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