Panthers claim conference win at Southside

Heber Springs’ Nathan McKee looks to get past a Southside Batesville’s Jamie Riggs Friday night. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

SOUTHSIDE — The Heber Springs Panther defense demonstrated a new step of maturity against Southside Batesville late in the fourth quarter at Stewart Field Friday night.

After a questionable fumble call at the goal-line, the Panthers forced the Southside into a three-and-out and maintained possession during the final 3:37  for a 22-17 road win.

Heber Springs (1-4 2-4A Conference, 2-6 overall) won its first conference game for coach Todd Wood and moved into fifth-place tie with Little Rock Mills and Southside with two weeks remaining in the regular season.

Heber Springs’ Jackson West picks up a few yards. Also picture, Heber Springs (55) Jayden Bremmon and Southside Batesville (47) Ricky Vickers. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

“We talked about responding to quick-turnovers all season,” Wood said. “They wanted to go out there and do something about it this time. The players seemed to play with more energy on that series than other series in the game. We had a lot of big plays by a lot of players. Jayden Bremmon made two big plays. Preston Roberson moved back to linebacker and also made a lot of big plays.”

Wood  noticed a different attitude among players. Instead of talking about the questionable fumble play, the defense made its biggest stand of the season yet.

“They played like their backs were against the wall and didn’t want to give Southside anything,” he said. “They had something to prove. I told the players after the game that they always were capable of playing that way and finally did it.”

Wood also had praise for the play of his linemen.

“It starts up front and I can’t say enough good things about all of those guys on the offensive line,” he said.

Big plays happened throughout the game, but Wood said one of the most important came on the final play of the third quarter. Heber Springs faced a fourth-and-10 at the Southside 34 when quarterback Matthew Cook connected on a 32-pass completion to Easton Cusick for a first down at the Southerner 7.

“We (coaching staff) noticed Cusick was open when we tried that play earlier in the game,” Wood said. “I told Matthew to watch for Easton. Matthew was throwing against the wind. Easton bobbled the ball a bit, but he brought the ball back  to his chest and caught it.”

Cusick described the play.

“As soon as I saw the safety come up, the ball was there right in my hands,” he said. “Matthew passed the ball perfect to me. It was a great fourth-down play.”

Cook, who completed 9-of-12 passes for 159 yards and and rushed for 85 yards, said Wood told him before the play that Cusick might be open.

“He (Cusick) was open and I threw it to him,” Cook said. “We need those fourth-down conversions.”

Two plays later, Diego Rubio scored from the 1.

Southside controlled the first half, outgaining Heber Springs. The Southerners rushed for 131 yards, 81 coming on Brendan Frazier’s touchdown run. The Panthers were held to 53 yards — 10 yards rushing and 43 passing. Southside sacked Cook and John McBroome four times for losses of 28 yards.

Heber Springs’ Matthew Cook and coach Todd Wood share an embrace after the win on Friday. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Frazier’s scoring run and Skyler Anorve’s extra point kick gave Southside a 7-0 lead with 4:39 left in the first quarter. Frazier finished with 120 yards on 13 carries.

Heber Springs led for the first time in the game when Nathan McKee scored on a 2-yard carry, and Cook passed to Gus Hannah for the 2-point conversion. The Panthers led 8-7 with 11:56 to go in the first half.

Southside regained the lead with 4:14 left until halftime. The Panthers held on downs at the 2, but the Southerners’ Jamie Riggs  scooped up a Diego Rubio fumble and scored. Anorve kicked the extra point for the 14-8 lead.

Heber Springs reached the goal line in the closing seconds,  but the drive ended on a Cook interception in the end zone.

The second half became a different game. Heber Springs rushed for 106 yards and passed for 114 yards. Southside was held to 64 yards

Thad Bray set up the first touchdown of the third quarter when he blocked a punt. Bremmon recovered the ball at the Southside 20-yard line. Four plays later, Rubio scored on a 1-yard dive with 8:39 left in the third quarter. Jackson West caught a 3-yard pass from Cook for the 2-point conversion, giving the Panthers a 16-14 lead.

The Southerners regained the lead for the final time when Anorve kicked a 33-yard field. Southside led 17-16 with 4:31 remaining in the third quarter.

Heber Springs started its 11-play, 79-yard drive for the eventual winning score late in the third quarter. Cusick’s fourth-down catch put the Panthers in scoring position. Rubio scored from two yards out with 11:14 to play. The 2-point conversion try failed as Heber Springs led, 22-17.

McKee’s 55-yard catch of a Cook pass put the Panthers in position to increase the lead. McKee caught three passes in all for 81 yards on the night.

“I made a move to the outside and turned upfield.” McKee said. “Matthew saw I was open and put the ball where I could go and catch it.”

Cook said the play worked like Wood told him while on the sidelines earlier.

“Nathan was open, and I threw the ball to him,” Cook said. “The ball went right in his hands like it is suppose to.”

Heber Springs reached the Southside 7 when McKee apparently scored, but officials ruled he fumbled before crossing the goal line.

Heber Springs held on downs the next series and then maintained possession for the rest of the game.

“It was a good feeling after so much disappointment,” Cook said. “We’ve been through a lot of things this year. It felt great and it was against Southside. It was a relief. I had a big smile for the win with my teammates after the final play.”

Heber Springs will play at Clinton Friday in the fifth annual Battle of the Little Red.

“This was a great victory,” Wood said. “We will start preparing for the Clinton game. We have two more games to to take care of before looking at the playoffs.”

The Panthers will conclude the regular season by hosting Little Rock Mills.

Heber Springs’ Preston Roberson assists on tackle Friday night. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

GAME STATS

SCORING   
Heber Springs (1-4, 2-6)         0  8  8  6 - 22
Southside Batesville (1-4, 2-6)  7  7  3  0 - 17
FIRST QUARTER   
Southside Batesville, Brendan Frazier 81-yard run (Skyler Anorve kick), 4:39
SECOND QUARTER
Heber Springs, Nathan McKee 2-yard run (Matthew Cook to Gus Hannah pass), 11:56
Southside Batesville, Jamie Riggs 2-yard fumble return (Anorve kick), 4:15
THIRD QUARTER   
Heber Springs, Diego Rubio 1-yard run (Cook to Jackson West pass), 8:39
Southside Batesville, Anorve 33-yard field goal, 4:22
FOURTH QUARTER 
Heber Springs, Rubio 1-yard run (pass failed), 11:14

TEAM STATS   
First Downs by Rush: Heber Springs 4, Southside 4
First Downs by Pass: Heber Springs 6, Southside 2
First Downs by Penalty: Heber Springs 3, Southside 0
Total First Downs: Heber Springs 13, Southside 6
Third-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 5/10, Southside 1/8
Fourth-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 1/2, Southside 0/2
Red-Zone Conversions: Heber Springs 5/3, Southside 1/0
Time of Possession: Heber Springs 28:55, Southside 19:05
Fumbles/Lost: Heber Springs 3/2, Southside 1/1
Turnovers: Heber Springs 3, Southside 2     
Points Off Turnovers: Heber Springs 8, Southside 7
Penalties: Heber Springs 7/43, Southside 8/75
Rushing: Heber Springs 43/126/2.9, Southside 30/172/5.7
Passing: Heber Springs 10/14-157-0/1, Southside 4/7-23-0/1
Plays/Total Offense/YPP: Heber Springs 57/283/5.0, Bald Knob 37/195/5.1 
Sacks/Yards Lost: Heber Springs 0/0, Southside 5/29
Punts: Heber Springs 4/107/26.8, Southside 3/61/20.3
Inside 20: Heber Springs 1, Southside 1
Blocked Punts: Heber Springs 1, Southside 0

INDIVIDUAL STATS   
OFFENSE     
RUSHING: Heber Springs, Matthew Cook 21/85, Diego Rubio 13/26/2, Nathan McKee 5/24/1, Jackson West 1/4, Team 1/(-3), John McBroome 2/(-10). Southside Batesville, Brendan Frazier 13/120/1, Brycen Sutton 12/39, Jacob Dunne 3/29, Chase Duncan 1/1, Team 1/(-17).
PASSING: Heber Springs, Matthew Cook 9/12-159-0/1, John McBroome 1/2- (-2)-0/0. Bald Knob, Chase Duncan 4/7-23-0/0
RECEIVING: Heber Springs, Nathan McKee 3/81, Jackson West 3/27, Easton Cusick 2/50, Diego Rubio 1/1, Matthew Cook 1/(-2). Southside Batesville, Bo Trucks 2/19, Jacob Dunne 1/4, Isaac Smith 1/0.
TOTAL OFFENSE: Heber Springs, Matthew Cook 244, Diego Rubio 26, Nathan McKee 24, Jackson West 4, John McBroome (-12). Southside Batesville, Brendan Frazier 120, Brycen Sutton 39, Jacob Dunne 29, Chase Duncan 24.
PUNT RETURNS: Southside Batesville, Isaac Smith 1/12
KICK RETURNS: Heber Springs, Austin Winchester 2/0
FUMBLE RETURNS: Southside Batesville, Jamie Riggs 1/2
INTERCEPTION RETURNS: None
OTHER RETURNS: Jayden Bremmon 1/18
ALL-PURPOSE YARDS: Heber Springs, Nathan McKee 105, Matthew Cook 83, Easton Cusick 50, Jackson West 31, Diego Rubio 27, Jayden Bremmon 18. Southside Batesville, Brendan Frazier 120, Brycen Sutton 39, Jacob Dunne 33, Chase Duncan 24, Bo Trucks 14, Isaac Smith 12, Jamie Riggs 2. 
SCORING: Heber Springs, Diego Rubio 12, Nathan McKee 6, Gus Hannah 2, Jackson West 2. Southside Batesville, Brendan Frazier 6, Jamie Riggs 6, Skyler Anorve 5 (2/2 XPA, 1/1 FG - Made: 33).
DEFENSE    
PUNTS/YARDS/AVERAGE/INSIDE THE 20/BLOCKED: Heber Springs, Matthew Cook  3/50/16.6, John McBroome 1/57/1/0. Southside Batesville, Blayne Warden 2/61/30.5/1, Team 1/0/0/1.
SACKS/YARDS LOST: Southside Batesville, Vern Deering 2/13, Lincoln Fair 1/9, Ricky Vickers 1/6, Alex Allen 1/1
FUMBLE RECOVERIES: Southside Batesville, Jamie Riggs
BLOCKED PUNTS: Heber Springs, Thad Bray
BLOCKED PUNT RECOVERIES: Heber Springs, Jayden Bremmmon
INTERCEPTIONS: Heber Springs, Nathan McKee. Southside Batesville, Justin Vannattan

Panther GameDay: Heber Springs heads to Southside Batesville

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

Heber Springs’ approach against 2-4A Conference foe Southside Batesville will not change from the previous its two games.

The Panthers (0-4 conference, 1-6 overall) will focus on winning the battle at the line of scrimmage against  Southside (1-3 conference, 2-5 overall).

Kickoff is scheduled at 7 p.m. Friday at Stewart Field in Southside.

Heber Springs is coming off a 35-15 loss to Bald Knob, while the Southerners lost 21-14 at Central Arkansas Christian.

“We must win the battle up front,” Heber Springs coach Todd Wood said. “That will be the biggest key. We need to play well, particularly on the defensive line. The team who can maintain control of the line of scrimmage will win.”

The Panthers hope for a quick start against Southside.

Heber Springs had its best drive following the opening kickoff last week against Bald Knob. The Panthers drove 52 yards on 10 plays and took a 7-0 lead. Turnovers and field position shifted the momentum in the second half. Heber Springs has 24 turnovers in seven games.

Bald Knob had scoring drives of 39 and 20 yards following Panther turnovers and returned an onside kickoff for three of its five touchdowns.
Southside features a one-two running punch in quarterback Duncan Pierce and Brycen Sutton.

Sutton rushed for 121 yards on 23 attempts and scored one touchdown against CAC. Pierce ran for 84 yards on six carries and had one touchdown.
Wood said his team could benefit from playing the third consecutive team with a similar offensive philosophy — running the ball.

“We knew what areas that we needed work,” he said. “Southside will take advantages of your mistakes. It’s a tough offense to prepare for.”

Heber Springs’ offense gained new life when Wood inserted senior Matthew Cook, a starting wide receiver for most of his career, at quarterback in the third game of the season.

Cook has completed 83-of-150 passes for 953 yards and eight touchdowns. Senior Nathan McKee leads the Panthers in receiving with 31 catches for 374 yards and three touchdowns. Two sophomores have emerged as targets in the passing game. Isaac King has caught 17 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns. Easton Cusick has 14 receptions for 160 yards.

Senior Diego Rubio is the leading rusher with 329 yards on 59 attempts and scored four touchdowns.

Wood expects the offense to perform at a higher level against the Southerners.

“Matthew (13-of-27 passing for 91 yards with four interceptions) had a tough game against Bald Knob,” he said. “We tried to take the pressure off during practice in preparing for this game. Matthew tried too hard to make things happen. (Junior) Jackson West and (senior) Gus Hannah keep improving at receiver. All we need to do is do what we have been doing, but do it better.”

Southside plays a 3-4 defense with linebacking the strength of the unit. Wood said it’s a scheme that the team has faced in most of its games this season.

“Southside has two good linebackers,” Wood said. “They can stop the run and also cover the pass. All we need to do is improve from what we did last week.”

The defense continues to improve, even though statistics may not reveal that. Heber Springs is allowing 301 yards of offense per game — 146 rushing and 155 passing.

“Preston Roberson became a force after switching from linebacker to the defensive line,” Wood said. “He does a good job of containing runners, has good instincts and makes plays. Jayden Bremmon has been playing well at nose guard and Diego Rubio at linebacker. Kenan Sneed has played steady at linebacker. Gus Hannah moved to cornerback and made several plays against Bald Knob.”

Wood expects continued improvement from the defense.

“We were a little tired in the second half against Bald Knob,” he said. “The defense continues to improve every game. We need to do a better job in sudden-change situations when momentum shifts. We got to make more defensive stops.”

Heber Springs will be without the services of senior center Zach Thomas, who was injured last week against Bald Knob.

2-4A CONFERENCE STANDINGS

                            W L CP  W L PS  PA 
Stuttgart                   4 0 52  6 0 242  33 
Lonoke                      4 0 44  6 1 262 150
Central Arkansas Christian  4 0 38  7 0 223 125
Bald Knob                   2 2 19  4 3 179 151  
Southside Batesville        1 3 13  2 5 134 219   
Little Rock Mills           1 3 11  2 5 164 203  
Heber Springs               0 4  0  1 6 128 255
Clinton                     0 4  0  0 7 144 315 
 
Friday, October 16
Bald Knob 35, Heber Springs 15
Central Arkansas Christian 21, Southside Batesville 14
Lonoke 29, Little Rock Mills 18
Stuttgart 35, Clinton 7

Friday, October 23
Heber Springs at Southside Batesville
Lonoke at Central Arkansas Christian
Clinton at Bald Knob
Little Rock Mills at Stuttgart

NOTES

  • Kickoff: 7 p.m. at Southside Batesville
  • Admission: $5
  • Radio/Streaming: Billy Morgan with handle the play-by-play with Lance Hamilton providing color on KSUG 101.9 The Lake. Panther Pregame begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by the game. 

THE SERIES: Heber Springs lead 12-2

SERIES HISTORY: This will be the 15th time these two teams have meet on the football field since Southside Batesville started its football program in 2006. Heber Springs won the first 10 meetings in the series before the Southerners claimed a 24-20 victory at home in 2016 before the Panthers would win the next two. Southside Batesville won last season, 48-20, for the its only victory at Panther Stadium in the series.

Panthers survive late Southerner charge

Heber Springs’ Parker Brown runs past the outreached arm of Southside Batesville’s Isaac Wallis during action at Panther Stadium Thursday night. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

By PHILIP SEATON

Parker Brown scored three times as Heber Springs held off Southside Batesville, 34-32, in junior high action Thursday night at Panther Stadium.

Heber Springs improved to 6-1 on the season with the win and will look claim the second spot in the conference standings when they host Clinton next Thursday night in the season finale.

Against Southside, Heber Springs was in control of the contest after Brown scored on a 44-yard run with 5:09 to play. Gideon Tate’s PAT kick made it 34-16.

But on the ensuing kick off, Southside’s Seth Case returned it 96 yards for a score to make it 34-24 after Kaleb West ran in the 2-point conversion with 4:47 to play.

Heber Springs managed a first down on its next possession as Weston Warden ran for 6 and Brown followed with a 7-yard carry. But the drive would stall and the Southerners would take over on their own 31 with 1:48 left.

Southside Batesville moved down the field on a 10-play, 69-yard drive as West scored on 2-yard run at the buzzer. West would run in the 2-point conversion to set the final score at 34-32.

The Southerners ground-oriented offense kept the ball away from the Panthers most of the night (52 offensive plays to 26 for Heber Springs), but when the Panthers got the ball they took advantage of it.

After the two teams traded possessions, Heber Springs would go up 7-0 with 2:20 left in the opening quarter after Liam Buffalo scored on a 2-yard quarterback keeper. The touchdown was set up after Buffalo, who was 13 of 15 passing on the night for 183 yards and two touchdowns, connected with Xander Lindley for a 68-yard pass completion to put the ball on the Southside 2.

The Southerners responded with a 63-yard drive that Case capped off with a 2-yard touchdown run. Case, who finished the night with 30 carries for 162 yards and two touchdowns, carried the ball into the end zone for the 2-point conversion to give Southside Batesville the 8-7 advantage with 6:17 left in the half.

Three plays later, Buffalo found Brown for a 39-yard touchdown pass and after Buffalo connected with Dalton Yancey for the 2-point conversion, Heber Springs led 15-8 with 5:19 left in the second quarter.

Southside Batesville was methodically marching the ball down the field again before Brown stepped in front of the first Southerner pass attempt of the night and returned it 62 yards for a score. The 2-point conversion failed and Heber Springs led 21-8 with 2:10 left in the half.

The halftime buzzer ended a Southside Batesville drive at the Panther 11 as Heber Springs led at the break, 21-8.

The Southerners took the opening kickoff of the second half and used a 12-play, 60-yard drive that took 5:26 off the clock to close the gap to 21-16. Case scored on a 1-yard run and West ran in the 2-point conversion.

Lindley caught four passes for 93 yards on the night for Heber Springs including a 10-yard scoring strike from Buffalo with 7:50 left in the game to make it 27-16. The 2-point conversion attempt failed. The scoring play finished off an eight-play, 55-yard drive for Heber Springs as Buffalo was 6 for 7 on the drive for 55 yards hitting four different receivers (Warden, Lindley, Yancey and Brown).

Brown finished with 173 all-purpose yards for Heber Springs while Case had 278 for the Southerners.

In total offense, Southside had 272 yards to the Panthers 264, but the Heber Springs averaged 10.2 yards per play to the Southerners 5.2.

Heber Springs tops Southside in 7th-grade action

Heber Springs’ Eli Buffalo runs past Southside Batesville’s Devan Hightower on his way for a 70-yard touchdown in the second half. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

By PHILIP SEATON

The Heber Springs Panther Cub 7th-Grade football team improved to 5-2 on the season with a 34-14 victory over Southside Batesville Thursday night at Panther Stadium.

Heber Springs started the scoring earlier as Emmett Dwyer connected with Jacob Haskett for a 34-yard scoring strike to go up 6-0 with 14:30 left in the first half. The big play on the drive came on a 26-yard run by Haskett.

A 2-yard touchdown run by Southside Batesville’s Lane Johnson tied things up at 6-6 with 3:03 left in the first half. The 2-point conversion failed for the Southerners.

Heber Springs wasted little time recapturing the lead as Haskett connected with Cooper Holmes on a 40-yard to scoring play that put Heber Springs up 12-6 with 1:43 left in the half. The 2-point conversion failed for the Panthers. A 30-yard run by Haskett had set up the scoring play.

Heber Springs’ Jake Barnett brings down Southside Batesville’s Brady Wood in the second half on Thursday at Panther Stadium. Also picture, Southside Batesville’s Jaymas Mullins (71). PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Heber Springs wasn’t finished in the first half as Eli Buffalo intercepted a Brady Wood pass attempt at midfield. On the first play of the drive, Dwyer connected with Buffalo on a short screen pass that Buffalo turned into a 51-yard touchdown to put the Panthers up 18-6 with 34.5 seconds left in the half. Dwyer connected with Lucas Garcia for the 2-point conversion to make it 20-6 at the break.

The Panthers would go up 28-6 on their first possession of the second half having two touchdowns called back by penalties before make the third time count on a 16-yard touchdown run by Buffalo with 15:04 left in the contest.

Dwyer connected with Buffalo for a 25-yard pass to move the ball to the Southside 45. Garcia raced 45 yards for the score only have to holding penalty erase that touchdown. On the next play, Buffalo’s 20-yard touchdown run was called back after another holding penalty. After the successful score by Buffalo, Dwyer connected with Beau Bramlett for the 2-point conversion to put the Panther advantage at 28-6.

Southside Batesville would make it 28-14 after Wood would score on a 2-yard run. Brennen Matthews hit Kaden Williams for the 2-point conversion to make it 28-14 with 3:31 to play.

Heber Springs would add a final score with 1:26 left as Buffalo would score on a 70-yard run to make it 34-14.

The Panther Cubs will close out their season on Thursday when they host Clinton at Panther Stadium.

Central Arkansas fishing report

By ARKANSAS GAME AND FISH COMMISSION

CENTRAL ARKANSAS

Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir
NOTE: Employees and contractors with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission conducted herbicide applications to Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir through September. The herbicides will cause no harm to wildlife, people or aquatic life, but will kill gardens, flowerbeds and lawns if used on neighboring lands. By federal law, these herbicides have up to a 120-day irrigation restriction after application. The AGFC asks adjacent landowners to NOT irrigate for lawn or garden use with water from the lake until Feb. 1, 2021. The use of herbicides is necessary to control the current problems with alligatorweed and other invasive vegetation species that have infested the lake, restricting access to boathouses, ramps and fishing locations and hindering native wildlife and fish populations. For more information, please contact the AGFC Fisheries Office in Mayflower at (877) 470-3309.

(updated 10-21-2020) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) said the lake has the normal Conway stain and is at normal level. Bream remain good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are good, with anglers catching them using crappie minnows in pink, silver or medium-sized. They’re also using jigs that are 2½ inches and smaller, as well as hand-tied jigs. The black bass bite is still good. Plastic worms are a good bet for the deeper ones, topwater will also work, and anglers report success on buzzbaits, chatterbaits and jigs. Catfish are good. Go with nightcrawlers, goldfish, dough bait, bass minnows and trotline minnows.

Lake Beaverfork
(updated 10-21-2020) Angler Dennis Charles had no report.

Little Red River
(updated 10-21-2020) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-230-0730) said the generation pattern for the Little Red River is unpredictable. “We are experiencing days without generation and days with significant generation. It’s highly recommended to check forecasted and real-time generation before planning a trip to the Red.”
For fly-fishing, Lowell recommends midges, hare’s ears and sowbugs. Hot pink and cotton candy bodies on chartreuse jigheads are recommended for Trout Magnet spin-fishing. Be safe while enjoying the river. Always check before heading to the Little Red River by calling the Corps of Engineers Little Rock District water data system (501-362-5150) for Greers Ferry Dam water release information or check the Corps of Engineers website (swl-wc.usace.army.mil) for real-time water release and the Southwestern Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecasted generation schedule.

(updated 10-21-2020) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood says the brown trout bite is getting better on jerkbaits, maribou jigs and Trout Magnets. The river is normal and clear.

(updated 10-14-2020) Greg Seaton of littleredflyfishingtrips.com (501-690-9166) said the river remains clear and low. Generation has been the afternoon, one-unit variety ranging 2-5 hours with the two-hour schedule being the most common. “Southwestern Power Administration has informed me that one unit is shut down for maintenance until some time in November, so any generation will be one unit until that time. Afternoon generation should be the rule unless cold temperatures call for the early morning schedule. It is always best to check the next day schedule before planning your trip. The app, USACE LITTLE ROCK, is available free for your cell phone. Check the SWPA Forecasts icon on this app for the schedule.”

Rainbows are taking small midge pupa and mayfly nymphs. There is a blue-wing olive hatch some afternoons and a few caddis are hatching. In deeper pools, micro jigs are taking rainbows and a few browns. The browns have not started moving much at this time.


Greers Ferry Lake
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 458.84 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.54 feet msl).

(updated 10-21-2020) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said the water level at Greers Ferry Lake is at 458.84 feet msl and falling, sitting 3.2 feet below normal pool of 462.04 feet msl. Crappie, again, are just coming in by the droves. More and more people are adapting to methods of catching instead of just fishing, as our resource is just very abundant at present. Crappie are 12-40 feet all over water column and biting jigs, minnows, crankbaits etc. Walleye are roaming eating all they can and at 12-40 feet. Catch them with crawlers, crankbaits or spoons. Catfish are roaming and feeding as well, and are being caught with trotlines and jugs, and while fishing for other species. Black bass are on top out to 70 feet eating a gauntlet of baits, all very healthy. Hybrid bass and white bass are eating at will in 25-75 feet of water and every once in a while on tip ends. Spoons, topwater baits, inline spinners, Largo Muskie Specials are the baits to use. Bream will eat crawlers, crickets and crankbaits real shallow.


(updated 10-21-2020) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood reports that the lake temperature on the surface is in the low 70s with clear clarity. The level is a little low. Smallmouth bass are good at the lower end of the lake. They’re biting shaky heads, drop-shots, Carolina rigs and topwater lures both early in the day and late. Walleye have been good on drop-shotting nightcrawlers on the main lake humps and secondary points.

Harris Brake Lake
(updated 10-21-2020) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) reports the clarity being a little dingy and the water level is low. Bream activity is slowing down and anglers said they had poor success. Crappie, though, have been good. The crappie are being caught close to the shoreline on minnows and jigs, particularly using pink jigheads. Black bass are good in the lake’s deeper areas. Try a spinnerbait or a plastic worm. Catfishing is good. Use chicken liver, and on trotlines you should bait with shad, goldfish, regular catfish bait or King’s Punch Bait.

(updated 10-7-2020) Whiskers Sporting Goods (501-889-2011) reports that crappie are starting to pick up on Bobby Garland Jigs in popsicle, shiney hiney, glimmer blue, bbq chicken, cajun crickets, blue ice, shimmer, monkey milk, crystal, bone/chartreuse, gumdrop and pennyback shad, along with 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r and minnows. Catfish are biting on minnows and worms. Black bass are hitting buzzbaits and minnows, worms, lizards and Brush Hogs. White bass are biting on popsicle, slab slanger, baby shad and 1.25-inch Itty Bit Swim’r, and Cajun Spin and silver minnow. Bream can be caught on crickets, worms and Rock Hopper.

Lake Overcup

NOTE: Employees and contractors with the AGFC conducted herbicide applications to Overcup through September. The herbicides cause no harm to wildlife, people or aquatic life, but will kill gardens, flowerbeds and lawns if used on neighboring lands. By federal law, these herbicides have up to a 120-day irrigation restriction after application. The AGFC asks adjacent landowners to NOT irrigate for lawn or garden use with lake water until Feb. 1, 2021. The use of herbicides is necessary to control the current problems with alligatorweed and other invasive vegetation species that have infested the lake and, if left uncontrolled, could restrict access to boathouses, ramps and fishing locations and hinder native wildlife and fish populations.

(updated 10-21-2020) Randy DeHart at Lakeview Landing (501-354-5309) said the clarity has improved and on Tuesday early afternoon it was clear. The lake is about a foot low. Crappie reports were fair; try minnows or tri-colored jigs. Black bass are fair, with best results in the shallows. A crankbait is working best. No reports on bream or catfish.

Heber Springs Junior High Season Stats: Through 6 Games

SCORING BY QUARTERS
Heber Springs    42   64  38  41 - 185 (30.8 ppg)
Opponent          6   40  14  22 -  82 (13.7 ppg)

TEAM STATS  
First Downs by Rush: Heber Springs 25, Opponent 34
First Downs by Pass: Heber Springs 53, Opponent 12 
First Downs by Penalty: Heber Springs 2, Opponent 6 
Total First Downs: Heber Springs 80, Opponent 52 
Penalties: Heber Springs 26/215, Opponent 30/197 
3rd-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 17/41, Opponent 10/42
4th-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 12/20, Opponent 7/18 
Fumbles/Lost: Heber Springs 7/2, Opponent 9/6 
Sacks/Yards Lost: Heber Springs 6/62, Opponent 0/0 
Rush/Yards/Avg: Heber Springs 80/479/6, Opponent 144/532/3.7
Rushing Yards Per Game: Heber Springs 79.8, Opponent 88.7 
Passing (A/C-Yards-TD/Int): Heber Springs 91/154-1448-18/3, Opponent 31/72-467-6/6
Passing Yards Per Game: Heber Springs 241.3, Opponent 77.8 
Total Offense: Heber Springs 1927, Opponent 999
Total Offense Per Game: Heber Springs 321.2, Opponent 166.5  
Punts: Heber Springs 2/43/21.5, Opponent 11/374/34 

INDIVIDUAL STATS  
OFFENSE  
Rushing: Gideon Tate 26/137/1, Weston Warden 15/100/1, Dalton Yancey 6/61/1, Parker Brown 9/61/1, Liam Buffalo 9/56/1, Xander Lindley 3/36/1,  Hayden Johnson 5/25, Hud Haggard 1/9, Jacob Golden 1/5, Ladd Choate 2/5, Bryce Seigrist 1/(-6), Team 2/(-11). 
Passing: Liam Buffalo 88/150-1365-17/3, Zachary Parker 3/3-83-1/0, Parker Brown 0/1-0-0/0 
Receiving:  Dalton Yancey 21/385/5, Parker Brown 19/445/6, Xander Lindley 17/399/4, Hud Haggard 13/105/2, Weston Warden 11/103/1, Ty West 5/21, Chris Roberts 1/28, Gideon Tate 1/0
Kickoff Returns: Heber Springs, Hud Haggard 3/0, Corbin Jones 2/0, Xander Lindley 2/81/1, Parker Brown 2/40, Zachary Parker 1/0.  
Punt Returns: Xander Lindley 1/13
Interception Returns: Parker Brown 2/46/1, Liam Buffalo 2/0, Logan Rutledge 1/0, Dalton Yancey 1/0.
Total Offense: Liam Buffalo 1421, Gideon Tate 137, Weston Warden 100, Zachary Parker 83, Dalton Yancey 61, Parker Brown 61, Xander Lindley 36, Hayden Johnson 25, Hud Haggard 9, Jacob Golden 5, Ladd Choate 5, Bryce Seigrist (-6).
All-Purpose Yards: Parker Brown 592, Xander Lindley 529,  Dalton Yancey 446, Weston Warden 203, Gideon Tate 137, Hud Haggard 114, Liam Buffalo 56, Chris Roberts 28, Hayden Johnson 25, Ty West 21, Jacob Golden 5, Ladd Choate 5,  Bryce Seigrist (-6).
DEFENSE  
Sacks/Yards lost:  Parker Brown 4/41, Hud Haggard 1/11, Chris Roberts 1/10
Interceptions: Liam Buffalo 2, Parker Brown 2, Dalton Yancey 1, Logan Rutledge 1,  
Fumble Recoveries: Ladd Choate, Xander Lindley, Dalton Yancey, Axley Davis, Hayden Johnson, Team  
Punts: Liam Buffalo 2/43/21.5 
SCORING
Parker Brown 60, Xander Lindley 42, Dalton Yancey 38, Gideon Tate 25 (16/17 XP, 1/1 FG. MADE: 25), Weston Warden 12, Hud Haggard 12, Liam Buffalo 6

Fast start, slow finish for Panthers

The 2020 Heber Springs High School Homecoming Queen Hope Evans with her escorts, her father, Ben Evans; crown attendant Lexi Euton and ball attendant Reid Logan. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

A tale of two halves best described Friday’s 2-4A Conference football game between Bald Knob and Heber Springs at Panther Stadium.

The Panthers (0-4 conference, 1-6 overall) led 7-0 at halftime, but the Bulldogs (2-2 conference, 5-3 overall) dominated the second half for a 35-15 win and spoiled Heber Springs’ homecoming.

Bald Knob scored touchdowns after four Heber Springs turnovers and outgained the Panthers, 238-92 in the second half. The Panthers compiled 61 of their 92 yards during the second half on the final possession, which ended with a touchdown.

Heber Springs had six turnovers for the game — four interceptions and two fumbles, including an onside kickoff. The Bulldogs finished with a 341-203 advantage in total offense.

“Bald Knob beat us on the line of scrimmage,” Heber Springs coach Todd Wood said. “They knew that they could run the ball against us, which opened up their passing game. We couldn’t move the ball in the second half.”

Bald Knob quarterback Leason Pierce completed 13-of-23 passes for 156 yards and three touchdowns. Pierce was only 2-of-6 passing for 24 yards in the first half.

“The defense played well in the first half,” Wood said. “Bald Knob’s size on the line wore us down in the second half.”

Heber Springs held Bald Knob to 1-of-6 third-down conversions in the first half. The Bulldogs turned the tables in the final two quarters by converting 5-of-7 third-down plays.

The Panthers had 3-of-6 third down conversions in the first half and 3-of-5 in the second half. Heber Springs was 2-of-2 during its final scoring drive.
Bald Knob was successful on 2-of-8 fourth down plays, while the Panthers were 0-of-4.

“Our guys were still trying to keep battling,” Wood said. “The big issue were the turnovers and not adjusting to quick changes. We must learn how to fight through that. You can’t win games with that many turnovers.”

Heber Springs quarterback Matthew Cook completed 13-of-27 passes for 91 yards with four interceptions. Nathan McKee caught seven passes for 38 yards. Diego Rubio had 35 yards rushing on eight carries and scored one touchdown.

“We had a good drive on our first possession of the game,” Wood said. “Cook was playing with a lot of confident, but all of the sudden, he gets pressured by Bald Knob’s defense. Matthew looked at things he didn’t need to be looking at. We got to help him correct that. I need to figure out what we need to do to help him do his job better. The first drive was nice, but we didn’t have much success for the rest of the game.”

Heber Springs drove 51 yards on nine plays following the opening kickoff. Cook connected on a 16-yard pass to Easton Cusick, Rubio ran for 10 yards and McKee caught a 13-yard pass for a first-and-goal at the Bald Knob 8-yard line.

Two plays later, Cook scored on a 2-yard carry with 8:51 left in the first quarter. Gus Hannah kicked the extra point for the 7-0 lead.

Bald Knob’s only first-half scoring threat came on its final possession. The Bulldogs drove from their 31 to the Panther 20-yard line. Bald Knob’s Marcus McGahee missed a 37-yard field goal on the final play as Heber Springs led 7-0 at halftime.

Michael Wingo intercepted a Cook pass and set up Bald Knob’s first touchdown during the third quarter. The Bulldogs needed six plays to go 39 yards with Wingo scoring on a 24-yard run. McGahee kicked the extra point to tie the game at 7-7 with 5:23 left.

Bald Knob regained possession on a sack of Cook, who fumbled, and the Bulldogs recovered at the Heber Springs 20-yard line. Pierce completed the short drive by passing 13 yards to Wingo for the touchdown. McGahee added the conversion for the 14-7 lead.

The Bulldogs recovered an onside kickoff and later scored their third touchdown of the third quarter. Dane Lindsey caught a 19-yard pass from Pierce, increasing the lead to 20-7 going into the fourth quarter.

“We knew the onside kick was coming and practiced on it during the week,” Wood said. “You have to be aware where you are on the field and what you need to do in that situation. Bald Knob executed, and we didn’t.”

Bald Knob scored two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Pierce passed 38 yards to Josh Clark for a score with 10:46 to go. Clark had a 6-yard touchdown run with 4:27 left.  

McGahee ran for a 2-point conversion and then kicked an extra point, increasing Bald Knob’s lead to 35-7.

Jackson West capped a 10-play, 59-yard drive for the Panthers scoring on a 3-yard carry with 24 seconds to play. Hannah ran for the 2-point conversion.

Heber Springs will seek to rebound at Southside Batesville on Friday.

“Southside is another good team that has a big line and likes to runs the ball,” Wood said. “We must find a way to keep our defense from playing most of the time on the field and get the offense going. We took a step backwards against Bald Knob. We need to find out what we did wrong and fix it by Friday.”

The 2020 Heber Springs Homecoming Court. Queen Hope Evans with attendants Lexi Euton and Reid Logan. Senior maids, Sydney Buffalo and Jenna Gillespie. Junior maids, Vallie Cantrell and Hope Gilchrist. Sophomore maids, Jaylea Hooten and Lily Hendrix. Freshman maids, Cherlyn Acosta and Miah Tharp.

GAME STATS

SCORING   
Bald Knob (4-3, 2-2)      0  0  20  15 - 35
Heber Springs (1-6, 0-4)  7  0   0   8 - 15
FIRST QUARTER   
Heber Springs, Matthew Cook 2-yard run (Gus Hannah kick), 8:57
THIRD QUARTER   
Bald Knob, Michael Wingo 3-yard (Marcus McGahee kick), 5:22
Bald Knob, Leason Pierce to Wingo 13-yard pass (McGahee kick), 3:20
Bald Knob, Pierce to Dane Lindsey 19-yard pass (kick failed), 1:06
FOURTH QUARTER 
Bald Knob, Pierce to Josh Clark 38-yard pass (McGahee run), 10:46
Bald Knob, Clark 6-yard run (McGahee kick), 4:27
Heber Springs, Jackson West 3-yard run (Hannah run), 28.4

TEAM STATS   
First Downs by Rush: Heber Springs 5, Bald Knob 11
First Downs by Pass: Heber Springs 8, Bald Knob 5
First Downs by Penalty: Heber Springs 0, Bald Knob 1
Total First Downs: Heber Springs 13, Bald Knob 17
Third-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 6/11, Bald Knob 6/13
Fourth-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 0/4, Bald Knob 1/6
Red-Zone Conversions: Heber Springs 2/2, Bald Knob 4/5
Time of Possession: Heber Springs 18:21, Bald Knob 29:39
Fumbles/Lost: Heber Springs 3/2, Bald Knob 0/0
Turnovers: Heber Springs 6, Bald Knob 0     
Points Off Turnovers: Heber Springs 0, Bald Knob 27
Penalties: Heber Springs 4/53, Bald Knob 5/34
Rushing: Heber Springs 24/67/2.8, Bald Knob 43/185/4.3
Passing: Heber Springs 17/31-136-0/4, Bald Knob 13/23-156-3/0
Plays/Total Offense/YPP: Heber Springs 41/203/5.0, Bald Knob 66/341/5.2 
Sacks/Yards Lost: Heber Springs 1/8, Bald Knob 2/7
Punts: Heber Springs 2/43/21.5, Bald Knob 0/0
Inside 20: Heber Springs 0, CAC 0

INDIVIDUAL STATS   
OFFENSE     
RUSHING: Heber Springs, Diego Rubio 8/35, Jackson West 6/16/1, Matthew Cook 8/11/1, Easton Cusick 2/5. Bald Knob, Bradyn Cline 14/90, Josh Clark 10/62/1, Leason Pierce 8/25, Michael Wingo 6/14/1, Marcus McGahee 4/14, Team 1/(-6).
PASSING: Heber Springs, Matthew Cook 13/27-91-0/4, John McBroome 4/4-45-0/0. Bald Knob, Leason Pierce 13/23-156-3/0.
RECEIVING: Heber Springs, Nathan McKee 7/42, Easton Cusick 2/32, Austin Winchester 2/26, Dakota Farmer 2/19, Diego Rubio 2/5, Gus Hannah 1/11, Jackson West 1/1. Bald Knob, Dane Lindsey 5/36/1, Michael Wingo 3/17/1, Matthew Smith 2/32/1, Josh Clark 1/38/1, Gage Dismuke 1/24, Elijah Bradley 1/9.
TOTAL OFFENSE: Heber Springs, Matthew Cook 102, John McBroome 45, Diego Rubio 35, Jackson West 16, Easton Cusick 5. Bald Knob, Leason Pierce 181, Bradyn Cline 90, Josh Clark 62, Michael Wingo 14, Marcus McGahee 14, Team (-6). 
PUNT RETURNS: None
KICK RETURNS: Heber Springs, Nathan McKee 2/45, Diego Rubio 1/17. Bald Knob, Dane Lindsey 1/7, Hayden McAnelly 1/0.
FUMBLE RETURNS: Bald Knob, Travis Kersey 1/15
INTERCEPTION RETURNS: Bald Knob, Michael Wingo 2/24, Matthew Smith 1/21
ALL-PURPOSE YARDS: Heber Springs, Nathan McKee 87, Diego Rubio 57, Easton Cusick 37, Austin Winchester 26, Dakota Farmer 19, Jackson West 17, Matthew Cook 11, Gus Hannah 11. Bald Knob, Josh Clarke 100, Bradyn Cline 90, Michael Wingo 55, Matthew Smith 53, Dane Lindsey 43, Leason Pierce 25, Gage Dismuke 24, Marcus McGahee 14, Elijah Bradley 9.
SCORING: Heber Springs, Matthew Cook 6, Jackson West 6, Gus Hannah 3 (1/1 XPA). Bald Knob, Michael Wingo 12, Josh Clark 12, Dane Lindsey 6, Marcus McGahee 5 (4/5 XPA, 0/1 FGA. Missed 37).
DEFENSE    
PUNTS/YARDS/AVERAGE/INSIDE THE 20: Heber Springs, Matthew Cook  2/43/21.5 
SACKS/YARDS LOST: Heber Springs, Preston Roberson/Matthew Cook 1/8. Bald Knob, Travis Kersey 2/7
FUMBLE RECOVERIES: Bald Knob, Travis Kersey, Marcus McGahee
INTERCEPTIONS: Bald Knob, Michael Wingo 2, Matthew Smith 1, Josh Clark 1

Panther Gameday: Heber Springs hosts Bald Knob for homecoming date

Heber Springs’ Matthew Cook fights for yards against CAC last week in North Little Rock. Also pictured, Zach Moore (4) and Parker Noyes (65). PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

Heber Springs will look to put all of the pieces together for an entire game as the Panthers will host Bald Knob for homecoming in a 2-4A Conference football game at 7 p.m. Friday.

Homecoming festivities are scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m., with the crowning of queen Hope Evans.

After losses to the three teams tied for the conference lead, Heber Springs (0-3 conference, 1-5 overall) will meet Bald Knob (1-2 conference, 4-3 overall), which will try and bounce back from last week’s 45-8 loss at Stuttgart.

The Panthers trailed fourth place Southside Batesville, Little Rock Mills and the Bulldogs by one game in the conference standings.

“The players were disappointed with the loss to Central Arkansas Christian (35-14),” Heber Springs coach Todd Wood said. “We trailed by seven points with eight minutes left in the game. After the game, I challenged the players to play at a higher level against Bald Knob.”

Wood said the players had three of their best practices all season during the week and believes it will carry over to Friday’s game.

“We had a better attitude and showed more spirit during practices,” he said. “I was pleased with the effort. I hope that effort will continue.”

Bald Knob features a run-oriented attack. Wood said one of the keys to success for the Heber Springs defense is to win the battle at the line of scrimmage.

“Bald Knob is a spread team that likes to run the ball,” Wood said. “We must make sure we have enough guys in the area to contain the run and force them to pass. The quarterback makes good decisions, and the running back is talented. The offensive line is big and strong.”

The Bulldogs play a 3-4 scheme on defense with the team’s strength at linebacker.

“Bald Knob’s defense is versatile,” Wood said. “The two outside linebackers will put pressure on the quarterback. They also react well in stopping the run. The defensive line is big and plays physical.”

Diego Rubio became the first Panther to rush for 100 yards in a game this season against CAC. Rubio had 143 yards on 10 carries, including a 58-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

The passing game was effective as quarterback Matthew Cook completed 19-of-29 passes for 149 yards. Nathan McKee led the receivers with eight catches for 65 yards.

“We keep building every week,” Wood said. “We are adding new plays and building on having more success. Cook stepped in and played well at quarterback and took charge of the offense. Diego is a hard runner and was able to get loose a few times last week.”

Wood said the defense also keeps improving, and he expects a good performance against Bald Knob.

“We know our roles better,” he said when asked about the defense’s improvement. “The key against Bald Knob, like last week, is winning the line of scrimmage.”

Wood said Preston Roberson and Thad Bray have played well on the defensive line, and a new player emerged against CAC.

“Roberson has played steady at end,” Wood said. “Bray plays aggressive and gets into the backfield. Jayden Bremmon had one of his best game against CAC. Bremmon showed the ability to move well and uses his hands to gain leverage.”

Wood also likes the play of the linebackers.

“(Kenan) Sneed has the ability to get to the ball. Jackson West has played well, along with Diego at the inside linebackers. Our secondary is improving.”

Wood hopes homecoming will give the team an emotional boost.

“Homecoming always is a double-edge,” Wood said. “I expect them to come out and play with a full effort.”

2-4A CONFERENCE STANDINGS

                            W L CP  W L PS  PA 
Stuttgart                   3 0 39  5 0 207  26 
Lonoke                      3 0 33  5 1 233 132
Central Arkansas Christian  3 0 31  6 0 202 111
Southside Batesville        1 2 13  2 4 120 198   
Bald Knob                   1 2  6  3 3 144 136  
Little Rock Mills           1 2 11  2 4 146 174  
Heber Springs               0 3  0  1 5 113 220
Clinton                     0 3  0  0 6 137 285 
 
Friday, October 9
Central Arkansas Christian 35, Heber Springs 14
Little Rock Mills 46, Clinton 35
Lonoke 52, Southside Batesville 21
Stuttgart 45, Bald Knob 8

Friday, October 16
Bald Knob at Heber Springs
Central Arkansas Christian at Southside Batesville
Little Rock Mills at Lonoke
Stuttgart at Clinton

NOTES

  • Kickoff: 7 p.m. Panther Stadium
  • Admission: $5
  • Radio/Streaming: Billy Morgan with handle the play-by-play with Lance Hamilton providing color on KSUG 101.9 The Lake. Panther Pregame begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by the game. 

THE SERIES: Bald Knob leads 37-23-2

SERIES HISTORY: This will be the 63rd time these two schools have meet on the football field. Heber Springs and Bald Knob first played during the 1929 season, a 26-2, Panther victory. It would be 11 more seasons before the two teams played again, a 1940 12-0 victory by Heber Springs. Heber Springs would win the first three games in the series before Bald Knob would win 18 out of 20 games played (a 1950 34-13 win by the Panthers broke a five-game losing streak in the series while a 1964 12-7 win broke a 10-game losing streak). The series would be fairly even before Heber Springs won eight straight from 1976 through 1983 before the Bulldogs closed out the 1980s winning six-in-a-row. In the 1990s, the teams would meet seven times with the Panthers getting wins during the 1990 and 1999 seasons. Since the 2005 season, Heber Springs and Bald Knob have played nine times with the Panthers winning seven of those contests, including 34-7 last season.

Heber Springs dominates second half, downs Bald Knob

Heber Springs’ Xander Lindley, Parker Brown and Dalton Yancey as the team gets ready to run on to the field Thursday at Bald Knob. The “paw boys” scored all four touchdowns in the Panthers 29-7 win. The trio also combined for 14 receptions for 222 yards. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

By PHILIP SEATON

BALD KNOB – Heber Springs overcame a sluggish start to improve to 5-1 on the season with a 29-8 victory over Bald Knob in junior high football action Thursday night.

The Panthers, 3-1 in 2-4A play, trailed 8-7 late in the first half before scoring 22 unanswered to pull away from the Bulldogs. Liam Buffalo, who was 19 of 27 passing for 288 yards and four touchdowns, hit Parker Brown over the middle for a 57-yard scoring strike with 35.4 seconds left in the half. Buffalo connected with Xander Lindley for the 2-point pass to give Heber Springs a 15-7 advantage at the break.

From that point on, the Panther defense took control.

Heber Springs’ Hud Haggard reacts after a first-down stop by the Panther defense in the second half.

Bald Knob finished the night with 192 yards of total offense on the night, with the majority of that came in the first half, but Heber Springs limited the Bulldogs to 22 yards in the second half and forced three Bald Knob turnovers over that span (fumble recoveries by Axley Davis and Hayden Johnson, and an interception by Dalton Yancey).

Yancey’s interception set up the first score of the second half for the Panthers. Taking over on their own 32, Heber Springs used an 11-play, 68-yard drive to go up 22-8 when Buffalo connected with Yancey for a 3-yard touchdown pass with 42.6 seconds left in the quarter. Gideon Tate, who was three-for-three on PAT kicks on the night, kicked the extra point to make it 22-8. Buffalo was nine of 10 passing on the drive using five different receivers (Tate, Hud Haggard, Brown, Lindley and Yancey – who also had a first-half fumble recovery).

Heber Springs Parker Brown forces a fumble. Maddox Reed (66) helps on the play.

Another turnover set up the next score for Heber Springs in the fourth quarter, Brown sacked Bald Knob quarterback James Holder forcing the fumble. Johnson picked up the ball but was tripped up after a seven-yard return to put the ball on the Bulldog 34.

Heber Springs showed a different look on the next drive with Brown lined up in the “Wildcat” formation. A 12- and 8-yard run by Brown moved the ball to the Bulldog 14. A backwards pass attempt to Buffalo was mishandled on third down forcing a fourth-and-14 from the Bald Knob. But on fourth down, Buffalo took the snap connected with Lindley for the 26-yard touchdown pass.

Heber Springs’ Weston Warden.

Lindley finished the night six receptions for 104 yards and two touchdowns, including a 13-yard reception with 2:02 left in the first quarter that put Heber Springs up 7-0.

Bald Knob’s score came with 1:26 left in the first half as Holder connected with Garrett Swindle for an 8-yard touchdown pass. Javen Smith ran in the 2-point conversion.

The Panthers finished with 300 yards of total offense on the night. Brown led Heber Springs with 127 all-purpose yards (79 receiving, 21 rushing and 27 returns).

Bald Knob’s Jameson Hillis led all rushers with 75 yards on 20 carries. But as a team, the Bulldogs finished the night with 67 yards on the ground on 28 attempts.

Heber Springs will host Southside Batesville on Thursday at Panther Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

A bloody-knee doesn’t stop Heber Springs’ Liam Buffalo as he gets ready to hand the ball off to teammate Gideon Tate. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Heber Springs 7th-Graders top Bald Knob

Heber Springs’ Gavin Widner fights off the tackle attempt of Bald Knob’s Devin Quinn in seventh-grade football action Thursday night in Bald Knob. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

By PHILIP SEATON

BALD KNOB – The Heber Springs Panther Cubs improved to 4-2 on the season with a 28-14 victory over Bald Knob Thursday night.

Heber Springs struck first as Jacob Haskett scored on an 11-yard run with 14:42 left in the first half. The 2-point pass failed as the Panther Cubs led 6-0.

Heber Springs quarterback Emmett Dwyer.

Heber Springs would scored again to go up 14-0 with 3:55 left in the first half as Emmett Dwyer connected with Haskett for a short-pass completion with Haskett doing the rest racing past several Bulldog defenders for a 91-yard touchdown. Dwyer connected with Eli Buffalo for the 2-point conversion.

Bald Knob pulled to within a score early in the second half as Bulldog quarterback Dakota Shoebottom broke a pair of tackles and rambled 69 yards for a touchdown with 18:51 left in the half. The 2-point pass failed.

Heber Springs would go up 22-6 with 12:50 left as Dwyer found Cooper Holmes for a 60-yard touchdown pass. Dwyer would run in the 2-point conversion.

Heber Springs’ Jacob Haskett

Dyce Young recovered a Bald Knob fumble on the Bulldogs next possession, but the Panthers turned the ball over ending that scoring threat.

Heber Springs added another score on a 5-yard touchdown run by Eli Buffalo with 3:59 left. The 2-point conversion failed.

Bald Knob added a late score to settle the final score as Shoebottom scrambled for a 58-yard touchdown run with 1:18 left. Shoebottom connected with Kaden Posey for the 2-point conversion.

Heber Springs returns to action on Thursday when it hosts Southside Batesville.

Heber Springs’ Seth Dudeck looks to get past Bald Knob’s Kaden Posey. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO
Heber Springs’ Eli Buffalo (5) and Lowell Smith (78). PHILIP SEATON PHOTO