Wright (Wright kick), 5:11. Siloam — Agbehi 15 pass from Ellis (Westbrook kick), 2:58. Searcy — Williams 7 pass from Wright (Wright kick), 1:53. Siloam — Thrailkill 1 run (Westbook kick), 0:04.
Searcy — Guthrie 1 run (Wright kick), 8:21.
Siloam — Thrailkill 8 run (Westbrook kick), 4:37.
Siloam — Ellis 20 run (Westbrook kick), 9:49.
Searcy — Leonard 14 pass from Wright (Loftis pass from Wright), 6:37. Siloam Springs Searcy First Downs 27 21 Rushes-Yards 46-229 35-277
Passing Yards 276 292 Comp-Att-Int 21-32-1 19-32-0 Punts 1-36 1-38
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 1-1
Penalties-Yards 1-12 7-39
Rushing — Siloam Springs, Thrailkill 32-137, Ellis 14-92. Searcy, Young 13-167, Guthrie 17-81, Wright 4-27, Leonard 1-2. Passing — Siloam Springs, Ellis 21-32-1-276. Searcy, Wright, 19-32-0-292.
Receiving — Siloam Springs, Agbehi 6-115, Pippin 8-90, Thrailkill 2-21, Broyles 2-19, Stewart 1-13, Criner 1-11, Weaver 1-7. Searcy, Williams 12-196, Leonard 4-64, Loftis 2-30, Guthrie 1-2. Missed Field Goals — None.
Searcy territory but a fourth-andeight pass to Gage Weaver was just inches short and the Panthers turned the ball over on downs.
Siloam Springs’ defense got the ball back and the Panthers began to march again. But Ellis was intercepted by Christian Delgado inside the red zone.
Searcy was able to run the clock down into the final seconds and punted to the Panthers, and Agbehi returned it to the 42-yard line with three seconds left.
The Panthers had one final play and threw a pass to Spenser Pippin, who lateraled to Agbehi who in turn lateraled to Thrailkill.
Thrailkill lateraled from there but the the Panthers were unable to go any further and the Lions held on for the victory.
“Maybe a little too stressful for everyone involved but it was a fun,” Searcy coach Mark Kelley said. “It was a fun football game for sure.”
Searcy finished with 569 yards of offense, 277 on the ground and 292 in the air.
Tony Young rushed 13
times for 169 yards, including touchdown runs of 78 and 38 yards in the first quarter, but he left the game after one carry in the third. Guthrie came in the second half and rushed 17 times for 81 yards in relief of Young.
Wright completed 19 of 32 passes for 292 yards and four touchdowns. His favorite target was Williams, who caught 12 passes for 196 yards. Leonard caught four passes for 64 yards.
The Panthers rushed for 229 yards and threw for 276.
Thrailkill crossed the 1,500-yard mark for the season with 32 carries for 137 yards, giving him a total of 1,580 yards for the season.
“He’s a special kid,” Craig said of Thrailkill. “Again a lot of credit to our offensive line, but he makes a lot of things happen beyond the line of scrimmage. He runs tough. I think he’s got more than 230 carries, that’s a tribute to him getting his body in shape and ready to play football.”
Ellis completed 21 of 32 passes for 276 yards, his best passing game of the season. Agbehi caught six passes for 115 yards, while Pippin had eight catches for 90 yards.
“We definitely didn’t feel in control because Siloam did an amazing job of moving the football,” Kelley said. “Really tough team. They did a great job.”
Craig said he was proud of the way the team competed and hopes to use this season as a building block for the future.
“First off I’m very proud of them, but our seniors set the bar for the program,” he said. “They raised the standard. They showed our kids how to compete. From here on out, we’ve got to continue to move that bar up the ladder if we want to see our program get better and better.”
Siloam Springs senior Primo Agbehi hauls in a 15-yard touchdown in the second quarter Friday night against Searcy. The Lions defeated the Panthers 49-42 to end Siloam Springs’ season.