Wood starts work as new coach for Panthers

February 7, 2020

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

New Heber Springs High School head football coach Todd Wood wasted little time before getting to work.

Wood took the program’s reins Monday (Feb. 3) and spent most of the day in in-service training for teachers. He greeted the players for the first time on Tuesday (Feb. 4) and began the transition.

New Heber Springs head football coach Todd Wood. LARRY McCARTY PHOTO

“Tuesday was the first day with the students,” said Wood, who also will teach social studies. “We have a lot of work ahead of us. I met with coaches Monday about what we want to do and put everything in place.”

Wood said it will take time, but he expressed confidence that players will accept the changes.

“We will be learning the players’ abilities for the next few weeks,” he said. “I need to learn names and put them with faces. We will be working on putting players in the right positions.”

Wood was defensive coordinator at Russeville High School and talked with David Farr, a former head coach of the Panthers and a member of the Russeville staff.

“Coach Farr was very valuable from the beginning when I expressed interest in the job,” Wood said. “He told me the community, school and kids would be great. He is the one who showed me what to expect and said the kids were dedicated to play well and hard workers.”

Wood said players will participate in spring sports, but he hopes to include them in the transition as much as possible.

“Spring ball is not far away,” Wood said. “We need to immediately start teaching a different philosophy of offense and defense. We need to get the players into a learning situaton as fast as possible.”

Wood said extra meetings may be necessary.

“We have our offseason going on and work primarily in the weight room,” he said. “We will be trying to get those guys working on our game plan. We want all of the guys involved.”

Wood was the defensive coordinator at Pulaski Academy from 2003-2016 and said the Panthers will play similar offensive and defensive schemes. The Bruins won six state titles during that time frame.

“I spent 23 years at Pulaski Academy and that had the biggest impact on my coaching philosophy,” Wood said. “I will fit the offense to the players and put them in the best position to win. We plan to utitize the entire field and spread the defense out. It will take a lot of work and we will learn how to play with dicipline.”

Wood plans a familiar approach on defense.

“We want to fit our defense to whatever a team’s offense,” he said. “We will play an aggressive defense with different coverages in the secondary.”

Wood said players will participate in summer camps and also play 7-on-7, but the focus will be on preparing for the start of the season in September.

“We will re-evaluate everything in June and keep the focus on us,” Wood said. “We will learn where to line up and what we need to do. I don’t want the team to be unprepared. Our goal is have a good grasp of the offense and defense before the start of the season.”

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Heber Springs’ Martin signs with Arkansas Tech

February 5, 2020

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

Quarterback Adam Martin capped his Heber Springs High School football career by signing a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II letter-of-intent with Arkansas Tech at the Panther Den Tuesday.

Martin, who started the final two games of his freshman season and the past three years, led the Panthers to a 21-17 record, four playoff appearances and a share of a conference championship.

Overall, Martin completed 387-of-662 passes for 5,051 yards and 42 touchdowns. He rushed for 2,042 yards and scored 30 touchdowns.

“I’m very excited, like Russellville and excited what the future will hold,” said Martin when asked about selecting Arkansas Tech. “I’m ready to start working on my football career in Russellville. I like the coaches who kept in touch with me throughout the process. They were honest and treated me like family.”

Will Cox, who was interim head coach last season for the Panthers, said Martin was one of the key parts on offense. Martin was responsible for 54 percent of the team’s touchdowns and 64 percent of the team’s total offense.

In 2019, Martin completed 139-of-232 passes for 1,627 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was the team’s second-leading rusher with 864 yards and scored 11 touchdowns. Martin also handled the punting duties.

“I only coached Adam during the past two years, but he played well beyond his years,” Cox said. “He took pride in how he played. I’m happy he is getting this opportunity. His stats are incredible and only tells part of the story. Adam always put our offense in good position to be successful.”
Cox said he never doubted Martin would play college football and said his new coach will learn quickly how valuable of a player he is.

Heber Springs’ Adam Martin waits to sign his letter-of-intent with Arkansas Tech University. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

“I told every coach once he gets in your program, you would see why,” Cox said. “Adam is the best high school quarterback I ever coached. His best attributes are leadership and he holds himself to a higher standard than others.”

Martin is expected to compete for playing time next season for the Wonder Boys, who tied for eighth place with East Central Oklahoma in the Great American Conference last season during head coach Kyle Shipp’s first season.

“Most likely, I will probably be redshirted, but that decision will not be made until after the August camp,” he said. “I’m looking forward to getting to Tech. Coach Shipp takes pride in being a Wonder Boy (player and assistant coach before becoming head coach). The program is going in the right direction.”

Martin was one of three quarterbacks signed.

“I’m excited about all of the kids that we’re signing,” Shipp said. “I feel like it’s a very good class from top to bottom. This class is a building block to where we want to get to in the future. Along with our returning class we feel like this group will have the chance to be special.”

Martin said he is ready for the challenge and compared it to when he was summoned to the varsity during his freshman year for the Panthers.

“I already was playing junior high basketball and coach (Darren) Gowen came and told me I was going to be playing more football,” Martin said. “I learned a lot in those games. I have so many memories, but two of the highlights were winning at Southside Batesville during my junior year and defeating Riverview at senior night last season.”

Martin said it was special to play on the same field as his father, Danny.

Adam Martin poses with father, Danny, in front of the Heber Springs High School class of 1981 class portrait. Danny was a 1981 graduate of Heber Springs. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

“I built a lot of relationships in the locker room and the community,” he said. “It also was special playing where my dad and uncles did.”

Martin continues to play for the Heber Springs basketball team and will compete for the baseball squad before heading to Russellville.

“Learning a new playbook will be the first challenge,” he said. “I need to become more physically because Division II football is a different game than high school. I want to get it up to their standards.”

Martin will join former teammate, Julian Cameron, at Tech. Cameron signed with the Wonder Boys last spring and redshirted this past season.

Martin is also the fifth Panther football player in the past three seasons to sign to play college football joining Cameron (Arkansas Tech), Blaze Nelson (Lyon College), J.J. Bray (Southwest Baptist, Mo.) last year and Jacob Bremmon (Hendrix) in 2018.

RELATED ARTICLE: Arkansas Tech announces 2020 signing class

Adam Martin with his family.

ADAM MARTIN INTERVIEW

HEBER SPRINGS COACH WILL COX

FORMER HEBER SPRINGS COACH DARREN GOWEN

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Reese resigns as athletic director at Heber Springs

January 20, 2020

Heber Springs Athletic Director Brad Reese submitted his resignation, effective at the end of the current school year, to the Heber Springs School Board on Monday night.

The board accepted his resignation with a 5-0.

The resignation does not include his assistant principal duties at the high school.

The Hot Springs High and Arkansas Tech alum came to the Heber Springs School District in 1991 as an assistant coach on John Richardson’s staff. Reese was promoted to head coach the following season when Richardson stepped down as coach to concentrate on teaching duties.

Reese served as head coach until the 1997 season, leading the Panthers to their first playoff berth in 14 years in his last campaign, to take the head coach position at Huntsville.

Reese coached at Huntsville for two seasons before returning to Heber Springs. First working as defensive coordinator for his long-time friend, Todd Thompson, then in various roles including head junior high coach before taking over as athletic director in December 2013 when Steve Janski resigned to take a similar position at Fayetteville High School.

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Wood named new head coach at Heber Springs

January 20, 2020

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

Todd Wood, the defensive coordinator at Russellville High School since 2017, became the new leader of the Heber Springs Panther football program at Monday night’s school board meeting.

Wood was hired on a vote of 3-2. Kevin Thomas, Dr. Ryan Buffalo and Bryce Farmer voted in favor of Wood, while Judy Crowder and Jason Jones voted no.

Wood was one of six candidates interviewed by a five-member search committee and Superintendent Dr. Alan Stauffacher. Wood is expected to be on campus Wednesday and begin his duties on Feb. 3. He also will teach social studies.

Wood was the defensive coordinator at Pulaski Academy from 2003-2016. The Bruins won six state titles during that time frame. He also a baseball coach at Pulaski Academy.

Wood and five other candidates were interviewed in December and then again in January. The position became vacant in July when Darren Gowen resigned to accept another coaching position. Assistant coach Will Cox was interim head for the 2019 season.

“We started this process in the summer when coach Gowen resigned,” Stauffacher said. “We are ready to move forward.”

Stauffacher said Wood will work with a contract to finish the spring semester before he will have a new contract for the 2020-21 school year.

Wood is the first football coach hired that had not previously served on the coaching staff since Steve Janski in 2005 and only the third head coach hired outside of the program since 1974, joining John Richardson in 1989. Richardson came to Heber Springs from Huntsville.

The Panthers will open their 99th football season against Newport in September.

(Editor’s Note: Philip Seaton contributed to this article.)

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Panthers expect to name new football coach Monday

January 20, 2020

BY LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

The search for Heber Springs’ next head football coach will end Monday night when a recommendation will be presented to the school board during its meeting.

Six candidates were interviewed by Superintendent Dr. Alan Stauffacher and a five-member search committee in December and then again in January.
The position became vacant in July when Darren Gowen resigned to accept another coaching position. Assistant coach Will Cox was named interim head coach for the 2019 season.

Athletic director Brad Reese, high school principal Marc Griffin, former school board member Richard Whybrew, current board member Dr. Ryan Buffalo and coach Jay Bishop comprise the committee.

Monday’s meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. in the school district’s central office.

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Martin commits to Arkansas Tech

Heber Springs’ Adam Martin gets ready to throw a pass against Shiloh Christian in 4A playoff action in November. Martin recently committed to continue his football career at Arkansas Tech in Russellville. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

January 9, 2020

BY LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

Heber Springs senior quarterback Adam Martin will not go too far away from home to play college football.

Martin, who was recently named to Class 4A all-state team, announced he will sign a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II letter of intent with Arkansas Tech.

In 2019, Martin completed 139-of-238 passes for 1,648 yards and 13 touchdowns with nine interceptions. He was the team’s second-leading rusher with 865 yards and scored 11 touchdowns. Martin ran for more than 100 yards four times.

Martin became the starting quarterback for the Panthers late in 2016 as a freshman. He started the next three seasons.

Martin will join former teammate, Julian Cameron, at Arkansas Tech. Cameron, a kicker, redshirted this past season for the Wonder Boys after signing last spring.

Players may sign letters of intent with NCAA schools beginning on Feb. 5.

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Interviews for Heber Springs football coach continue Wednesday

January 7, 2020

BY LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

A second round of interviews with Heber Springs High School head football coaching candidates will be held on Wednesday.

The five-member search committee met last week after the initial interviews of six candidates in December.

Assistant coach Will Cox was named interim head coach in July, replacing Darren Gowen, who resigned in June.

Heber Springs finished the season at 4-7.

Superintendent Dr. Alan Stauffacher earlier said he expected a recommendation for the school board’s January 20 meeting. Stauffacher said the recommendation may be delayed.

Athletic director Brad Reese, high school principal Marc Griffin, former school board member Richard Whybrew, current board member Dr. Ryan Buffalo, coach Jay Bishop and Stauffacher comprise the committee.

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Heber Springs hands out postseason awards

2019 Heber Springs Panther Football Award winners, front, from left, Hunter Kent, Matthew Cook, Lawrence Baureis, Landon Johnson and Nathan McKee. Back, from left, Julio Rubio, Harley Hannah, Preston Jones, Adam Martin and Fate Berry. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

December 17, 2019

The Heber Springs High School football awards banquet was held at the Heber Springs High School cafeteria.

Head coach Will Cox and the coaching staff presented the following awards for the 2019 season:

All-State: Adam Martin

Honorable Mention All-State: Julio Rubio, Fate Berry and Landon Johnson

All-Conference: Nathan McKee, Hunter Kent, Matthew Cook and Harley Hannah.

Team MVP: Landon Johnson

Offensive MVP: Adam Martin

Defensive MVP: Fate Berry

Panther Award: Lawrence Baureis

Seth Decker Award (Outstanding Sophomore): Preston Jones

The 2019 Heber Springs football seniors, front, from left, Hunter Griffin, Adam Martin, Lawrence Baureis, Landon Johnson and Spencer Evans. Middle, from left, Nate Dearmond, Dalton McCollum, Levy Phillips, Brandon Tate, Julio Rubio. Back, from left, Kaden Hughes, Harley Hannah, Fate Berry. Not pictured: Jackson Harrod. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

VIDEO

Note: The video starts with Hunter Kent receiving his all-conference award.

2019 HEBER SPRINGS FINAL FOOTBALL STATS

Heber Springs 61 103  54 83 - 301 (27.4)  
Opponent      60 125 104 73 - 362 (32.9)  

TEAM  
First Downs by Rush: Heber Springs 113, Opponent 120  
First Downs by Pass: Heber Springs 69, Opponent 73  
First Downs by Penalty: Heber Springs 9, Opponent 12  
Total First Downs: Heber Springs 191, Opponent 205  
Third-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 64/135 (47.4), Opponent 44/117 (37.6)  
Fourth-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 13/35 (37.1), Opponent 18/34 (52.9)  
Red-Zone Conversions: Heber Springs 27/36 (75) (27 tds), Opponent 33/44 (75) (31 tds, 2 FG)  
Fumbles/Lost: Heber Springs 19/10, Opponent 17/9  
Turnovers: Heber Springs 20, Opponent 14  
Points Off Turnovers: Heber Springs 48, Opponent 56 
Penalties/Yards: Heber Springs 90/673, Opponent 78/764 
Plays/Total Offense/YPP/PER GAME: Heber Springs 676/3883/5.7/353, Opponent 655/3909/6.0/355.4  
Rushing: Heber Springs 432/2244/5.2, Opponent 458/2239/4.9 
Rushing Per Game: Heber Springs 204, Opponent 203.6  
Passing: Heber Springs 139/238-1648-13/10, Opponent 136/223-1708-24/5 
Completion Percentage: Heber Springs 51.9, Opponent 61.0
Passing Per Game: Heber Springs 148.9, Opponent 155.3 
Sacks/Yards Lost: Heber Springs 20/107, Opponent 13/75  
Punts: Heber Springs 30/1176/39.2, Opponent 29/975/33.6
Blocked Punts: Heber Springs 1 
 
INDIVIDUAL  
OFFENSE  
RUSHING (ATT/YARDS/PER ATTEMPT/PER GAME/TDS): Julio Rubio 185/1154/6.2/100.4/16, Adam Martin 176/845/4.8/76.8/11, Landon Johnson 55/259/4.7/23.6/5, Levy Phillips 6/28, Nathan McKee 3/14, Diego Rubio 1/2, Tri Johnson 1/(-2), Team 7/(-52)  
RUNS OF 50+: Julio Rubio 2, Adam, Martin 2 
RUNS OF 40+: Julio Rubio 4  Adam Martin 2
RUNS OF 30+: Julio Rubio 6, Adam Martin 3  
RUNS OF 20+: Julio Rubio 12, Adam Martin 8, Landon Johnson 1 
RUNS OF 10+:  Julio Rubio 29, Adam Martin 23, Landon Johnson 4, Levy Phillips 1 
100-YARD RUSHING GAMES: Julio Rubio 6, Adam Martin 4   
PASSING (ATT/COMP-YARDS-TDS/INT): Adam Martin  139/238-1648-13/10       
250-YARD PASSING GAMES: Adam Martin 1  
RECEIVING (REC/YARDS/PER CATCH/TDS): Nathan McKee 30/350/11.7/4, Landon Johnson 25/269/10.8/2, Matthew Cook 23/198/8.6/1, Hunter Kent 18/221/12.3/3, Fate Berry 15/202/13.5/1, Julio Rubio 13/155/11.2, Tri Johnson 12/208/17.3/2, Jackson West 1/18, Dalton McCollum 1/9, Diego Rubio 1/8  
100-YARD RECEIVING GAMES: Hunter Kent 1, Tri Johnson 1, Julio Rubio 1  
TOTAL OFFENSE (OFFENSE/PER GAME): Adam Martin 2497/227, Julio Rubio 1154/104.9, Landon Johnson 259/23.6, Levy Phillips 28, Nathan McKee 14, Diego Rubio 2, Tri Johnson (-2), Team (-51)  
KICKOFF RETURNS: Tri Johnson 8/170/21.3, Nathan McKee 7/87/12.4,  Hunter Kent 7/52/7.4, Matthew Cook 6/62/10.3,  Jackson West 6/47/7.8, Levy Phillips 4/37/9.3, Diego Rubio 4/85/21.3,  Julio Rubio 3/44/14.7,  Lawrence Baureis 1/10, Harley Bresnahan 1/ 6, Adam Martin 1/6, Tristan  Thissen 1/0.  
PUNT RETURNS: Nathan McKee 3/12, Tri Johnson 1/(-3) 
INTERCEPTION RETURNS: Nathan McKee 3/54, Dalton McCollum 1/4, Fate Berry 1/2  
FUMBLE RETURNS: Matthew Cook 1/4 
ALL-PURPOSE YARDS (YARDS/PER GAME): Julio Rubio 1236/112.4, Adam Martin 851/77.4, Landon Johnson 527/47.9, Nathan McKee 483/43.9, Tri Johnson 373/57.3, Matthew Cook 264/26.4, Hunter Kent 302/27.5, Fate Berry 204/18.6, Diego Rubio 99/9, Jackson West 65/5.9, Levy Phillips 65/5.9,  Dalton McCollum 13, Lawrence Baureis 10 Harley Bresnahan 6  
DEFENSE  
TACKLES (ASST/SOLO/TOTAL): Fate Berry 75/30/105, Landon Johnson 75/28/103, Diego Rubio 47/14/61, Kaden Hughes 37/16/53, Nathan McKee 36/16/52,  Hunter Kent 32/13/45, Lawrence Baureis 32/13/45, Matthew Cook 31/9/40, Nicholas Hitchcock 29/8/37,  Levy Phillips 27/14/41, Jackson West 24/4/28, Julio Rubio 13/7/20, Dalton McCollum 11/7/18, Tri Johnson 9/5/14, Harley Bresnhan 7/4/11, Trevor Weathers 8/1/9, Preston Jones 3/2/5, Harley Hannah 3/2/5, Jackson Harrod 4/1/5,  Hunter Griffin 3/1/4, Devon Doxey 3/1/4, Tristan Thissen 1/2/3, Trent Barnes 2/1/3, Adam Martin 3/0/3, Nate Dearmond 1/1/2, Spencer Evans 2/0/2, Gus Hannah 1/0/1.  
TACKLES FOR LOSS: Fate Berry 15, Landon Johnson 15.5, Kaden Hughes 11.5, Diego Rubio 7, Nicholas Hitchcock 6.5, Julio Rubio 9, Lawrence Baureis 7, Levy Phillips 2, Jackson West 2, Tri Johnson 1.5,  Hunter Griffin 1, Harley Bresnahan 1, Devon Doxey 1, Nathan McKee 1  
SACKS/YARDS LOST: Fate Berry 4/28, Kaden Hughes 4/24,  Tri Johnson 2.5/22, Diego Rubio 1.5/5, Levy Phillips 1/ 5, Harley Bresnahan 1/ 4, Julio Rubio .5/9, Landon Johnson 1/3, Matthew Cook .5/3, Nicholas Hitchcock .5/4. 
INTERCEPTIONS:  Nathan McKee 3, Dalton McCollum 1, Fate Berry 1  
DEFENSIVE FUMBLE RECOVERIES: Hunter Kent 2, Diego Rubio 3, Nicholas Hitchcock 2, Nathan McKee 1, Landon Johnson 1,    
BLOCKED PUNTS: Kaden Hughes 1
PUNTING (No./Yards/Avg./Inside20): Adam Martin 29/1143/39.4/8, Matthew Cook 1/33/33
SCORING: Julio Rubio 96 (16 tds), Adam Martin 66 (11 td), Jackson Harrod 37 (37-41 PAT, 0-1 FG), Landon Johnson 36 (6 tds), Nathan McKee 24 (4 td), Hunter Kent 18 (3 td), Tri Johnson 12 (2 td), Fate Berry 6 (1 td), Matthew Cook 6 (1 td) 
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Interviews begin today for Heber Springs football coach

December 18, 2019

BY LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

A five-member search committee, along with Superintendent Dr. Alan Stauffacher, will interview six candidates to become the next head football coach at Heber Springs High School Wednesday.

Athletic director Brad Reese, high school principal Marc Griffin, former school board member Richard Whybrew, current board member Dr. Ryan Buffalo and coach Jay Bishop comprise the committee.

Stauffacher said the plan is to conduct the first round of interviews before Christmas and possibly calling for second interviews either in late December or early January. He said the committee’s goal is to have a recommendation ready for the Jan. 20 school board meeting.

Assistant coach Will Cox was named interim head coach in July, replacing Darren Gowen, who resigned in June.

“The committee and I met twice and reviewed the applications,” Stauffacher said. “We decided on who would be interviewed and possibly the best fit for the job. We plan to keep our options open. We wanted to do the first round of interviews before Christmas, and then we will look at where we are at that point.”

The search process began following the completion of the football season in mid-November.

“I’m pleased with the six candidates,” Stauffacher said. “We are looking for a quality person to lead the football program. We also want a coach who wants to be at Heber Springs, become vested into the community and build the program. We want a coach with high energy and a proven record. Those are some of the qualities we are looking for in the next coach.”

If a new coach is hired at the January school board meeting, Stauffacher hopes to have him on campus by late February or possibly early March.

“The holiday may delay it, but I believe we can have a recommendation by the next board meeting,” Stauffacher said. “We will have to wait and see how the process goes.”

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Panther PostGame

Heber Springs’ season closes at Shiloh Christian

Heber Springs’ Landon Johnson running with the ball Friday night at Shiloh Christian. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

November 15, 2019

By PHILIP SEATON

SPRINGDALE – Shiloh Christian used a quick-strike, precision passing game and took advantage of four Heber Springs turnovers to end the Panthers season with a 62-27 victory Friday night in a first-round 4A playoff game.

The 27 points scored by Heber Springs was the most points Shiloh Christian (11-0) has allowed to an opponent all season.

Heber Springs finishes the season with a 4-7 record while Shiloh Christian advanced to the second round where the Saints will host Pocahontas Friday night.

It was the final game for 14 Panther seniors, who made three consecutive playoff appearances and won a share of a 4A-2 conference crown in 2017. Two of those seniors, Adam Martin (15 carries for 118 yards) and Julio Rubio (14 carries for 108), closed out their careers rushing for more than 100 yards on the night.

Senior Eli Reece was 26 of 32 for 395 yards passing with seven touchdowns for Shiloh Christian as the Saints needed only 36 seconds to take a 6-0 lead after Reece connected with Logan Raben for a 45-yard score. The 2-point conversion failed.

On the Panthers first possession, Heber Springs moved from their own 15 to their 49 after a pair of first-down runs by Rubio, the first for 23 and second for 11, but the drive fizzled at the Shiloh Christian 43 and the Panthers turned the ball over on downs.

The Saints didn’t waste much time going up 14-0 moving 57 yards on four plays in 39 seconds as Reece connected with Truitt Tollett for the score and Cam Wiedemann for the 2-point conversion.

Heber Springs responded as Rubio went 41 yards on second down to put the ball the Saint 18. Two players later Martin ran the ball in from the 14 with 6:44 to play in the opening quarter. Jackson Harrod’s kick made it 14-7 Shiloh.

The Saints drove to the Panther 14 before the Heber Springs defense stopped the Saints on a fourth-and-1 with 3:37 left in the first quarter.

The Panthers picked up a pair of first downs on their next drive, the second coming after Martin connected with Hunter Kent for eight yards on third-and-7 from the Heber Springs 28, but a holding penalty on a Landon Johnson run on the next play put Heber Springs in the hole for the series forcing the game’s only punt, a Martin 56-yarder on the first play of the second quarter.

From there Shiloh Christian marched 93 yards in 1:35 in five plays to go up 21-7 after Reece connected with Tollett again for a 34-yard score.

The Saints attempted an onside kick and recovered it after the ball after it bounced a Panther at the 50. Two plays and 20 seconds later the Saints would go up 28-7 after Reece found Tollett yet again for a 33-yard touchdown.

The Panthers pulled to within two scores on the ensuing drive after recovering the onside-kick attempt on their own 49. Martin rushed for nine yards for a first down at the Shiloh 32 and passed for another first down connecting with Nathan McKee for an eight-yard completion. Three plays later, Martin again connected with McKee, this time for a 16-yard touchdown with 5:45 left in the first half. The kick failed making it 28-13.

Shiloh Christian need only 90 seconds to respond as Reece found tight end Beau Cason for an eight-yard touchdown pass making it 35-13.

The Panthers kept it a two-score game on their next possession after Martin kept the snap, went off tackle and out ran a trio of Saint defenders for a 57-yard touchdown run to make it 35-20 with 2:12.

Shiloh Christian was driving for another apparent score before Kent stepped in front the Reece pass attempt at the Panther 20 for the interception, but after picking up 28 yards on the return, Kent had the ball knocked free and the Saints recovered. Seven plays later and with 16 seconds left in the half, Reece found Cason for a 17-yard scoring strike to make it 42-20 at the half.

Shiloh Christian put the game out of reach with a pair of third-quarter touchdowns and invoke the Arkansas Activities Association 35-point Mercy Rule. The Panthers did score a late touchdown as Rubio plunged in from the 3 to set the final score.

HEBER SPRINGS COACH WILL COX

GAME NOTES

LEGEND IN THE HOUSE: Heber Springs High graduate and former Panther head coach Dennis DeBusk, who also served as the first head coach in Shiloh Christian history, was on the Heber Springs sidelines for the first half Friday night. DeBusk is retired and lives in Springdale.

LEGEND IN THE HOUSE TOO: Heber Springs High graduate and former Arkansas Razorback Braylon Mitchell was at the game with his family Friday night to catch Heber Springs (see video).

RARE PICK: Hunter Kent’s second-quarter interception of Shiloh Christian Eli Reece was only the third time this season the senior has been picked off.

BOOK-END CENTURY MARKS: Seniors Julio Rubio and Adam Martin opened the season by both rushing for more than 100 yards against Clinton and only accomplished it one another time this season, in the season-ending loss at Shiloh Christian.

DEFENSIVE ACTION: Senior quarterback Adam Martin played on the defense for the first time this season against Shiloh Christian. With the Saints vaunted spread passing attack, Martin was in the secondary.

ADAM MARTIN

IT’S HEBER SPRINGS: The public address announcer at Shiloh Christian made the mistake before kick off by calling saying “Herber Springs Panthers.” It was the only time he made the mistake on the night.

LIGHTS OUT: The stadium at Shiloh Christian uses LED lights and before kick off, the lights were turned off right before the Saint football team ran throw a lighted entrance to come onto the field.

ROUGH NIGHT FOR THE 4A-2: Central Arkansas Christian was the only conference team to advance to the second round of the playoffs. Riverview fell to DeWitt for the second time this season, 44-15. Southside Batesville lost to Star City, 47-20. Pea Ridge downed Lonoke, 49-13, and Central Arkansas Christian topped Gentry, 49-20. The Mustangs will travel to Joe T. Robinson Friday night for a second-round match-up.

SCORING

Heber Springs (4-7)                 7  13   0   7  - 27    
Shiloh Christian (11-0)            14  28  14   6  - 62

FIRST QUARTER
Shiloh - Eli Reece to Logan Raben 45-yard pass (pass failed), 11:24
Shiloh - Reece to Truitt Tollett 2-yard pass (Reece to Cam Wiedemann pass), 8:06
Heber Springs - Adam Martin 14-yard run (Jackson Harrod kick), 6:44    
SECOND QUARTER    
Shiloh - Reece to Tollett 34-yard pass (Keaton Carter kick), 10:14
Shiloh - Reece to Tollett 33-yard pass (Carter kick), 9:53
Heber Springs - Martin to Nathan McKee 16-yard pass (kick failed), 5:45
Shiloh - Reece to Beau Cason 8-yard pass (Carter kick), 4:15
Heber Springs - Martin 57-yard run (Harrod kick), 2:12
Shiloh - Reece to Cason 17-yard pass (Carter kick), :16
THIRD QUARTER    
Shiloh - Reece to Tollett 1-yard pass (Carter kick), 8:19
Shiloh - Carter 40-yard interception return (Carter kick), 7:11
FOURTH QUARTER
Shiloh - Ben Baker 44-yard run (kick blocked), 10:49
Heber Springs - Julio Rubio 3-yard run (Harrod kick), 4:50

TEAM STATS

First Downs by Rush: Heber Springs 13, Shiloh 10
First Downs by Pass: Heber Springs 5, Shiloh 19
First Downs by Penalty: Heber Springs 2, Shiloh 1
Total First Downs: Heber Springs 20, Shiloh 30
Third-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 8/14, Shiloh 2/4
Fourth-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 1/4, Shiloh 0/1
Red-Zone Conversions: Heber Springs 2/2, Shiloh 4/5
Time of Possession: Heber Springs 29:39, Shiloh 18:21
Fumbles/Lost: Heber Springs 3/2, Shiloh 0/0
Turnovers: Heber Springs 4, Shiloh 1   
Points Off Turnovers: Heber Springs 0, Shiloh 28
Penalties: Heber Springs 9/75, Shiloh 7/65
Plays/Total Offense/YPP: Heber Springs 64/356/5.6, Shiloh 51/639/12.5
Rushing: Heber Springs 37/260/7.0, Shiloh 24/242/10.1
Passing: Heber Springs 13/27-96-1/2, Shiloh 27/33-397-7/1
Sacks/Yards Lost: Heber Springs 0/0, Shiloh 1/11
Punts: Heber Springs 1/56, Shiloh 0/0
Inside 20: Heber Springs 1, Shiloh 0

INDIVIDUAL STATS

OFFENSE 
RUSHING: Heber Springs, Adam Martin 15/118/7.9/2, Julio Rubio 14/108/7.7/1, Landon Johnson 3/20/6.7, Nathan McKee 2/8, Levy Phillips 2/7, Team 1/(-1). Shiloh Christian, Cam Wiedemann 10/110/11, Ben Baker 3/77/25.7/1, Truitt Tollett 3/31/10.3, Hayden Brasuell 2/18, Eli Reece 1/7, Logan Raben 1/6, Ben Walton 1/2, Jacob Solomon  Elias Hewitt 1/1,  1/(-1), Team 1/(-9).
RUSHING RUNS OF 50+: Heber Springs, Adam Martin (1) 
RUSHING RUNS OF 40+: Heber Springs, Adam Martin (1), Julio Rubio (1). Shiloh Christian, Ben Baker (1).
RUSHING RUNS OF 30+: Heber Springs, Adam Martin (1), Julio Rubio (1). Shiloh Christian, Ben Baker (1), Truitt Tollett (1).
RUSHING RUNS OF 20+: Heber Springs, Julio Rubio (2), Adam Martin (1). Shiloh Christian, Cam Wiedemann (3), Ben  Baker (1), Truitt Tollett (1). 
RUSHING RUNS OF 10+: Heber Springs, Julio Rubio (4), Adam Martin (3). Shiloh Christian, Cam Wiedemann (5), Ben Baker (3), Truitt Tollett (1), Hayden Brasuell (1).
PASSING: Heber Springs, Adam Martin 13/27-96-1/2, Shiloh Christian, Eli Reece 26/32-395-7/1, Kyle Cason 1/1-2-0/0 
RECEIVING: Heber Springs, Nathan McKee 5/70/1, Landon Johnson 4/8, Hunter Kent 2/10, Fate Berry 1/8, Matthew Cook 1/0. Shiloh Christian, Truitt Tollett 11/178/16.2/4, Cam Wiedemann 5/57, Luke Hutchinson 4/59, Beau Cason 4/37/2, Logan Raben 1/45/1, Hunter Mason 1/19, Sawyer Shankle 1/2  
TOTAL OFFENSE: Heber Springs, Adam Martin 214, Julio Rubio 108, Landon Johnson 20, Nathan McKee 8, Levy Phillips 7, Team (-1). Shiloh Christian, Eli Reece 402, Cam Wiedemann 110, Ben Baker 77, Truitt Tollett 31, Hayden Brasuell 18, Logan Raben 6, Ben Walton 2, Kyle Cason 2, Elias Hewitt 1, Jacob Solomon (-1), Team (-9).
PUNT RETURNS: None.
KICK RETURNS: Heber Springs, Diego Rubio 2/48, Jackson West 2/8, Matthew Cook 2/0, Nathan McKee 1/8, Adam Martin 1/6, Hunter Kent 1/0. Shiloh Christian, Keaton Carter 2/23, Beau Cason 1/36, Ben Baker 1/32. 
FUMBLE RETURNS: Heber Springs, Diego Rubio 1/4 (offensive)
INTERCEPTION RETURNS: Heber Springs, Hunter Kent 29. Shiloh Christian, Keaton Carter 40.
ALL-PURPOSE YARDS: Heber Springs, Adam Martin 124, Julio Rubio 108, Nathan McKee 86, Diego Rubio 52, Hunter Kent 39, Landon Johnson 28, Fate Berry 8, Jackson West 8, Levy Phillips 7. Shiloh Christian, Truitt Tollett 209, Cam Wiedemann 167, Ben Baker 109, Beau Cason 73, Keaton Carter 63, Luke Hutchinson 59, Logan Raben 51, Hunter Mason 19, Hayden Brasuell 18, Eli Reece 7, Ben Walton 2, Sawyer Shankle 2, Elias Hewitt 1, Jacob Solomon (-1).   

GAME SCENES

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