The 1940s era of Heber Springs football was one of uncertainty at both home and abroad.
The start of the decade saw the Panthers struggle to keep the program afloat because of financial reasons. A late push to raise the monies needed allowed the team to have a 1940 season, but without a dedicated coach, school superintendent Ben Lincoln stepped into the role of head coach. Fortunately for the Panthers, Lincoln had previously served as the head coach at Blytheville and was a former standout at what is now Ouachita Baptist University. Lincoln’s Panthers set a school record with six wins in 1940 with two wins over Bald Knob and wins over Cotton Plant, Clinton, England and Dardanelle. The Panthers started that season with losses to Cabot, Morrilton and Lonoke before winning six out of their last eight, falling to Conway and Batesville.
Lincoln would take a job in the Pocahontas district following the 1940-1941 school and principal R.A James would guide the team for the next two seasons. With World War II consuming most of the countries resources, high school football was put on the backburner by 1943, though the Panthers did manage to break out the pads for a Senior/Freshman versus the Juniors/Sophomores contest in 1943.
By 1944, the Panthers resumed playing other teams across the state, but still without the services of a coach. First Baptist Church pastor J. Paul Palmer stepped into the role for the 1944 and 45 seasons as the Panthers would go 2-11-2 over that span with victories over Morrilton and Dardanelle and ties with Pocahontas and Clinton.
For the 1946 season, recent HSHS graduate Henry Clay Kelley filled out the role as head coach managing a pair of wins over Cabot before the program was shuttered for the 1947 and 1948 seasons for financial reasons.
By 1949, the Panthers were ready to hit the field again and by now the Arkansas Activities Association had set-up conferences and Heber Springs played a conference schedule for the first time as a member of the 2B conference with Augusta and Cotton Plant under coach Bob Wilkinson. The Panthers would go 2-7-1 in their first season back with wins over Ola and Cotton Plant and a tie with Clinton.
The 1930s era of Heber Springs football was one that saw a great turmoil with the onset of the Great Depression. Through the struggles of the day, the Panthers continued to march on as the town was slowly growing, thanks in part to the Missouri and North Arkansas railroad.
The railroad helped develop one of the Panthers first rivals of the day, the Harrison Goblins. The two teams tied in their first meeting in 1930 at Harrison and then would each win at home over the early part of the decade. Though Heber Springs would continue to tangle with larger schools such as Conway, Searcy, Batesville and Morrilton, more and more schools were starting to add football and some modern rivals would first appear during the decade including Bald Knob and Clinton.
The best team of the decade was the 1935 squad under coach Hollis Ward. The Panthers would go 5-3-1 that season with wins over Cabot, Cotter, Judsonia, the Arkansas School for the Deaf and an independent team made up of former HSHS players and community members that played games across the state. The Panthers tie was a homecoming contest against Harrison.
Harding Academy scored on 6-of-7 first-half possessions and defeated the Heber Springs Panthers 42-7 at Panther Stadium Friday.
The Wildcats started their first five possessions in Heber Springs territory, a long touchdown on their sixth and took a knee heading into the half.
Harding Academy held the Panthers to 156 yards of offense, with 99 yards coming during the second half.
Heber Springs avoided a shutout on a four-play, 80-yard drive following the second-half kickoff.
“Harding (Academy) was really good and that’s why they are two-time defending (Class 3A) state champions,” Panther coach Todd Wood said. “We knew defense was their strength. The players learned a lot of things that will help during conference play. I’m very proud of this team. I never saw anyone quit, and they kept fighting until the end of the game.”
Heber Springs quarterback Xander Lindley completed 5-of-10 passes for 24 yards and rushed 11 times for six yards, including sacks, in his first start.
“It was Xander’s first game at quarterback since the eighth grade,” Wood said. “He was going against an experienced defense. A quarterback will face adversity when playing against a defense of that caliber. He kept his head up and had faith in himself while learning.”
Brown rushed 13 times for 108 yards and scored one touchdown in his first start at running back.
“Parker never quit or backed down,” Wood said. “He will have great games in the future. We need to get him the ball more in the open field.”
Harding Academy began the game by driving 48 yards on 10 plays for its first touchdown. Quarterback Kade Smith finished the drive by scoring on an 8-yard keeper with 8:25 left in the first quarter.
The Wildcats held Heber Springs on downs at the Panther 28-yard line and didn’t wait long to put more points on the scoreboard. Landon Koch caught a scoring pass from Smith with 6:24 to go in the first quarter.
Harding Academy concluded the quarter by capitalizing on a Heber Springs fumble at the Panther 26-yard line. Two plays later, Smith ran 20 yards for a touchdown, giving the Wildcats a 21-0 lead going into the second quarter.
Harding Academy increased its lead on a six-play, 28-yard drive. Smith connected on a 14-yard touchdown pass to Jackson Fox with 9:59 left in the first half.
Smith and Fox hooked up on the next Wildcat possession. Harding Academy took advantage of a short punt and started its next series at the Heber Springs 32-yard line.
Fox caught an 11-yard scoring pass from Smith for a 35-0 lead with 7:06 to go until halftime.
The Wildcats reached the end zone one more time when Andrew Miller broke away on an 85-yard touchdown run with 2:38 left in the first half.
Kyle Ferrie kicked all of the extra points as Harding Academy led 42-0 at halftime.
“I challenged them before the game to continue fighting regardless of the score,” Wood said. “I told them at halftime that I knew we were down, but we need to keep fighting and learning, and they did that. we were going against backups, but we still had the effort and showed the ability to turn up our game during the second half.”
On the opening series of the second half, Brown rushed twice for 11 yards for a first down at the Harding Academy 31-yard line. Gus Hannah caught a 13-yard pass from Lindley and a first down at the Wildcat 44-yard line.
Brown put the Panthers on the scoreboard on a 56-yard run with 9:21 left in the third quarter. Gideon Tate kicked the extra point.
“We will be looking at Dover immediately and start the process of fixing things,” Wood said.
Heber Springs will conclude the nonconference schedule at Dover on Friday.
HARDING ACADEMY AT HEBER SPRINGSSEPTEMBER 10, 2021
Harding Academy (2-1) 21 21 0 0 - 42
Heber Springs (0-1) 0 0 7 0 - 7
HA - Kade Smith 8-yard run (Kyle Ferrie kick), 8:25
HA - Andrew Miller to Landon Koch 28-yard pass (Ferrie kick), 6:29
HA - Smith 22-yard run (Ferrie kick), 3:48
HA - Smith to Jackson Fox 14-yard pass (Ferrie kick), 9:59
HA - Smith to Fox 11-yard pass (Ferrie kick), 6:50
HA - Miller 85-yard run (Ferrie kick), 2:38
HS - Parker Brown 57-yard run (Gideon Tate kick), 9:01
TEAM STATISTICSFIRST DOWNS: HA 14, HS 8
RUSHES-YARDS: HA 24/202, HS 29/132
PASSING YARDS: HA 132, HS 24
COMP-ATT-INT: HA 8-12-0, HS 6-13-0
FUMBLES: HA 0, HS 1
PENALITIES-YARDS: HA 9/75, HS 2/10
PUNTS-AVERAGE: HA 2/49.5, HS 5/22.4
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING: HS, Parker Brown 13/108, Gideon Tate 5/18, Xander Lindley 11/6. HA, Andrew Miller 13/161, Kade Smith 5/36, Jadyn White 1/11, Jack Citty 1/7, Lawson Brooks 1/(-1), Team 1/(-5), Jackson Fox 1/(-7).
PASSING: HS, Xander Lindley 5/10-24-0/0, Easton Cusick 1/3-0-0/0. HA, Kade Smith 7/10-104-2/0, Andrew Miller 1/1-28-1/0, Jackson Fox 0/1-0-0/0.
RECEVING: HS, Gus Hannah 3/16, Kenan Sneed 1/7, Parker Brown 1/1, Dalton Yancey 1/0. HA, Landon Koch 2/55, Andrew Miller 1/29, Jackson Fox 2/25, Ryan Mcgaha 2/18, Luv Patel 1/15.
KICKOFF RETURNS: HA, Jackson Fox 1/12.
PUNT RETURNS: None
PUNTS: HS, Xander Lindley 5/112/22.4. HA, Kyle Ferrie 2/99/49.5
The 2021 season marks the 100th season of Heber Springs High School football. In honor of that feat, we here at MarkedTime.com are recognizing some of the great athletes that have roamed the halls of Heber Springs High School over that span with the naming of all-decade football teams.
The teams were selected by a panel after extensive local, and statewide, research was done. They are listed in alphabetical order with the last season that they played. No positions were listed because in the early days of Panther football, the players would often play different positions. In one game, they may have started on the line and the next in the backfield.
Heber Springs fielded its first football team in 1913, the same year the school district first offered 12 grades. Prior to that, the highest course offering for a student in Heber Springs was an 11th-grade education. For reasons, either not yet discovered or lost to time, the district would not offer a 12th-grade education level until the 1921-22 school year, which would continue to this day.
With the return of a 12th-grade education, the Panthers would return to the gridiron for the 1921 campaign. Neill Reed had the distinction of playing on the first Panther football team in 1913 and coaching the second one in 1921.
Success was limited in the first decade of Panther football, outside of the unbeaten first season of 1913, the Panthers would not win more than three games in a season during the decade. Heber Springs High School was one of the smallest football playing schools in the state at the time and with no conference schedule that the Panther teams enjoy today, Heber Springs played larger teams such as Conway, Searcy, North Little Rock, Batesville, Russellville and the University of Central Arkansas “B” team, among others.
A toughness, no-quit and take on all challengers, developed in those first teams and many members of this first all-decade team would later use lessons learned on the gridiron to help transform the community of Heber Springs into the town that you know today.
By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY (Editor’s Note: This is the first of a series of stories about 2021 seniors playing on the 100th edition of the Heber Springs Panthers.)
Senior tackle Thad Bray is ready to become part of Heber Springs Panther football history.
Bray, a two-year starter on the offensive line, and his teammates will step into Panther Stadium for the program’s 100th year of competition when the Panthers host Harding Academy on Friday night.
“Honestly, that is very surprising,” he said. ” I never knew Heber football had been playing football for 100 years. It will be a special year to all of us.”
Players will wear decals on the back of their helmets celebrating the 100th season.
“The players have been talking with coach (E.G. Dew, who played for the Panthers during the 1980s) about players from the past,” Bray said. “We want to be like those players and do well.”
Bray is a longtime Panther, starting in the peewee program. He likes the direction of the program and wants to be a part of the team that helps the program to turn the corner.
“It still feels strange because of Covid,” said Bray while referring to the effect of Covid-19. “The players hope to make this season a good one. It’s good that we finally are playing another team. The scrimmage at Beebe was fun. Our goal is to improve every game together.”
Heber Springs will begin its 100th season of football against one of its oldest rivals.
The Panthers will host two-time defending Class 3A champion Harding Academy at 7 p.m. Friday in the delayed season opener at Panther Stadium. Newport canceled last week’s scheduled opening game to Heber Springs because of Covid-19 reasons. Nonconference games not played for Covid reasons are counted as non-contests, while conference games will be counted as forfeit wins or losses.
HARDING ACADEMY (1-1) AT HEBER SPRINGS (0-0)
PANTHER STADIUMKICKOFF: 7 p.m.
LAST WEEK: Heber Springs was off; Harding Academy lost at Valley View 31-30
LAST MEETING: 2019 at Harding Academy, a 45-6 win by the Wildcats
SERIES: Harding Academy leads 36-14
NOTES: With Newport canceling the opener last week, tonight's opener will be the latest first game for Heber Springs since Sept. 11, 1959, when the Panthers beat Clinton, 25-0 ... Heber Springs has not won a season-opener since 2015 (a 35-20 win at Clinton). The Panthers last home-opening win came in 2014 with a 29-16 win over Clinton ... Heber Springs is 0-4 all-time in season-openers against Harding Academy ... Besides being the 100th season of Panther football, the opener tonight begins the 60th year of Panther Stadium. The Stadium opened on Sept. 1, 1962, when the Panthers dropped a 7-6 decision to McCrory ... Heber Springs is 3-16 all-time at Panther Stadium against Harding Academy ... The teams first met in 1951, the first season that Harding Academy had football, as conference foes. The two teams were part of the 2B conference. The two teams would be part of the 2B conference for 17 seasons with the Wildcats winning 11 of the 17 games ... Harding Academy is a 3A school but with a new rule passed by the Arkansas Activities Association this summer based on performance of private schools using a points system, the Wildcats have already accrued enough points that they will be moving up to class 4A next season. Those private schools that move up will be added as the ninth team to any conference they are assigned to. All indications are that the Panthers and Wildcats will be conference foes next season. The AAA will release next season's conference assignments after the completion of this season.
“It was disappointing when we learned that Newport would be unable to play us, but the players quickly turned their attention to Harding Academy,” Panther coach Todd Wood said. “The extra time gave us an opportunity to let players gain experience at playing different positions, which will help us when starting conference play.”
The Wildcats (1-1) are coming off a 31-30 loss at Class 5A Valley View in Jonesboro.
Harding Academy had major graduation losses on offense, but the Wildcats have been productive through two games.
Junior quarterback Kade Smith, who started at safety during most of last season, leads the offense. Smith has completed 32-of-42 passes for 477 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions.
Andrew Miller is the leading rusher for the Wildcats with 23 carries for 96 yards and three touchdowns. Jackson Fox is Smith’s favorite receiver with 11 catches for 241 yards and one touchdown.
“Harding reloads, not rebuilds,” Wood said. “The new guys have not miss a beat. They still play with a lot of discipline and also are very aggressive. Harding will have an advantage with two games under its belt.”
Linebacker Levi Mercer and end Eli Wallis lead the Harding Academy defense with 11 tackles each. The Wildcats, who have allowed 39 points in two games, return nine of 11 starters.
“We know most of Harding’s experience returns was on defense,” Wood said. “But offensively, they have not missed a beat.”
Wood feels more comfortable about his team with an offseason of weight room work, spring practice and summer workouts.
“We are farther ahead than at this time last year,” Wood said. “We understand our roles, plays and assignments better.”
The Panthers will start an all-sophomore backfield with quarterback Xander Lindley and running back Parker Brown. Lindley was a starting receiver for last season’s successful junior high school team, though he did play some at quarterback as an eighth-grader, and Brown started at running back. Gideon Tate, another sophomore, and senior Jackson West also will see action in the backfield.
Two starters return on the offensive line — left guard Peyton Owens and left tackle Thad Bray. Tristan Thissen will start at right guard and Corbin Jones at right tackle. Sophomore Joenah Cordell was named the starting center in the place of Zach Thomas, who is sidelined because of illness for at least two more weeks.
Gus Hannah and Easton Cusick lead an experience receiving corp. Dalton Yancey, another sophomore, Austin Winchester and Chris Edwards will be among other players to watch in the passing game.
“Lindley developed with a strong arm during the summer,” Wood said. “He continues to learn how the offense works. We needed a quarterback with mobility and who can make plays downfield when the pocket breaks down. Bray and Owens are solid players on the line. The players have worked hard and ready for the season to start.”
On defense, Lucas Langster and Jones will start at the ends with Blaze Emerson at nose guard. Chris Benton, who was expected to start on the defensive line, is sidelined indefinitely with a hand injury.
Kenan Sneed, the leading tackler for the Panthers last season, leads the linebacking corps. Thissen will start at the other inside linebacker. Chris Roberts, Hayden Johnson, Hayden Davis and Tate will split time at the two outside linebackers.
Edwards will start at cornerback with Zane Lozeau and Zack Parker splitting time at the other cornerback. Gage Buford and Colton Turley are the starters at the safeties.
“Sneed is the leader of the defense,” Wood said. “Hayden Johnson will start at outside linebacker. He’s small but makes up for it with his speed and aggressive player. Langster returns on the defensive line. I expect Cordell and Emerson to contribute. Owens and Bray also will play on the defensive line. Thissen will play at inside linebacker.”
Wood said the team is ready, and he expects a good performance.
“We need to get the season going and learn our weaknesses,” he said. “It will help in preparing for the conference season. One of our downfalls last year was quick turnovers. We must execute and move the ball to stay in games.”
SEARCY – The Heber Springs junior Panthers started strong and finished strong against Harding Academy on Thursday it was just the in-between that gave them problems as the Wildcats claimed a 36-16 win.
Heber Springs (1-1) dominated the first quarter and a half of action limiting Harding Academy to 11 total yards and no first downs during the first 12 minutes of action.
In the meantime, the Panthers racked up 131 yards and seven first downs during that same stretch to take an 8-0 lead. After Emmitt Dwyer’s interception, Liam Buffalo would score from 17 yards out two plays later and after Buffalo completed the 2-point pass to Ty West, Heber Springs led 8-0 with 48.3 seconds left in the first quarter.
After the Panther defense held Harding Academy to a three-and-out, Heber Springs appeared to moving into position for another score after picking up a pair of first downs runs by Buffalo, but a sack and two penalties put the Panthers in a third-and-30 situation. Buffalo connected with Weston Warden for 20 yards, but a fourth-down pass fell incomplete.
Harding Academy took over with 4:05 to play and scored on a seven-play, 54-yard drive that Owen Miller capped off with a 7-yard touchdown run with 1:27 left in the half.
After a quick three-and-out by the Panthers, Harding Academy got the ball back with 54 seconds left in the half and didn’t waste any time as Miller connected with Trenton Miller for a 61-yard touchdown pass to give the Wildcats a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Heber Springs wouldn’t get on the scoreboard again until late in the contest when Buffalo connected with Carter Julian for a 21-yard completion to start a drive with 4:24 left and the duo completed finished the 83-yard drive with a 12-yard scoring strike. Buffalo hit Julian again for the 2-point conversion with 1:23 to play.
Harding Academy outgained Heber Springs in total offense, 246-217, but the Panthers finished with 12 first downs to the Wildcats 7.
Buffalo paced Heber Springs by going 11-and-18 for 113 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for 74 yards on 15 carries for a score.
Heber Springs will host Dover Thursday night at Panther Stadium. The seventh-grade team will start things off at 5:30 p.m. followed by the junior high game at 7 p.m.
HEBER SPRINGS AT HARDING ACADEMY
SEPTEMBER 9, 2021
Heber Springs 8 0 0 8 - 16
Harding Academy 0 16 8 12 - 36
HS - Liam Buffalo 17-yard run (Buffalo to Ty West pass), 48.3
HA - Owen Miller 7-yard run (Miller to Endy McGalliard pass), 1:27
HA - Miller to Trenton Hall 61-yard pass (Miller to McGalliard pass), 41.4
HA - Hall 19-yard run (pass failed), 6:50
HA - Cam Pryer 26-yard run (run failed), 4:24
HS - Buffalo to Carter Julian 12-yard pass (Buffalo to Julian pass), 1:23
TEAM STATISTICSFIRST DOWNS: HS 12, HA 9
RUSHES-YARDS: HS 29/104, HA 20/140
PASSING YARDS: HS 113, HA 106
COMP-ATT-INT: HS 11-18-0, HA 5-10-1
FUMBLES: HS 0, HA 0
PENALITIES-YARDS: HS 6-40, HA 3-15
PUNTS-AVERAGE: HS 3-31.7, HA 2-39.5
RUSHING: HS, Liam Buffalo 15/74, Weston Warden 9/15, Cooper Holmes 3/10, Logan Rutledge 2/5. HA, Trenton Hall 9/61, Owen Miller 8/49, Cam Pryer 1/26, Jack Roberts 2/4.
PASSING: HS, Buffalo 11/18-113-1/0. HA, Owen Miller 5/10-206-2/1
RECEVING: HS, Carter Julian 4/48, Warden 4/38, Holmes 2/24, Rutledge 1/3. HA, Trenton Hall 1/61, Endy McGalliard 2/38, Cam Pryer 1/5, Oz Baker 1/3.
KICKOFF RETURNS: HS, Holmes 3/25, Rutledge 1/15, Emitt Dwyer 1/11.
PUNT RETURNS: HS, Dwyer 1/9
PUNTS: HS, Buffalo 3/95/31.7. HA, Miller 2/79/39.5
HEBER SPRINGS – Heber Springs Liam Buffalo rushed for 143 and a pair of touchdowns, and passed for another, as the junior Panthers opened their season with a 32-28 nonconference victory over Clinton.
The two teams will meet again on Oct. 28 in Clinton in a conference contest.
On Thursday, the Panthers were limited to eight offensive possessions and 23 plays from scrimmage, but made the most of them. Heber Springs scored four times, punted once, had a drive stall at midfield and had drives ended by the half and game.
On the Panthers first play from scrimmage, Weston Warden took a pitch from Buffalo and raced 68 yards to put Heber Springs on top with less than 15 seconds gone in the game. Buffalo ran in the 2-point conversion.
The two teams traded punts before the Panther defense forced another Yellowjacket punt as Warden returned the Brodie Dufrene punt 19 yards to the Clinton 33 with 1:41 left in the first quarter.
On the next play, Buffalo kept the ball and rambled 33 yards for the score. Buffalo connected with Carter Julian for the 2-point conversion and the Panthers led 16-0 with 1:31 to play in the quarter.
After another Clinton punt, Heber Springs took over on their own 39, but a penalty pushed the Panthers back 15 yards and killed the drive at the 41.
From there, Clinton moved the ball 41 yards on a six-play drive that Dufrene capped off with a 1-yard run. Dufrene connected Sam Standridge for the 2-point conversion with 4:24 to play in the half.
The Yellowjackets onside-kick failed and Heber Springs took over at the Clinton 49. After an 11-yard run by Buffalo, the ninth-grader connected with Julian for a 38-yard touchdown pass. Buffalo ran in the 2-point conversion and Heber Springs led 24-8 with 4:03 left in the half.
Clinton then killed all but 10 seconds of the second quarter with a 13-play, 60-yard drive that Rope Williams capped with a 1-yard touchdown run. The 2-point conversion failed as Heber Springs led 24-14 at the break.
The Yellowjackets took the second-half kickoff and then proceeded with an 18-play, 70-yard drive that ate all of the third-quarter clock and two minutes of the fourth quarter as Zack Hunt-Gonzalez scored from seven yards. Joshua Fultz scored the 2-point conversion on a pass from Dufrene.
Just over 30 seconds later, Heber Springs answered as Buffalo hit Seth Dudeck for a 42-yard completion and then ran the ball in from the 16 on the next play. Buffalo connected with Warden for the 2-point conversion and Heber Springs led 32-22 with 5:20 to play.
Clinton would not go quietly scoring another touchdown less than three minutes when Hunt-Gonzalez scored on a 2-yard run. The 2-point conversion failed.
Buffalo ran for 18 yards and connected with Warden for another 18 yards as the Panthers were able to kill the clock and earn the win.
Heber Springs finished the night with almost 300 yards of total offense despite missing several starters due to Covid protocols.
Heber Springs will return to action on Sept. 9 at Harding Academy in a nonconference contest.
HEBER SPRINGS/CLINTON GAME STATS
FIRST DOWNS: HS 10, C 15
PENALITIES: HS 3/35, C 5/25
RUSHING: HS 14/194/13.9, C 42/90/2.1
FUMBLES: HS 0, C 0
PASSING (C/A-YARDS) HS 4/9-98, C 9/15-87
INTERCEPTIONS: HS 0, C 0
SACKED-YARDS LOST: HS 0, C 1-8
TOTAL OFFENSE: HS 292, C 177
TURNOVERS: HS 0, C 0
ONSIDE KICKS: HS 0/0, C 0/3
2-PT CONVERSIONS: HS 4/4, C 2/4
PUNTS/AVG: HS 1/48, C 3/29.3
RUSHING (ATT/YARDS/TDS): HS, Liam Buffalo 8/143/2, Weston Warden 3/65/1, Logan Rutledge 1/(-2), Team 2/(-12). Clinton, Rope Williams 12/37/1, Rylan Jones 11/40, Zack Hunt-Gonzalez 10/45/2, Brodie Dufrene 5/3/1, Sam Standridge 3/4, Brayson Littell 1/1.
PASSING (COMP/ATT-YARDS-TDS/INTS): HS, Buffalo 4/9-98-1/0. Clinton, Dufrene 9/14-87-0/0, Littell 0/1-0-0/0
RECEIVING: HS, Seth Dudeck 1/42, Carter Julian 1/38/1, Warden 1/12, Rutledge 1/10. Clinton, Standridge 3/29, Jones 3/20, Liam Hudson 2/25, Williams 1/13.
HEBER SPRINGS – The Heber Springs seventh-grade Panthers came up short as Clinton defeated the Cubs, 16-14.
Heber Springs struck first with Samuel Bush touchdown, but Clinton responded on a Dereck Infante touchdown run and a Keegan Rose 2-point conversion to lead 8-6 with just over seven minutes to play in the first half.
The Panthers moved the ball deep into Clinton territory before halftime after a long run by Landon Brown, a Lachlan Tubbs to Rhett Herring pass and a nice run by Bush, but Heber Springs couldn’t push the ball in the end zone and turned the ball over on downs. The Panthers trailed 8-6 at the break.
Clinton took a a 16-6 advantage after another Infante touchdown run and successful 2-point conversion.
Heber Springs pulled to within two late in the contest when Tubbs connected with Josiah Riggs for the score. Bush added the 2-point conversion to make it 16-14 in favor of Clinton.
The Panthers wouldn’t get the ball back as Clinton ran out the clock to end the game and earn the win. The two teams will meet again in Clinton in the season finalee.
Heber Springs will return to action on Sept. 9 at Harding Academy.
HEBER SPRINGS 7TH-GRADE SCHEDULE
(All Game Times are 5:30 p.m.)
Aug. 26 – Clinton 16, Heber Springs 14
Sep. 09 – at Harding Academy (Searcy)
Sep. 16 – Dover
Sep. 23 – at Lonoke
Sep. 30 – Stuttgart
Oct. 07 – at Central Arkansas Christian
Oct. 14 – Bald Knob
Oct. 21 – at Southside Batesville
Oct. 28 – at Clinton
HEBER SPRINGS 7TH-GRADE ROSTER
Coaches: Drew Lawrence, Jeff Bise and Hunter Davis
(UPDATE: I appreciate everyone that is taking the time to respond and vote. I have received a lot of ballots back, but I am going to extend the deadline for at least a week to Sept. 10 in order to reach more former players. So please spread the word to all of your former teammates, especially those that may not be on social media. Would love to have everyone that wants to vote, have a chance.)
When the Heber Springs Panthers kick off their 2021 season at Newport on Sept. 3, it will mark the 100th season of football at Heber Springs High School.
Heber Springs played one season in 1913, then started again in 1921 and played continuously until the 1947 season, when the program was halted for two years because of financial reasons. The program resumed in 1949 and has played since.
In honor of the 100th season, Heber Springs coach Todd Wood has put “100” stickers on the helmets this season.
Here at MarkedTime.com, we are going to be doing several things in honor of the 100th season. One of those is picking all-decade teams and we need your help.
The Publisher of MarkedTime.com, Philip Seaton, has been researching the history of the program, whether it be from local or statewide sources. He has compiled a ballot for each decade, due to limited print coverage in the early decades, the all-decade teams prior to 1950s will chosen by a committee. But for the other decades, it will be done by a panel and vote by former senior high players.
This is where we need your help as a former Panther football player. Starting between now and midnight Sept. 1, will be sending out ballots and accepting votes on the top players from each of the following decades 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s. Players are eligible according to the last game the played, for example if you were part of the class of 1990, your class would be part of the 1980s.
Players were put on the ballot if they were named All-State, All-Conference, Honorable Mention All-Conference or received a team award for best offensive, defensive or special teams player. Some players were also added based upon recommendations of former players and coaches. If you do not see a player listed who feel is deserving, you can write them in.
If you would like to help us out, all you have to do is comment to this story below with the following information (your name), (your email address), (your graduation year), (the years you played senior high football), (a yes or no if you want to be contacted by other voters who want to make a case for a particular player(s)), and (the decades you want to vote on – you did not have to play in the decade you want to vote on, so you can vote for them if you choose). Please note, comments have to be approved before posting and none of them will be approved or posted for the public to see. Your email address will not be sold or shared (unless you okay it to be shared with former players who want to solicit votes for a particular player). Also note, if you vote in multiple decades, you will get multiple emails. Each decade will be emailed individually.
Please share with all your former teammates and players that you know.