In a dueling battling of quarterbacks Tuesday night, Heber Springs’ Liam Buffalo was just a little better as the Panthers claimed a 42-32 victory over Stuttgart in 2-4A junior high action at Panther Stadium.
Heber Springs improved to 4-1 on the season, and 2-0 in conference play, with the win in game that was scheduled for a Tuesday night instead of the normal Thursday night due to the two senior high teams playing Thursday for a statewide television.
Buffalo passed for 207 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 147 yards on 16 carries and added three more scores. Stuttgart ninth-grader DeVontae Clark rushed for 272 yards on 14 carries with five touchdowns.
While Buffalo finished with 347 yards of total offense to Clark’s 291 yards, it was the Stuttgart freshman that struck first racing 90 yards to put the Ricebirds up 6-0 with 5:15 left in the first half.
Heber Springs responded less than 30 seconds later when Buffalo connected with Weston Warden for a 53-yard touchdown with 4:47 left in the second quarter.
Clark and Buffalo traded touchdown runs (12 yards for Clark and 4 yards Buffalo) in the half but Stuttgart led 14-12 at the break as Clark converted the 2-point conversion after his scoring run.
Heber Springs took the second-half kickoff and marched 66 yards on seven plays as Buffalo scored on run from the 1. Warden had his second consecutive 100-yard receiving night catching five passes for 159 yards, including receptions of 31 and 21 yards on the drive.
The Panthers 18-14 advantage at the 3:30 mark of the third quarter didn’t last as Clark raced 56 yards on the second play of the drive to give the Ricebirds a 20-18 lead.
Heber Springs quickly pushed the ball down the field on first-down runs by Warden and Buffalo and two Seth Dudeck pass receptions. The first for 13 yards and the last an 11-yard scoring strike. Buffalo hit Warden for the 2-point conversion and the Panthers led 26-20 with 39.7 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Panther defense would force Stuttgart to a three-and-out before adding another score on a 50-yard touchdown run by Buffalo. After a successful 2-point conversion by Buffalo, Clark would responded 22 seconds later to make it 34-26 with 4:42 left in the game.
After a 23-yard kickoff return by Logan Rutledge, Buffalo connected with Carter Julian for no gain before finding Warden for a 43-yard touchdown pass. Rutledge ran in the 2-point conversion to make it 42-26 with just over four minutes left.
Stuttgart’s Jawyan Terry returned the ensuing kickoff 28 yards and would have scored but was brought down by Emmitt Dwyer. However, three consecutive runs by Clark would make it a 10-point game at 42-32 with 3:09 left.
Heber Springs would pick up a pair of first downs to end the contest.
Warden finished with 202 all-purpose yards for the Panthers.
STUTTGART AT LONOKE SEPTEMBER 28, 2021 Stuttgart 0 14 6 12 - 32 Heber Springs 0 12 14 16 - 42 SECOND QUARTER S - DeVontae Clark 90-yard run (pass failed), 5:15 HS - Liam Buffalo to Weston Warden 53-yard pass (run failed), 4:47 S - Clark 12-yard run (Clark run), 2:09 HS - Buffalo 4-yard run (run failed), :22 THIRD QUARTER HS - Buffalo 1-yard run (run failed), 4:32 S - Clark 56-yard run (pass failed), 3:50 HS - Buffalo to Seth Dudeck 11-yard pass (Buffalo to Warden pass), :39.7 FOURTH QUARTER HS - Buffalo 50-yard run (Buffalo run), 5:04 S - Clark 57-yard run (pass failed), 4:42 HS - Buffalo to Warden 43-yard pass (Logan Rutledge run), 4:12 S - Clark 4-yard run (run failed), 3:09 TEAM STATISTICS FIRST DOWNS: HS 18, S 8 RUSHES-YARDS: HS 25/190, S 22/292 PASSING YARDS: HS 207, S 45 TOTAL OFFENSE: HS 397, S 337 COMP-ATT-INT: HS 9-16-0, S 3-5-0 FUMBLES: HS 1, L 0 PENALITIES-YARDS: HS 5/25, S 8/94 PUNTS-AVERAGE: HS 1/50, S 3/34.7 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING: HS, Liam Buffalo 16/147, Weston Warden 9/43. Stuttgart, DeVontae Clark 14/272, Jawyan Terry 7/20, Damariya Lee 1/0. PASSING: HS, Buffalo 9/16-207-3/0. Stuttgart, Clark 2/4-9-0/0, Hayden Prine 1/1-36-0/0 RECEVING: HS, Warden 5/159, Seth Dudeck 3/48, Carter Julian 1/0. Stuttgart, Quaterion Johnson 2/9, Peyton Thompson 1/36 KICKOFF RETURNS: HS, Logan Rutledge 2/27. S, Terry 1/28, Johnson 2/20, Orion Talley 1/11. PUNT RETURNS: None INT RETURNS: None FUMBLE RETURNS: None PUNTS: HS, Buffalo 1/50. Stutgart, Prine 3/104
HEBER SPRINGS JUNIOR HIGH SCHEDULE
(All Games Start at 7 p.m.)
Aug. 26 – Heber Springs 32, Clinton 28
Sep. 09 – Harding Academy 36, Heber Springs 16
Sep. 16 – Heber Springs 26, Dover 12
Sep. 23 – Heber Springs 34, Lonoke 12 *
Sep. 28 – Heber Springs 42, Stuttgart 32 *
Oct. 07 – at Central Arkansas Christian *
Oct. 14 – Bald Knob *
Oct. 21 – at Southside Batesville *
Oct. 28 – at Clinton *
(* – Denotes Conference Contest)