Multiple Teams · Searcy, Kangaroos take on oldest rival

Albert Alvarado | Herald staff writer

Neil Searcy has served as both defensive coordinator and head coach at Killeen High School on during two different stops, but there has been one constant during that time.

You know when the Ellison game is coming up.

“This has been a big game for a long time and this year is no different,” Searcy said. “It may be a little bigger this year than it has in the last couple of years. Everybody is fired up about it. You hear all the old Killeen and Ellison people jabbing at each other so it’s exciting times. This is what high school football is all about, rivalries.”

The Roos look to rebound in a big way against their oldest rival when Killeen and Ellison meet at 7 tonight at Leo Buckley Stadium.

Both the Roos (2-4) and the Eagles (5-2) are looking to rebound off losses as Killeen struggled in a 45-7 loss at Belton while Ellison fell 36-27 to Copperas Cove at Leo Buckley Stadium.

Killeen is 1-1 in District 12-6A play while Ellison is 1-2 in league play.

“I think everybody in the program, me, the kids, the coaches want to get back on the field and play another game to get that game off our minds and try to get a win,” Searcy said. “Everybody is looking forward to getting back on the field on Thursday against Ellison. It’s always a big game.”

The Roos defense looks to have a bounce back performance after allowing the Tigers to rush for 232 yards.

Despite the defensive struggles, the Roos got good performances defensively from defensive end Shakim Wright who had 10 tackles, two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery while junior linebacker Jalil Bethel had 13 tackles and a forced fumble.

Killeen faces a pass-happy Ellison offense. Last week, junior quarterback Carl Robinson III completed 13 of 25 passes for 226 yards and three touchdowns, but also threw two interceptions. The Eagles don’t run much, but like to use short passes as effectively as conventional handoffs. “He (Robinson) does a good job of spreading the ball around and it’s going to be a challenge for us, but I think our kids will be up for the challenge,” Searcy said.

The Roos have found success establishing the run this season with the backfield cousins of junior running back Jamaal King and senior quarterback Kenny Arnold.

“It’s one missed block here, it’s one missed step there, it’s not a lot of things,” Searcy said. “We just have to be consistent. We feel good about our game plan, about our kids and about our chances.”

King rushed for 67 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries last week while Arnold had 12 carries for 104 yards while completing 9 of 15 passes for 90 yards.

Tyreike Beckett was Killeen’s leading receiver a week ago with five receptions for 51 yards.