Gameday: Panthers travel to Mustang Mountain

Heber Springs’ Thad Bray (58) and Trevor Weathers (75).

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

Heber Springs spent most of the week adjusting its defense.

The Panthers faced pass-oriented teams in the first five games, but that will change in Friday’s 2-4A Conference matchup against run-oriented Central Arkansas Christian at Mustang Mountain in North Little Rock. Kickoff is scheduled at 7 p.m.

Tyler Williams, who rushed for 149 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries last season against Heber Springs, leads the Mustangs’ run game with 757 yards on 116 carries and 13 touchdowns. Williams rushed for 120 yards and one touchdown in last week’s 20-14 win against Little Rock Mills.

But Williams is not the only threat. Quarterback Palmer Gilbrech has rushed for 169 yards and reached the end zone once. Gilbrech ran for 37 yards on seven carries against Mills.

“CAC has a good tailback (Williams) and a big offensive line,” Heber Springs head coach Todd Wood said. “Williams is a powerful runner and capable of bouncing to the outside. We intend to put CAC’s running game in a bad situation.”

CAC also has an effective passing game. Gilbrech, who rushed for 31 yards against Mills, has completed 62-of-96 passes for 915 yards and five touchdowns. He connected on 15-of-31 passes for 240 yards and one touchdown against Mills.

Jackson Richmond is the leading receiver with 26 catches for 535 yards and four touchdowns. Richmond caught six passes for 98 yards against Mills.

Wood said Williams and Gilbrech were talented players, but the game will be decided at the line of scrimmage.

“The battle will be on the front line,” Wood said. “We must be in the right spots and execute our coverages in the secondary. We match up well. CAC doesn’t have the speed of Lonoke or Stuttgart, but it will make up for it by playing with discipline.”

Seniors Nathan McKee and Hunter Kent, two-way starters for the Panthers, were injured against Stuttgart. Wood said both players returned to practice this week, and he expects McKee to play against CAC. Kent is listed as questionable for the game.

Matthew Cook will start at quarterback for the fourth straight game. Cook has completed 50-of-84 passes for 703 yards and seven touchdowns in the last three games.

Diego Rubio remains the starting running back, but Kenan Sneed may become more involved with the offense.

“CAC has not played a team that plays our type of offense, so we may need to adjust early in the game, depending on how the Mustangs play us,” Wood said. “CAC is strong on the defensive line and has played a 3-4 scheme. The linebackers will pressure you. We plan to try and spread the field against them.”

Wood said Dakota Farmer, who has been a starter on defense, and Jackson West will play more at receiver.

“I’m happy about how the younger guys who are picking up the pace,” Wood said. “I’ve seen a lot of growth from those players.”

Wood said containing CAC’s running game is one of the keys for success.

“We must contain him (Williams),” he said. “We need more production from the offense. Execution will be very important. If we execute, we will do well.”

2-4A STANDINGS

                            W L CP  W L PS  PA 
Stuttgart                   2 0 26  4 0 162  18 
Lonoke                      2 0 20  4 1 181 111
Central Arkansas Christian  2 0 18  5 0 167  97
Southside Batesville        1 1 13  2 3  99 146   
Bald Knob                   1 1  6  3 2 136  91  
Little Rock Mills           0 2  0  1 4 100 139  
Heber Springs               0 2  0  1 4  91 185
Clinton                     0 2  0  0 5  91 239 
 
Friday, October 2 
Central Arkansas Christian 20, Little Rock Mills 14
Stuttgart 42, Heber Springs 6
Southside Batesville 38, Clinton 21
Lonoke 13, Bald Knob 6

Friday, October 9
Heber Springs at Central Arkansas Christian
Clinton at Little Rock Mills
Southside Batesville at Lonoke
Bald Knob at Stuttgart

NOTES

  • Kickoff: 7 p.m. at Mustang Mountain, North Little Rock
  • Admission: All vouchers claimed (No tickets available to attend)
  • 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: Series tied at 4-4

SERIES HISTORY: The two teams first meet in the 2000 season when the Panthers and Mustangs played nonconference games, both won by CAC. The two teams would not face each other again until CAC was paired with Heber Springs in the 4A-2 conference in 2014. Since then, the Panthers have won four out of six meetings. CAC’s only conference wins against Heber Springs came in 2015 with a 48-12 win and last season, 24-6.

CONCORD CONNECTION: Central Arkansas Christian was in the same conference with Concord during its only two seasons of varsity football action (1975 and 1976). The Panthers defeated Concord, 48-12, in 1975, and 47-12 in 1976.

PALMER THE FORMER PANTHER: Central Arkansas Christian senior quarterback Palmer Gilbrech played junior high football at Heber Springs before transferring to CAC.

FORMER HOG: Former University of Arkansas and NFL receiver Joe Adams is an assistant coach at Central Arkansas Christian.

Panther GameDay

Heber Springs hosts CAC looking to stay in 4A-2 race

  • Kickoff: 7 p.m. at Panther Stadium
  • Admission: $5
  • Radio: 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.  You can listen live here.

LAST SEASON

Panthers win at Mustang Mountain

LAST WEEK

Landon Johnson carries the ball in the second half against the Ricebirds. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Heber Springs claims win at Stuttgart

4A-2 CONFERENCE STANDINGS

                            W L CP  W L PS  PA  
Riverview                   2 0 23  4 1 168 124  
Lonoke                      2 0 15  3 2 176 171   
Southside Batesville        1 1 13  3 2 151 136    
Bald Knob                   1 1  7  1 4  78 151   
Little Rock Mills           1 1  3  2 3 104 126   
Heber Springs               1 1  1  1 4 137 172 
Central Arkansas Christian  0 2  0  2 3 163 160   
Stuttgart                   0 2  0  0 5 125 189  
Friday, October 4  
Heber Springs 28, Stuttgart 27 
Lonoke 38, Bald Knob 36 
Riverview 35, Southside Batesville 7  
Little Rock Mills 38, Central Arkansas Christian 35  
Friday, October 11  
Central Arkansas Christian at Heber Springs  
Stuttgart at Bald Knob 
Lonoke at Southside Batesville  
Little Rock Mills at Riverview 

HEBER SPRINGS COACH WILL COX

GAME NOTES

THE SERIES: Heber Springs leads, 4-3.

SERIES HISTORY: The two teams first meet in the 2000 season when the Panthers and Mustangs played nonconference games, both won by CAC. The two teams would not face each other again until CAC was paired with Heber Springs in the 4A-2 conference in 2014. Since then, the Panthers have won four out of five meetings. CAC’s only conference win against Heber Springs came in 2015 with a 48-12 win.

CONCORD CONNECTION: Central Arkansas Christian was in the same conference with Concord during its only two seasons of varsity football action (1975 and 1976). The Panthers defeated Concord, 48-12, in 1975, and 47-12 in 1976.

PALMER THE FORMER PANTHER: Central Arkansas Christian junior quarterback Palmer Gildbrech played junior high football at Heber Springs before transferring to CAC.

FORMER HOG: Former University of Arkansas and NFL receiver Joe Adams is an assistant coach at Central Arkansas Christian.

PLAYOFF SEEDINGS: The top two seeds out of the conference are paired with the 4A-8 conference (Crossett, DeWitt, Dumas, Hamburg, Helena-West Helena Central, Monticello, Star City and Warren) while the conference’s lower three seeds are paired with the 4A-1 conference (Shiloh Christian, Berryville, Gravette, Gentry, Green Forest, Lincoln, Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove). The No. 1 seed out of the 4A-2 hosts the No. 5 seed out of the 4A-8. The No. 2 seed hosts the No. 4 seed out of the 4A-8. The No. 3 seed hosts the No. 3 out of the 4A-1. The No. 4 seed travels to the No. 2 seed out of the 4A-1, while the No. 5 seed travels to No. 1 seed out of the 4A-1.

SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: TRENT BARNES

SEASON STATS

Heber Springs 35 34 13 55 - 137 (27.4) 
Opponent      25 49 55 43 - 172 (34.4) 

TEAM 
First Downs by Rush: Heber Springs 59, Opponent 43 
First Downs by Pass: Heber Springs 28, Opponent 42 
First Downs by Penalty: Heber Springs 2, Opponent 6 
Total First Downs: Heber Springs 89, Opponent 92 
Third-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 32/66 (48.5), Opponent 18/50 (36) 
Fourth-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 10/20 (50), Opponent 5 /9 (55.6) 
Red-Zone Conversions: Heber Springs 11/14 (11 tds), Opponent 16/19 (15 tds, 1FG) 
Fumbles/Lost: Heber Springs 8/6, Opponent 8/2 
Turnovers: Heber Springs 12, Opponent 5 
Points Off Turnovers: Heber Springs 13, Opponent 28
Penalties/Yards: Heber Springs 41/290, Opponent 31/261
Plays/Total Offense/YPP: Heber Springs 318/1971/6.2, Opponent 288/1713/5.9 
Rushing: Heber Springs 226/1219/5.4, Opponent 175/757/4.3
Rushing Per Game: Heber Springs 243.8, Opponent 151.4 
Passing: Heber Springs 50/91-751-5/5, Opponent 75/125-956-12/3 Passing Per Game: Heber Springs 150.2, Opponent 191.2 Sacks/Yards Lost: Heber Springs 15/86, Opponent 7/33 
Punts: Heber Springs 12/459/38.3, Opponent 17/574/33.8 

INDIVIDUAL 

OFFENSE 
RUSHING (ATT/YARDS/PER ATTEMPT/PER GAME/TDS): Adam Martin 101/531/5.4/106.2/3, Julio Rubio 97/478/4.9/95.6/9, Landon Johnson 28/150/5.4/30/3, Nathan McKee 1/6/6/1.2/0, Tri Johnson 1/(-2)/(-2)/(-.5)/0. 
BIG CAT RUNS (50+): Adam, Martin 1, Julio Rubio 1 
RUNS OF 40+: Adam Martin 1, Julio Rubio 1 
RUNS OF 30+: Julio Rubio 2, Adam Martin 2 
RUNS OF 20+: Adam Martin 6, Julio Rubio 4, Landon Johnson 1
RUNS OF 10+: Adam Martin 17, Julio Rubio 12, Landon Johnson 4 
100-YARD RUSHING GAMES: Adam Martin 3, Julio Rubio 2 
PASSING (ATT/COMP-YARDS-TDS/INT): Adam Martin 50/91-751-5/5  
250-YARD PASSING GAMES: Adam Martin 1 
RECEIVING (REC/YARDS/PER CATCH/TDS): Julio Rubio 10/121/12.1, Matthew Cook 10/141/14.1, Nathan McKee 10/133/13.3/2, Fate Berry 8/115/14.4/1, Hunter Kent 4/32/8, Tri Johnson 4/150/37.5/2, Landon Johnson 4/49/12.3 
100-YARD RECEIVING GAMES: Tri Johnson 1, Julio Rubio 1 
TOTAL OFFENSE (OFFENSE/PER GAME): Adam Martin 1282/256.4, Julio Rubio 478/95.6, Landon Johnson 150/30, Nathan McKee 6/1.2, Tri Johnson (-2)/(.5) 
KICKOFF RETURNS:  Tri Johnson 6/125/20.8, Matthew Cook 4/62/15.5, Hunter Kent 3/46/15.3, Julio Rubio 3/44/14.7, Levy Phillips 2/14/7,  Jackson West 2/11, Nathan McKee 1/11/11, Diego Rubio 1/13/13, Lawrence Baureis 1/10, Harley Bresnahan 1/ 6, Tristan  Thissen 1/0. 
PUNT RETURNS: Nathan McKee 2/14, Tri Johnson 1/(-3) 
INTERCEPTION RETURNS: Nathan McKee 1/10, Dalton McCollum 1/4, Fate Berry 1/2 
FUMBLE RETURNS: None 
ALL-PURPOSE YARDS (YARDS/PER GAME): Julio Rubio 643/128.6, Adam Martin 541/108.2, Tri Johnson 270/67.5, Matthew Cook 203/40.6, Landon Johnson 199/39.8,  Nathan McKee 174/34.8, Fate Berry 117/23.4, Hunter Kent 78/15.6, Levy Phillips 14/2.8, Diego Rubio 13/2.6, Jackson West 11/2.2, Lawrence Baureis 10/2, Harley Bresnahan 6/1.2, Dalton McCollum 4/.7,  
DEFENSE 
TACKLES (ASST/SOLO/TOTAL): Fate Berry 39/15/54, Landon Johnson 23/12/35, Lawrence Baureis 12/9/21, Hunter Kent 12/8/20, Kaden Hughes 13/6/19, Matthew Cook 15/4/19, Levy Phillips 10/7/17,  Diego Rubio 12/4/16,Nathan McKee 8/5/13, Tri Johnson 6/5/11, Harley Bresnhan 6/3/9, Dalton McCollum 4/4/8, Jackson West 6/2/8, Julio Rubio 6/1/7, Nicholas Hitchcock 4/0/4, Preston Jones 1/2/3, Tristan Thissen 1/2/3, Trent Barnes 1/1/2, Devon Doxey 2/0/2, Jackson Harrod 1/0/1, Spencer Evans 1/0/1, Harley Hannah 1/0/1, Gus Hannah 1/0/1. 
TACKLES FOR LOSS: Landon Johnson 10.5, Fate Berry 9, Kaden Hughes 4.5, Lawrence Baureis 2, Levy Phillips 2, Tri Johnson 1, Nicholas Hitchcock, Harley Bresnahan 1. 
SACKS/YARDS LOST: Levy Phillips 1/ 5, Kaden Hughes 2/14, Harley Bresnahan 1/ 4, Tri Johnson 2/ 18, Fate Berry 3/21, Diego Rubio 1/5, Julio Rubio .5/9, Landon Johnson .5/3, Matthew Cook .5/3.
INTERCEPTIONS: Dalton McCollum 1, Nathan McKee 1, Fate Berry 1 
FUMBLE RECOVERIES: Nathan McKee 1, Landon Johnson 1 
PUNTING (No./Yards/Avg./Inside20): Adam Martin 12/459/38.3/2 SCORING: Julio Rubio 66 (11 tds),  Adam Martin 18 (3 td), Landon Johnson 18 (3 tds), Jackson Harrod 17 (17-18 PAT), Tri Johnson 12 (2 td), Nathan McKee 12 (2 td), Fate Berry 6 (1 td)

SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: JACKSON HARROD

MARKEDTIME.COM PLAYERS OF WEEK

WEEK vs. STUTTGART

OFFENSE – Adam Martin. DEFENSE – Nathan McKee

WEEK 4 vs. LONOKE

OFFENSE – Fate Berry. DEFENSE – Landon Johnson

WEEK 3 vs. HARDING ACADEMY

OFFENSE – Tri Johnson. DEFENSE – Dalton McCollum

WEEK 2 vs. GREENBRIER

OFFENSE – Harley Hannah. DEFENSE – Levy Phillips

WEEK 1 vs. CLINTON

OFFENSE – Adam Martin and Julio Rubio. DEFENSE – Fate Berry

Heber Springs senior running back Julio Rubio.

JUNIOR PANTHERS

The Heber Springs junior high football team claimed its first win of the season with a 22-12 victory over Central Arkansas Christian Thursday night at Mustang Mountain in North Little Rock. The Panthers set at 1-4 on the season.

SEVENTH-GRADE PANTHERS

The Heber Springs seventh-grade team fell to 3-2 on the year with a 30-0 setback to CAC on Thursday.

PANTHER SPORTS THIS WEEK

  • Saturday, October 12 – Cross Country at Bryant
  • Tuesday, October 15 – Volleyball vs. Dover, 4:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 17 – Volleyball vs. Lonoke, 4:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 17 – 7th-Grade Football vs. Bald Knob, 5:30
  • Thursday, October 17 – Junior Football vs. Bald Knob, 7 p.m.

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