Junior Cats open conference play with victory at Riverview

IMG_6114 (2)
Heber Springs kicker Golden Tate kicks off against Riverview in junior high action in Searcy. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

MarkedTime.com Publisher

SEARCY – Heber Springs opened 2-4A conference play with a 22-14 victory over Riverview in junior high action at Raider Stadium.

Heber Springs (2-2) rushed for 202 yards while holding Riverview to 16 yards rushing and 39 total yards of offense.

However, the Raiders did have some success in the return game taking three kickoffs back for 119 yards, including a 58-yard return by R.J. Pruitt on the opening kick of the game.

Pruitt’s return set the Raiders up at the Panther 11 and two plays later, Riverview had the lead after Zayshawn Greer scored from 2. Heber Springs stopped the 2-point conversion attempt with 6:20 showing on the first-quarter clock.

It the Panthers less than 35 seconds to respond. Taking over after a failed onside-kick attempt at the Raider 48, Josiah Riggs ran for a first down to the 30-yard line then on the next play, Aiden Isom raced 30 yards for the score. The 2-point conversion failed, and the score was tied at 6-all with 5:48 remaining in the first quarter.

The score would remain that way until the second quarter. Heber Springs’s defense had stopped the Raiders at the Panther 16 with 7:13 left in the half. Heber Springs then used a 15-play drive to chew up most of the second-quarter clock as quarterback Lachlan Tubbs kept for a three-yard score. While Tubbs got the touchdown, Landon Brown did most of the work on the drive carrying the ball nine times for 36 yards. The 2-point conversion failed with :51 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

It didn’t take long for the Raiders to respond after Tyeler Hart returned the kickoff 41 yards to put the ball at the Panther 26. After a three-yard run, Braxton Hobbs connected with Brody Hawkins for the game-tying touchdown. Hobbs’ 2-point conversion gave the Raiders a 14-12 lead with 25 seconds left in the half.

Heber Springs was not finished striking just as quick. A three-yard run by Isom moved the ball to the Panther 40, then Tubbs connected with Riggs, who ran 60 yards for a score. Brown ran in the 2-point conversion to give the Panthers a 20-14 advantage at the break.

There would be no touchdowns in the second half, but a long Heber Springs drive did eventually result in points.

With 1:02 remaining in the third quarter, the Panthers took over on the Raider 42. Heber Springs then used a 13-play drive that moved the ball 40 yards, but more importantly took 6:27 off the game clock.

After Brown was stopped short on a fourth-and-goal from Raider 2, the Heber Springs defense stopped Hobbs in the end zone for the safety.

The Panthers failed to move on the ball after ensuing the free kick, but Rhett Herring picked off a Hobbs pass attempt and returned it to the Raider 15 as the game ended.

September 14, 2023
TIME OF POSSESSION: Heber Springs 22:01, Riverview 9:59
TOTAL FIRST DOWNS: Heber Springs 12, Riverview 2
BY RUSH: Heber Springs 8, Riverview 1
BY PASS: Heber Springs 2, Riverview 1
BY PENALTY: Heber Springs 2, Riverview 0
TEAM RUSHING: Heber Springs 43/202/4.7/2, Riverview 18/26/1.4/1
TEAM PASSING: Heber Springs 3/4-98-1/0, Riverview 1/3-23-1/1
TOTAL OFFENSE: Heber Springs 47/300/6.4, Riverview 21/49/2.3
3RD CONVERSION: Heber Springs 3/8, Riverview 1/5
4TH CONVERSION: Heber Springs 1/5, Riverview 0/1
TURNOVERS: Heber Springs 1, Riverview 1
FUMBLES/LOST: Heber Springs 3/1, Riverview 0/0
PENALTIES: Heber Springs 12/73, Riverview 5/45
RETURNS: Heber Springs 2/26, Riverview 3/119
PUNTS: Heber Springs 0/0, Riverview 2/22
SACKS: Heber Springs 1/20, Riverview 1/3
TACKLES FOR LOSS: Heber Springs 4/27, Riverview 4/12
RUSHING: Heber Springs, Landon Brown 18/60/3.3, Aiden Isom 14/98/7.0/1, Lachlan Tubbs 7/9/1.3/1, Josiah Riggs 4/35. Riverview, Braxton Hobbs 7/(-2), Zayshawn Greer 3/3, Ryan Lamb 2/3, R.J. Pruitt 1/0, Brody Hawkins 5/12
PASSING: Heber Springs, Lachlan Tubbs 3/4-98-1/0. Riverview, Braxton Hobbs 1/3-23-1/1
RECEIVING: Heber Springs, Josiah Riggs 2/73/1, Aiden Isom 1/25. Riverview, Brody Hawkins 1/23/1
KICKOFF RETURNS: Riverview, 3/119/39.7, R.J. Pruitt 1/58, Tyeler Hart 1/41, Brody Hawkins 1/20
PUNT RETURNS: Heber Springs, Aiden Isom 1/1
INTERCEPTION RETURNS: Heber Springs, Rhett Herring 1/25
ALL-PURPOSE YARDS: Heber Springs, Aiden Isom 124, Josiah Riggs 108

7TH-GRADE FOOTBALL: Heber Springs 30, Riverview 12

Heber Springs’ Lane Bradley picks up big yards for the Heber Springs seventh-grade Panthers against Riverview. The Cubs improved to 2-1 on the season with a 30-12 victory at Raider Stadium in Searcy on Thursday night. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Junior Panthers claim win over Jonesboro Westside

IMG_5827 (2)
Heber Springs’ Aiden Isom gets tackled in the air by Jonesboro Westside’s Aiden Turner after a leaping over a Warrior defender in junior high action at Panther Stadium PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

MarkedTime.com Publisher

The Heber Springs Panthers claimed their first win of the season with a 24-14 in junior high action at Panther Stadium.

Coach Curtis Shannon’s team improved to 1-2 on the season with the win in the final nonconference contest for Heber Springs.

The game didn’t start well for the Panthers as Jonesboro Westside took the opening kickoff and after three plays, had an 8-0 advantage. Hunter Kaja scored on a 41-yard run and then Ashton Henson added the 2-point conversion with 6:02 left in the opening quarter for that lead.

The Panthers then reeled off 24 unanswered to take control of the contest.

Heber Springs’ first score came on its first possession of the contest.

After Aiden Isom return Westside’s ensuing kickoff 12 yards, the Panthers started on their own 34 then used a 12-play drive the ended on the last play of the quarter with Landon Brown’s 1-yard touchdown run. Brown added the 2-point conversion to tie things up at 8-all.

The teams traded possession before the Warriors turned the ball late in the first half on their own 25 as Rhett Herring recovered the loose football.

Lachlan Tubbs picked up five yards on the first play after the turnover, then Isom raced 20 yards for the touchdown. Brown’s 2-point conversion gave Heber Springs a 16-8 advantage with 52.3 seconds left in the second quarter.

The Panthers weren’t done in the first half after Josiah Riggs picked off a Kaden Purvis pass attempt at the Westside 34 with 18.5 seconds left in the first half. A 15-yard penalty against the Warriors moved Heber Springs closer. An 8-yard pass to from Tubbs to Riggs and an incomplete pass left the Panthers with one final play before the half, Isom capitalized for Heber Springs with a 15-yard scoring run. Brown added the 2-point conversion and the Panthers led 24-8 at the break.

Neither team would mount much of a scoring threat in the second half until late in contest when Westside’s Purvis would score on a 19-yard run with 2:29 to play.

After a failed 2-point conversion, the Warriors recovered the ensuing onside kick at the Panther 48. A 27-yard pass play and 6-yard run put the ball on the Panther 10 with just over a minute to play, but a holding penalty and back-to-back to tackles for loss by Heber Springs ended the scoring threat.

September 7, 2023
TIME OF POSSESSION: Heber Springs 15:30, Westside 15:30
TOTAL FIRST DOWNS: Heber Springs 6, Westside 7
BY RUSH: Heber Springs 6, Westside 5
BY PASS: Heber Springs 0, Westside 1
BY PENALTY: Heber Springs 0, Westside 1
TEAM RUSHING: Heber Springs 33/191/5.8/3, Westside 27/138/5.1/2
TEAM PASSING: Heber Springs 1/5-8-0/0, Westside 2/4-30-0/1
TOTAL OFFENSE: Heber Springs 38/199/5.2, Westside 31/168/5.4
3RD CONVERSION: Heber Springs 5/9, Westside 0/6
4TH CONVERSION: Heber Springs 2/3, Westside 3/3
TURNOVERS: Heber Springs 2, Westside 2
FUMBLES/LOST: Heber Springs 4/2, Westside 2/1
PENALTIES: Heber Springs 6/73, Westside 7/70
RETURNS: Heber Springs 4/36, Westside 3/24
PUNTS: Heber Springs 0/0, Westside 2/60
SACKS: Heber Springs 0/0, Westside 0/0
TACKLES FOR LOSS: Heber Springs 8/27, Westside 4/10
RUSHING: Heber Springs, Landon Brown 10/29/1, Lachlan Tubbs 9/38, Aiden Isom 6/79/2, Josiah Riggs 3/27, Brody Loethen 3/10, Tanner Graham 1/10, Team 1/(-3). Jonesboro Westside, Kaden Purvis 14/35/1, Ashton Henson 5/30, Hunter Kaja 4/53/1, Brody Rorex 3/19, Kason Carter 1/1.
PASSING: Heber Springs, Lachlan Tubbs 1/5-8-0/0. Jonesboro Westside, Kaden Purvis 2/4-30-0/1.
RECEIVING: Heber Springs, Josiah Riggs 1/8. Jonesboro Westside, Logan Fleming 1/27, Landon Henson 1/3.
KICKOFF RETURNS: Heber Springs, Aiden Isom 2/33. Jonesboro Westside, Aiden Turner 2/12, Brody Rorex 1/12
PUNT RETURNS: Heber Springs, Aiden Isom 2/3
PUNTS: Jonesboro Westside, Kason Carter 2/60
ALL-PURPOSE YARDS: Heber Springs, Aiden Isom 115

7TH-GRADE FOOTBALL: Heber Springs 36, Jonesboro Westside 6

IMG_5593 (2)
Heber Springs’ Luke Turney looks for running room late in the seventh-grade Panthers, 36-6, win over Jonesboro Westside. The Cubs improved to 1-1 on the season with the win. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Junior Panthers tripped up in home-opener

IMG_4468 (2)
Heber Springs’ Josiah Riggs fights for extra yards against Southside Batesville Thursday night at Panther Stadium. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

MarkedTime.com Publisher

Two big plays in a just over four-minute span cost the Heber Springs Junior Panthers a chance of a season-opening victory Thursday night at Panther Stadium.

Southside Batesville broke a 6-all halftime tie with a pair of late third-quarter and early fourth-quarters touchdowns to claim an 18-6 victory.

Heber Springs took the opening kick-off but couldn’t move the chains as Aiden Isom was stopped for a no gain on a fourth-and-4 play from the Panther 37.

The Panther defense appeared to have stiffened forcing a pair of short runs after Rhett Herring threw Southside’s Karsen McSpadden for a four-yard loss on first down. But with the Southerners facing a fourth-and-8 from the Heber Springs 35, Hanlee Cartmill got behind the Panther secondary and McSpadden connected with him for a 35-yard touchdown. The 2-point conversion failed after Southside picked up three penalties on the attempt with 3:28 left in the first quarter.

Five straight fullback runs up the middle by Brody Loethen killed the rest of the first quarter and gave the Panthers a pair of first downs at the Southerner 42. But Heber Springs lost three yards over the next four plays forcing a turnover on downs.

The Southerners then drove to the Panther 17, before a high snap was recovered by Heber Springs’ Landon Brown.

The Panthers managed a first down on a seven-yard run by Landen Peterson, but a fourth-down run by Tanner Graham was stopped two-yards short with 2:03 left before the half.

Heber Springs got another chance before the break on the next play as another snap by Southerner was recovered by Cade Williams at the Southerner 30.

After a loss of a yard on first down, Isom broke free for a 31-yard touchdown run diving for the corner pylon to get the Panthers on the board with 1:07 left in the half. The 2-point conversion leaving the score at 6-all at the break.

The Southerners finished with 13 penalties on the night and on their first possession of the second half four flags frustrated a six-play drive that took 4:43 off the third-quarter clock. That drive only netted two yards and after a 13-yard punt, Heber Springs had the ball at the Southerner 30.

But on the first play of the drive, a Panther fumble was scooped up by Southside’s Cole Vaughn and returned 67 yards for a score with 3:01 left in the stanza. The 2-point conversion was again stopped by the Heber Springs defense.

The Panthers managed a pair of first downs pushing into Southerner territory, but Josiah Riggs was stopped a yard short on fourth down on the first play of the fourth quarter.

On second down, Bryson VanWinkle broke free for a 64-yard touchdown run. The 2-point conversion was again stopped with 6:48 left.

Isom paced Heber Springs with 51 yards on nine carries and his 10-yard carry gave the Panthers their final first down of the night at the Southerner 33. Two plays later an interception ended Heber Springs’ hope of comeback as Southside killed the clock to end the game.

The start time of the game was pushed back due to an excessive heat warning and a seventh-grade game was changed to intra-squad scrimmage. The game was the first one on the new artificial playing surface that was installed this summer replacing the old turf.

Heber Springs will travel to Clinton Thursday night with a scheduled 6:30 p.m. kick-off. The Panther seventh-grade team will open their season at 5:30 p.m. against Clinton.

August 25, 2023

TIME OF POSSESSION: Heber Springs 16:25, Southside 15:35
TOTAL FIRST DOWNS: Heber Springs 7, Southside 7
BY RUSH: Heber Springs 6, Southside 6
BY PASS: Heber Springs 0, Southside 1
BY PENALTY: Heber Springs 1, Southside 0
TEAM RUSHING: Heber Springs 32/101/3.2, Southside 29/115/4.0
TEAM PASSING: Heber Springs 0/2-0-0/1, Southside 1/3-35-1/0
TOTAL OFFENSE: Heber Springs 34/101/3.0, Southside 32/150/4.7
3RD CONVERSION: Heber Springs 1/6, Southside 0/4
4TH CONVERSION: Heber Springs 0/4, Southside 1/2
TURNOVERS: Heber Springs 2, Southside 2
FUMBLES/LOST: Heber Springs 1/1, Southside 2/2
PENALTIES: Heber Springs 2/10, Southside 13/81
RETURNS: Heber Springs 2/10, Southside 3/93
PUNTS: Heber Springs 0/0, Southside 1/13
SACKS: Heber Springs 1/14, Southside 0/0
TACKLES FOR LOSS: Heber Springs 9/66, Southside 8/20
RUSHING: Heber Springs, Brody Loethen 11/27, Aiden Isom 9/51/1, Landen Peterson 4/2, Landon Brown 3/9, Josiah Riggs 3/13, Tanner Graham 2/(-1). Southside, Karsen McSpadden 10/49, Bryson VanWinkle 9/91/1, Jake Roberts 5/16, Korbin Foster 3/(-8), Team 2/(-33).
PASSING: Heber Springs, Landen Peterson 0/2-0-0/1. Southside, Karsen McSpadden 1/1-35-1/0, Korbin Foster 0/2-0-0/0
RECEIVING: Southside, Hanlee Cartmill 1/35/1.
KICKOFF RETURNS: Heber Springs, Rhett Herring 2/10. Southside, Juju Brooks 1/6.
FUMBLE RETURNS: Southside, Cole Vaughn 1/67/1.
INTERCEPTION RETURNS: Southside, Karsen McSpadden 1/20