Panther PostGame

Heber Springs claws past Riverview, 49-35

Heber Springs junior Hunter Kent is brought down short of the end zone in the first half Friday against Riverview. Kent finished with a career-high seven receptions for 114 yards and two touchdowns in the 49-35 victory by the Panthers. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

November 1, 2019


Heber Springs kept its postseason hopes alive on Friday with a come-from-behind 49-35 victory over conference-leading Riverview in front of a sparse, but enthusiastic and vocal crowd, on a chilly night at Panther Stadium.

Adam Martin paced the Panthers through the air by going 11-of-15 with 209 yards and 3 touchdowns, with two those going to junior Hunter Kent who also caught a career-high seven passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns. Julio Rubio rushed for 107 yards and a touchdown as the Panthers scored the games final 28 points after trailing 35-21 early in the third quarter.

The win by the Panthers on “Senior Night” was the first home win of the season for Heber Springs and prevented Riverview from earning at least a share of its first conference title in football on the Panthers’ home field.

Things didn’t start well for Heber Springs (3-3 in the 4A-2 and 3-6 overall). A high snap on the Panthers first possession resulted in a 19-yard loss and later a punt from their own 5.

Riverview (5-1, 7-2) took advantage of the short field with a five-play, 38-yard drive that Raider quarterback Logan Miller capped with a 27-yard run to make it 7-0 after the successful PAT with 8:28 left in the first quarter.

The Panthers managed a first down on its next possession but were forced to punt after an incomplete pass on a third-and-2 play from the Heber Springs 43.

Taking over on their own 20 with 6:33 left in the first stanza, the Raiders marched down the field with a methodical running game that chewed up most the remaining first-quarter clock as Xander Duckett, who had a 33-yard run on the drive, raced into the end zone from the 9 to make it 14-0 Riverview with 49.7 seconds left in the first quarter.

Heber Springs responded on its next possession. After 25-yard kickoff return by Nathan McKee gave the Panthers the ball on their own 37, a personal foul was called against the Raiders after a Martin 5-yard run to push the ball into Riverview territory at the 43. After converting on a third-and-3 from the Raider 36, Martin scrambled for 19 yards before connecting with Kent on a 14-yard scoring strike with 10:58 to play in the half making it 14-7 after the Jackson Harrod PAT kick.

Riverview struck quickly on its next possession as Miller scored on a 51-yard run to make to 21-7 with 9:39 left in the second quarter.

Heber Springs took advantage of a pair of penalties on the ensuing kick-off attempt to get the ball in Raider territory at the 42. On the first play of the drive, Rubio broke free for a 22-yard run and then later a 12-yard run to move the ball to the 5, where Martin carried in to make it 21-14 with 8:55 to play in the half.

The Raiders only need 28 seconds to go back up by two scores. Aided by a 15-yard face-masking penalty by the Panthers, Ashton Williams completed a three-play, 45-yard drive with an 8-yard touchdown run.

Heber Springs drove to the Raider 45 on its next possession but failed to convert on a fourth-and-2 giving the ball back to Riverview with 3:34 to play in the half.

The Raiders had scored on their first four possession before the Panthers forced a three-and-out near midfield at the 1:52 mark of the second quarter.

Taking over on their own 17, the Panther drive appeared to fizzle at the 23 forcing a Martin punt. The Raiders muffed the punt and Kent pounced on the loose football at the Riverview 47. Back-to-back pass completions from Martin to Kent moved the ball to Raider 3. A pair of Panther penalties almost stalled the drive before Landon Johnson carried the ball to the 1 with 4.3 seconds left in the second quarter. Martin quickly ran up under center and took the snap sneaking in from the 1 as time expired to make it 28-21 at the half.

Riverview struck quickly in the second half using a 58-yard, six-play drive to go up 35-21 after Williams scored on a 19-yard run with 9:42 to play in the third quarter.

Heber Springs responded quickly as Martin found Kent for short completion on third-and-7 from the Raider 43. The junior did the rest racing past a pair of defenders for a 43-yard score with 8:05 left in the third.

The Panthers got another turnover to tie things up. After Williams had to leave the game after his helmet came off during a play, Duckett was shifted to quarterback and coughed up the football where Nicholas Hitchcock recovered the ball at the Riverview 36.

Three plays later, Martin ran the ball in from the 11 with 5:10 left in third quarter to tie things up at 35-all.

Riverview drove to the Panther 27 on 10 plays before facing a fourth-and-5 with 24.6 seconds left in the third quarter. After attempting to draw the Panthers offsides, Riverview inexplicably left the play clock expire. After some conferring by the officials, a delay of game penalty was called and the Heber Springs defense stopped the Raiders on the final play of the quarter.

The Panthers responded quickly as Martin went deep connecting with Johnson for a 74-yard scoring strike to give Heber Springs its first lead of the night at 42-35 with 11:48 to play.

Another delay of game penalty on a fourth-and-2, cost the Raiders as the Panthers got a stop at the Riverview 43 with 10:33 to play.

From there, Heber Springs used eight plays and 4:28 of clock to go up 49-35 as Rubio scored from the 8 with 6:05 to play.

The Panther defense got another turnover and grinded out the clock to earn the win.

Heber Springs will travel to Little Rock to face Mills Friday night. The Panthers will need to win to qualify for the 4A playoffs.

Hunter Kent races past a pair of defenders for a 43-yard touchdown. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO


WEEK 9 “BATTLE OF THE LITTLE RED”: This will be the last time Riverview and Heber Springs will face off on the gridiron for at least two years as the Raiders are dropping to class 3A next season. Clinton will be moving up from class 3A and replace Riverview as the Panthers opponent in week 9, which means the “Battle of the Little Red” will be played in week 9 instead of the opening game of the season.

SOMETHING ABOUT 33: Heber Springs junior Matthew Cook wears the number 33 on his jersey. In his first punt of the season in the first quarter against Riverview, his kick went 33 yards.

YOU’RE WELCOME: Outside Panther Stadium, the biggest cheer of the night probably emanated from Independence County. With the win by the Panthers, Southside Batesville can earn at least a share of the 4A-2 title with win over Bald Knob on Friday. Riverview had beat the Southerners 35-7 earlier this season and still owns the tiebreaker for the top seed from the conference.

CLOSE TO A THOUSAND: Julio Rubio needs 43 yards rushing on Friday against Little Rock Mills to top the 1,000-yard mark this season. The senior has carried the ball 164 times this season for 957 yards with 14 touchdowns.

THIS IS NOT 2003: It had been 16 years since Heber Springs had not won a game at Panther Stadium. The win by the Panthers ensured that would not happen in 2019.








Riverview (5-1, 7-2)                14  14   7   0  - 35    
Heber Springs (3-3, 3-6)             0  21  14  14  - 49    

Riverview - Logan Miller 27-yard run (Emmanuel Rios kick), 8:28 
Riverivew - Xander Duckett 9-yard run (Rios kick), 49.7
Heber Springs - Adam Martin to Hunter Kent 21-yard pass (Jackson Harrod kick), 10:58
Riverview - Miller 51-yard run (Rios kick), 9:39 
Heber Springs - Martin 5-yard run (Harrod kick), 8:55
Riverview - Ashton Williams 11-yard run (Rios kick), 8:27
Heber Springs - Martin 1-yard run (Harrod kick), :00
Riverview - Miller 19-yard run (Rios kick), 9:42
Heber Springs - Martin to Kent 43-yard pass (Harrod kick), 8:05
Heber Springs - Martin 11-yard run (Harrod kick), 5:10
Heber Springs - Martin to Landon Johnson 74-yard pass (Harrod kick), 11:48
Heber Springs - Julio Rubio 8-yard run (Harrod kick), 6:05


First Downs by Rush: Heber Springs 9, Riverview 17
First Downs by Pass: Heber Springs 6, Riverview 1
First Downs by Penalty: Heber Springs 1, Riverview 1
Total First Downs: Heber Springs 16, Riverview 19
Third-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 5/11, Riverview 6/11
Fourth-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 1/2, Riverview 1/3
Red-Zone Possessions: Heber Springs 5/6, Riverview 3/3
Time of Possession: Heber Springs 21:44, Riverview 26:16
Fumbles/Lost: Heber Springs 3/0, Riverview 4/3
Turnovers: Heber Springs 0, Riverview 3   
Points Off Turnovers: Heber Springs 14, Riverview 0
Penalties/Yards: Heber Springs 5/45, Riverview 12/90
Plays/Total Offense/YPP: Heber Springs 62/381/6.3, Riverivew 62/362/5.8
Rushing: Heber Springs 47/172/3.7, Riverview 52/320/6.2
Passing: Heber Springs 11/15-209-3/0, Riverview 7/10-42-0/0  
Sacks/Yards Lost: Heber Springs 0/0, Riverview 0/0
Punts: Heber Springs 3/103/34.3, Riverview 1/32/32
Punts Inside 20: Heber Springs 0, Riverview 1


RUSHING: Heber Springs, Julio Rubio 20/107/5.4/1, Adam Martin 20/64/3.2/3, Landon Johnson 6/20, Team 1/(-19). Riverview, Logan Miller 25/201/8.0/3, Ashton Williams 13/58/4.5/1, Xander Duckett 6/55/9.2/1, Drake Ivy 6/18/3, Israel Gameros 1/5, Team 1/(-17).
RUSHING RUNS OF 50+: Riverview, Logan Miller (1)
RUSHING RUNS OF 40+: Riverivew, Logan Miller (1)    
RUSHING RUNS OF 30+: Riverview, Logan Miller (2), Xander Duckett (1) 
RUSHING RUNS OF 20+: Heber Springs, Julio Rubio (1) Riverview, Logan Miller (4), Xander Duckett (1)
RUSHING RUNS OF 10+: Heber Springs, Julio Rubio (3), Adam Martin (2). Riverview, Logan Miller (6), Xander Duckett (1), Ashton Williams (1)
PASSING: Heber Springs, Adam Martin 11/15-209-3/0. Riverview, Logan Miller 6/9-38-0/0, Xander Duckett 1/4-4-0/0
RECEIVING: Heber Springs, Hunter Kent 7/114/2, Landon Johnson 3/83/1, Nathan McKee 1/12. Riverview, Ashton Williams 4/34, Xander Duckett 2/4, Kamil Preciado 1/4.
TOTAL OFFENSE: Heber Springs, Adam Martin 273, Julio Rubio 107, Landon Johnson 20. Riverview, Logan Miller 239, Xander Duckett 59,  Ashton Williams 58, Drake Ivy 18, Israel Gameros 5.
KICK RETURNS: Heber Springs, Nathan McKee 4/54, Jackson West 1/14, Hunter Kent 1/4. Riverview, Israel Gameros 3/26, Ashton Williams 1/17, Cody Arrowood 1/11, Colton Cook 1/0.  
FUMBLE RETURNS: Matthew Cook 1/4 (offensive)  
ALL-PURPOSE YARDS: Heber Springs, Hunter Kent 118, Julio Rubio 107, Landon Johnson 102, Nathan McKee 66, Adam Martin 64, Jackson West 14, Matthew Cook 4. Riverview, Logan Miller 201, Ashton Williams 109, Xander Duckett 59, Israel Gameros 31, Drake Ivy 18, Cody Arrowood 11, Kamil Preciado 4.
FIELD GOALS: Heber Springs, Jackson Harrod 21 (no good)
TACKLES (Shared/Solo/Total): Heber Springs, Nathan McKee 9/2/11, Diego Rubio 7/3/10, Landon Johnson 6/2/8, Fate Berry 6/0/6, Jackson West 5/1/6, Nicholas Hitchcock 5/1/6, Julio Rubio 3/2/5, Trevor Weathers 5/0/5, Kaden Hughes 3/0/3, Levy Phillips 3/0/3, Dalton McCollum 1/1/2, Jackson Harrod 1/0/1, Lawrence Baureis 1/0/1, Matthew Cook 1/0/1.  
TACKLES FOR LOSS: Heber Springs, Fate Berry 3, Julio Rubio 3, Diego Rubio 3, Jackson West 2, Lawrence Baureis 1, Nicholas Hitchcok 1.
FUMBLE RECOVERIES: Heber Springs, Nicholas Hitchcock, Diego Rubio, Hunter Kent
PUNTING: Heber Springs, Adam Martin  2/70/35, Matthew Cook 1/33/33. Riverview,  Emmanuel Rios 1/32
PUNTS INSIDE 20: Emmanuel Rios (1)


                            W L CP  W L PS  PA   
Riverview                   5 1 49  7 2 323 252 
Southside Batesville        5 1 54  7 2 318 219
Little Rock Mills           3 3 14  4 5 188 236
Central Arkansas Christian  3 3 33  5 4 268 214       
Lonoke                      3 3 22  4 5 267 283
Heber Springs               3 3 28  3 6 246 286        
Bald Knob                   2 4  8  2 7 133 288                 
Stuttgart                   0 6  0  0 9 232 313   

Friday, November 1
Central Arkansas Christian 34, Bald Knob 6
Heber Springs 49, Riverview 35
Lonoke 35, Stuttgart 28
Southside Batesville 50, Little Rock Mills 23

Thursday, November 7
Lonoke at Riverview
Central Arkansas Christian at Stuttgart

Friday, November 8
Bald Knob at Southside Batesville
Heber Springs at Little Rock Mills


RIVERVIEW/SOUTHSIDE BATESVILLE: Can clinch a share of its first conference title and the No. 1 seed with a win over Lonoke on Thursday. A loss and Southside Batesville win would give Southside Batesville the No. 1 seed and the outright conference title. Riverview owns the tiebreaker over Southside Batesville. Both teams have clinched a home playoff game.

HEBER SPRINGS/CAC/MILLS/LONOKE: The Panthers must beat Little Rock Mills on Friday to earn a playoff spot. If the Panthers lose next week, the season is over. Bald Knob and Stuttgart have been eliminated.

If Heber Springs wins, they will either be a 3, 4 or 5 seed. A Mills victory would give the Comets the No. 3 seed.

CAC would get the No. 3 seed with a win over Stuttgart and a Heber Springs win over Mills. Lonoke would earn the No. 3 seed with wins by Stuttgart and Heber Springs.

Heber Springs can claim the three seed with a win at Mills and a Riverview win over Lonoke, and a Stuttgart win over CAC.

If Heber Springs wins and Lonoke and/or CAC win, they will be the No. 4 or No. 5.

If Heber Springs, Lonoke and CAC all win, CAC would be the 3, Lonoke the 4 and Heber Springs the 5.

If Heber Springs wins and only Lonoke or CAC win (only one). Either Lonoke or CAC would be the No. 3, Heber Springs the No. 4 and Mills the No. 5

If the Panthers are the No. 3 they would host the Gentry/Gravette (possibly Prairie Grove based upon the conference points system) winner at Panther Stadium in a first-round playoff game. Former Heber Springs coach Darren Gowen is an assistant at Gravette.

If the Panthers are the No. 4 seed, would travel to Pea Ridge/Shiloh Christian (most likely Pea Ridge)

If the Panthers are the No. 5 seed, would travel to the Pea Ridge/Shiloh Christian winner in the first round (most likely Shiloh Christian).