By PHILIP SEATON
SOUTHSIDE BATESVILLE – Heber Springs traveled to one of the favorites of the 5A-East conference and were handed a 49-10 setback by Southside Batesville in nonconference play.
The Southerners (3-0) led 28-3 at the half and held the Panthers (0-2) to 11 first-half yards of total offense and minus nine yards rushing.
“I told coach (Southside Batesville coach Kenny) Simpson that they have a good chance to win that conference,” Heber Springs coach Van Paschal, who coached at 5A-East member Wynne last season, said after the game. “They are a good football team. Ain’t no doubt about it.”
The Southerners dominated from the start.
Heber Springs took the opening kickoff on its own 29 and moved the ball for a first down on a fourth-and-2 play, but a penalty pushed the Panthers back forcing a punt.
Gideon Tate’s 42-yard punt switched the field for the Panthers, but Southside Batesville used their senior-laden line to march 74 yards in nine plays to take a 7-0 lead after Louis Calhoun ran 19 yards for the score. Joel Busby added the PAT kick at the 6:02 mark of the first quarter.
A sack stalled the Panthers on their next possession, and the Southerners struck quickly as Savion Hall connected with Seth Case for a 47-yard touchdown pass with 2:30 to play in the opening quarter. Busby’s PAT made it 14-0.
Heber Springs fumbled the ball five times on the night and lost three of them, including on its next possession as Brady Wood recovered the ball for Southside Batesville at the Panther 35.
Three plays later, Calhoun would score from the 1 to push the Southerner lead to 21-0 with 1:36 to play in the opening quarter.
The Panthers went backwards on their next possession. A 45-yard punt by Tate that pinned Southside Batesville inside their own 20-yard line, but the Southerners used a 12-play, 81-yard drive that used 4:39 of the second quarter to a 28-0 advantage. Gabe Witt scored from the 5-yard line with 7:08 left before the half.
Heber Springs put together its best drive on their next possession. Starting on the Southerner 48 after a failed onside-kick attempt, the Panthers marched to the Southside Batesville 8. Junior Weston Warden rushed for 33 yards on five carries and caught a 20-yard pass from junior Liam Buffalo to highlight the drive. The drive stalled after five-yard loss and senior Gideon Tate came on the field and kicked his first career field goal drilling the 30-yarder to make it 28-3 with 1:45 to play in the half.
Despite the good end to first half by the Panthers, Southside would dominate the third quarter using a 12-play drive to make it 35-3 after Isaac Wallis scored from the 4. A Heber Springs fumble gave the Southerners a short field to push the score to 42-3. Witt scored from the 4 for Southside Batesville.
Another Panther fumble with 1:44 left in the third quarter gave Southside Batesville the ball on the Panther 25 and Trey Allen connected with Tyler Myers on an 11-yard touchdown pass on the fourth quarter with a continuous running clock.
With the second-teamers on the field, Heber Springs used a 65-yard drive to set the final score. Nate Eaton (13 yards), Emmett Dwyer (12 yards), Elijah Jones (21 yards) and Bryce Siegrist (16 yards) each had first-down carrying runs to move the ball to the Southerner 3. Eaton would get the touchdown from there with 4:47 showing on third-quarter clock. Tate added the PAT to set the final score.
“Would have liked to have played better tonight,” Paschal said. “We have to watch film, fix things. I told the kids if we were 2-0 in nonconference that’s great, but really doesn’t affect the conference race so we are 0-2, and we have got to work.”
Heber Springs travels to Jonesboro Westside Friday night to close out nonconference action.
HEBER SPRINGS AT SOUTHSIDE BATESVILLE SENIOR HIGH September 8, 2023 TEAM STATS TIME OF POSSESSION: Heber Springs 21:19, Southside 26:41 TOTAL FIRST DOWNS: Heber Springs 7, Southside 23 BY RUSH: Heber Springs 6, Southside 18 BY PASS: Heber Springs 1, Southside 4 BY PENALTY: Heber Springs 0, Southside 1 TEAM RUSHING: Heber Springs 34/78/2.3, Southside 54/298/5.5 TEAM PASSING: Heber Springs 1/1-20-0/0, Southside 7/9-105-2/1 TOTAL OFFENSE: Heber Springs 35/98/2.8, Southside 63/403/6.4 3RD CONVERSION: Heber Springs 1/7, Southside 6/10 4TH CONVERSION: Heber Springs 1/1, Southside 3/3 RED-ZONE: Heber Springs 2/2, Southside 6/6 TURNOVERS: Heber Springs 3, Southside 1 POINTS OFF TURNOVERS: Heber Springs 0, Southside 21 FUMBLES/LOST: Heber Springs 5/3, Southside 2/0 PENALTIES: Heber Springs7/51, Southside 7/50 KICKOFF RETURNS: Heber Springs 6/37/6.2, Southside 2/32 PUNT RETURNS: Heber Springs 0, Southside 1/4 PUNTS: Heber Springs 3/120/40, Southside 0 PUNTS INSIDE 20: Heber Springs 1, Southside 0 SACKS: Heber Springs 0/0, Southside 2/15 TACKLES FOR LOSS: Heber Springs 3/7, Southside 11/47 INDIVIDUAL STATS RUSHING: Heber Springs, Liam Buffalo 8/(-10), Brodie Basford 7/8, Weston Warden 6/28, Nate Eaton 3/18/1, Parker Brown 3/(-12), Bryce Siegrist 2/24, Emmett Dwyer 2/10, Elijah Jones 1/21, Logan Rutledge 1/(-6), Team 1/(-3). Southside Batesville, Gabe Witt 11/53/2, Louis Calhoun 10/74/2, Seth Case 7/41, Savion Hall 9/78, Isaac Wallis 5/40/1, Braden Simpson 3/14, Nick Lopez 3/4, Zach Johnston 1/(-2), Trey Allen 1/(-4). PASSING: Heber Springs, Liam Buffalo 1/1-20-0/0. Southside Batesville, Savion Hall 6/8-94-1/1, Trey Allen 1/1-11-1/0 RECEIVING: Heber Springs, Weston Warden 1/20. Southside Batesville, Jaylon Jennings 1/1, Braden Simpson 2/34, Seth Case 1/47/1, Louis Calhoun 1/1, Isaac Wallis 1/11, Tyler Myers 1/11/1. KICKOFF RETURNS: Heber Springs, Logan Rutledge 3/28, Weston Warden 1/6, Bryce Siegrist 1/3 ALL-PURPOSE YARDS: Heber Springs, Weston Warden 54 PUNTING: Heber Springs, Gideon Tate 3/120/40.0/1. LONG: 45 SCORING PAT KICKS: Gideon Tate 1/1, Southside 7/7 FIELD GOALS: Gideon Tate 1/1. MADE: 30 POINTS: Nate Eaton 6, Gideon Tate 4 DEFENSIVE STATS SACKS: Southside 2/15 FUMBLE RECOVERIES: None FORCED FUMBLES: None PBU: Eli Buffalo QB HURRIES: None TACKLES (U/A/TFL - TOTAL) Carter Julian 5 5 0 10 Parker Brown 4 2 0 6 Logan Lozeau 1 0 0 1 Bryce Siegrist 3 2 1 5 Eli Buffalo 6 2 0 8 Weston Warden 2 3 0 5 Jacob McMullin 4 3 0 7 Luke Elliott 2 0 0 2 Zachary Parker 2 2 0 4 Nash Farmer 0 1 0 1 Jordan Tidwell 3 0 0 3 Logan Rutledge 1 0 0 1 Nate Eaton 2 1 2 3 Corbin Jones 1 1 0 2 Emmett Dwyer 1 0 0 1 Greg Williams 1 1 0 2 Elijah Jones 2 2 0 4 Gauge Owens 1 0 0 1