Brown, Panthers lights out on Senior Night against Riverview

Heber Springs’ Aiden Isom picks up some yards late in the Panther’s 41-0 victory over Riverview Friday at Panther Stadium. Isom was one of several ninth graders to see action against the Raiders. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO


Parker Brown was electric on a night when the Heber Springs Panthers needed some, literally.

Brown staked the Panthers to an early 14-0 lead against Riverview Friday night on the strength of two punts returned for a touchdown and would finish the night scoring five touchdowns and 322 all-purpose yards in a 41-0 victory over the Raiders.

Heber Springs (6-3, 5-1 in the 2-4A conference) was celebrating “senior night” with the players donning black jerseys for the first time in several years and added black pants for an all-black look.

After the first play from scrimmage, the field conditions almost mirrored the Panthers uniform look. A five-yard run by Xander Lindley opened the game but due to problems with an electrical box under the home bleachers, the game was paused, and the home bleachers were emptied as a precaution and one bank of lights on the home sideline on the north end went out.

A short pause resulted but play resumed after both teams agreed to play with only three out of the four banks of lights creating a surreal experience with the home fans spread across the track and the north endzone.

On the first play, Lindley connected with Weston Warden for a 37-yard completion, but a turnover on the next snap gave the ball to Riverview at the Raider 22.
But the Panther defense forced a three-and-out, Ryder Conway lofted a punt that Brown fielded at the Panther 46. The senior sprinted almost untouched weaving through defenders not stopping until he high-fived injured teammate Liam Buffalo who was in the back of the end zone. Buffalo had knee surgery last Friday and was at the game in support of his teammates.

Senior Gideon Tate connected on the PAT to make it 7-0 with 8:19 left in the opening quarter.

With the game clock being kept on the field by the officials after the game clock was turned off when the press box was emptied, Riverview put together an almost three-minute drive before Eli Buffalo threw Trevion Greer for a seven-yard loss forcing another Conway punt from the Panther 45.

Brown took the punt at the 19 and sprinted for another score with 4:58 to play in the first quarter. Tate’s kick made it 14-0.

With the two punt returns for a score, Brown tied the single game record that he had set earlier this season against Bald Knob. His four punt returns for a score set the school record for most in a season and also set the career mark as well.

The score would remain that way as neither team threatened until late in the first half.

After Jacob McMullin recovered a Raider fumble at the Riverview 21, Lindley would connect with Brown in the end zone with 31 seconds left in the first half. Tate’s PAT made it 21-0.

At halftime, the lights were restored, and fans were able to return to the bleachers.

On the Panthers first possession of the half, Brown would add his third score of the night this time taking a pitch out from Lindley and racing 49 yards for the touchdown with 8:58 remaining in the third quarter.

Josiah Riggs interception gave Heber Springs possession of the ball on its own 15. Riggs saw significant playing time with starter Elijah Jones out of the games. The freshman finished with five total tackles including one for a loss.

Riggs was one of several ninth graders to see playing time.

“It gives us some depth,” Heber Springs coach Van Paschal said. “When Elijah went down with a concussion, that’s why Josiah was getting to play there. It’s big for a ninth grader to get in there and get some reps.”

On second down, Brown ran 55 yards to put the ball the Raider 30. On third-and-11 from the 31, Warden would take a pitch from Lindley and sprinted for another score with 1:49 to play in the third quarter. Tate’s PAT kick was blocked leaving the score 34-0.

Heber Springs was penalized 13 times for 105 yards on the night, and four of those helped the Raiders move to the ball to the Panther 19 on their next drive.

Senior Zachary Parker would make sure that Riverview wouldn’t reach the endzone stepping in front of the Conway pass at the 4 returning the ball back to the 50.
“I talk about senior leadership all of the time,” Paschal said. “They do what we ask them to do all of the time. They believe in what we are preaching.

“Even when we struggled against Batesville Southside, ‘coach we are bought in.’ Then Harding, ‘we are bought in’, so they get it, and they are doing a great job.”

After a holding penalty knocked the Heber Springs back six yards, Brown would cap off the score sprinting 56 yards for the score. Tate’s PAT made it 41-0 with 10:29 left in the contest.

It was the second time in his career that Brown has scored five touchdowns. As a sophomore Brown had five touchdowns against Central Arkansas Christian in 2021. It was the third most touchdowns in game in school history. Jerry Pilkington has the record with eight touchdowns against Ola in 1949 while Markeyvus Mays had 7 touchdowns against Cave City in 2010. Brown, Mays and Pilkington are the only players in school history to have five or more touchdowns, and all three have done it twice.

The Heber Springs defense recorded its third shutout of the season, its most shutouts since 2009.

Brodie Basford and Warden each finished with 11 tackles to pace the Panthers.

Heber Springs finished the regular season as the No. 2 seed out of the 2-4A conference. The Panthers will face Lincoln, the No. 4 seed out of the 1-4A, Friday night at Panther Stadium. It will be the first meeting between the two schools.

“New round for these guys I know, but you have to buy in and tune in right now or every game is your last from here on out,” Paschal said. “That’s why everything has to be done correctly. You have to do the little things right.”

NOVEMBER 3, 2023 
TOTAL FIRST DOWNS: Heber Springs 10, Riverview 9
BY RUSH: Heber Springs 9, Riverview 6
BY PASS: Heber Springs 1, Riverview 1
BY PENALTY: Heber Springs 0, Riverview 2
TEAM RUSHING: Heber Springs 36/281/3/7.8, Riverview 30/91/0/3.3
TEAM PASSING: Heber Springs 2/4-52-1/0, Riverview 9/22-43-0/4
TOTAL OFFENSE: Heber Springs 40/333/8.3, Riverview 52/134/2.6
3RD CONVERSION: Heber Springs 4/8, Riverview 1/9
4TH CONVERSION: Heber Springs 1/1, Riverview 1/1
RED-ZONE: Heber Springs 1/1, Riverview 0/0
TURNOVERS: Heber Springs 2, Riverview 6
POINTS OFF TURNOVERS: Heber Springs 20, Riverview 0
FUMBLES/LOST: Heber Springs 4/2, Riverview 2/2
PENALTIES: Heber Springs 13/105, Riverview 2/10
KICKOFF RETURNS: Heber Springs 0, Riverview 4/13
PUNT RETURNS: Heber Springs 2/135/2, Riverview 2/11
PUNTS: Heber Springs 3/109/36.3, Riverview 4/114/28.5
PUNTS INSIDE 20: Heber Springs 0, Riverview 1
SACKS: Heber Springs 0, Harding 1/6
TACKLES FOR LOSS: Heber Springs 7/28, Riverview 5/17
RUSHING: Heber Springs, Bryce Seigrist 17/62/3.7, Xander Lindley 8/(-1), Parker Brown 4/163/2, Aiden Isom 3/18, Lachlan Tubbs 2/10, Weston Warden 1/31/1, Team 1/(-2). Riverview, Trevion Greer 15/52/3.5, Nik Franklin 8/22, Ryder Conway 5/(-2), Josiah Cypert 1/16, Robert Mohr 1/3.
PASSING: Heber Springs, Xander Lindley 2/4-52-1/0. Riverview, Ryder Conway 8/20-37-0/3, Dredyn Hulsey 1/2-6-0/1.
RECEIVING: Heber Springs, Weston Warden 1/38, Parker Brown 1/14/1. Riverview, K.K. Williams 4/6, Nik Franklin 3/16, Trevion Greer 2/21.
KICKOFF RETURNS: Riverview, Trevion Greer 3/10, Chandler Beard 1/3
PUNT RETURNS: Heber Springs, Parker Brown 2/135/2. Riverview 2/11.
INTERCEPTION RETURN: Zachary Parker 1/46, Parker Brown 1/6
FUMBLE RETURN: Parker Brown 1/4
ALL-PURPOSE YARDS: Heber Springs, Parker Brown 322
PUNTING: Heber Springs, Gideon Tate 3/109/36.3. Riverview, Ryder Conway 4/114/1/28.5
PAT KICKS: Gideon Tate 5/6 (Blocked)
FIELD GOALS: Paul Krause (missed 43)
POINTS: Parker Brown 30, Weston Warden 6, Gideon Tate 5
FUMBLE RECOVERIES: Jacob McMullin, Parker Brown
INTERCEPTIONS: Parker Brown, Josiah Riggs, Zachary Parker, Weston Warden
PBU: Carter Julian, Eli Buffalo, Corbin Jones
QB HURRIES: Brodie Basford, Carter Julian, Jordan Tidwell

Weston Warden    4 7 0 11
Eli Buffalo      1 4 1 5
Nate Eaton       0 2 0 2
Parker Brown     1 1 0 2
Brodie Basford   4 7 2 11
Zachary Parker   1 6 0 7
Jordan Tidwell   0 1 0 1
Jacob McMullin   1 4 0 5
Josiah Riggs     2 3 1 5
Logan Rutledge   2 3 0 5
Corbin Jones     2 2 2 4
Dyce Young       0 1 0 1
Emmett Dwyer     1 0 0 1
Carter Julian    0 3 0 3
Bryce Seigrist   0 1 0 1
Luke Elliott     0 1 0 1
Greg Williams    0 1 0 1
Logan Lozeau     0 1 0 1
Dustin Stone     1 0 1 1

Junior Cats open conference play with victory at Riverview

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


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

Junior Panthers claim win over Jonesboro Westside

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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


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

Clinton downs Heber Springs in junior high action

Landon Brown.Clinton
Heber Springs’ Landon Brown punches his way into the endzone for the Panthers lone score in junior high football. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO


CLINTON – Clinton took advantage of three Panther turnovers, raced out to a 28-0 halftime lead and cruised to a 35-7 victory over Heber Springs in junior high action.

Clinton struck quickly scoring on its first possession on a three-play, 53-yard drive. Ayden Hayes capped off the series with a 43-yard scoring run. Dereck Infante added the kick to make it 7-0 Yellowjackets with 6:46 left in the first quarter.

Heber Springs (0-2) started its first possession with back-to-back penalties and on third-and-21 Clinton’s Hayden Jones picked off a Lachlan Tubbs pass at the Panther 34 and returned to the 8. Three plays later Armando Infante would score from the 7 to make 13-0 after the PAT kick failed with 3:58 to play in the first.

The score would remain that way until late in the first half.

The Panthers were threatening to make it a one touchdown game after Hayden Williams recovered a Clinton fumble at the Panther 22 with eight seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Heber Springs would then go on a time-consuming 11-play, 70-yard drive that would take 5:33 off the clock. Aiden Isom would highlight the drive with 16- and 18-yard runs. A fumble would stop the Panthers at the Clinton 8.

Two plays later, Hays would race 89 yards to make it 19-0 with 1:43 left in the half. Armando Infante would run in the 2-point conversion.

The Panthers would fumble on their first offensive play from scrimmage at the 40. David Larkins would return the fumble 10 yards for the Yellowjackets. After Heber Springs stopped Harold McNabb for no gain, Armando Infante ran 40 yards with 60 seconds left in the second quarter to make it 28-0 at the half.

Heber Springs took the second-half ball and failed to gain a first-down turning the ball over after being stopped short on fourth down at the Panther 33.

Conner Bonds hauled in a Dyllin VanHoak 27-yard pass two plays later to make 34-0 with 5:03 left in the third quarter. The Dereck Infante PAT made it 35-0 allowing the mercy-rule continuous running clock to kick in.

Rhett Herring returned the ensuing kickoff 72 yards before being brought down at the Clinton 13. Back-to-back carries by Landon Brown pushed the ball into th endzone. Golden Tate’s kick made it 35-7 with 2:35 to play in the third quarter as neither team threatened again with the running clock.

August 31, 2023
TIME OF POSSESSION: Heber Springs 17:22, Clinton 24:38
TOTAL FIRST DOWNS: Heber Springs 8, Clinton 7
BY RUSH: Heber Springs 8, Clinton 6
BY PASS: Heber Springs 0, Clinton 1
BY PENALTY: Heber Springs 0, Clinton 0
TEAM RUSHING: Heber Springs 31/131/4.2/1, Clinton 19/238/12.5/4
TEAM PASSING: Heber Springs 1/5-7-0/1, Clinton 1/1-27-1/0
TOTAL OFFENSE: Heber Springs 36/138/3.8, Clinton 20/265/13.3
3RD CONVERSION: Heber Springs 1/5, Clinton 1/3
4TH CONVERSION: Heber Springs 1/3, Clinton 0/1
TURNOVERS: Heber Springs 3, Clinton 1
FUMBLES/LOST: Heber Springs 5/2, Clinton 3/1
PENALTIES: Heber Springs 4/30, Clinton 3/15
RETURNS: Heber Springs 5/93, Clinton 3/58
PUNTS: Heber Springs 0/0, Clinton 0/0
SACKS: Heber Springs 0/0, Clinton 0/0
TACKLES FOR LOSS: Heber Springs 0/0, Clinton 2/5
RUSHING: Heber Springs, Landon Brown 11/54/1/4.9, Lachlan Tubbs 8/23, Brody Loethen 5/3, Aiden Isom 4/37, Tanner Graham 2/14. Clinton, Ayden Hayes 3/134/2, Armando Infante 5/67/2.
PASSING: Heber Springs, Lachlan Tubbs 1/5-7-0/1.
RECEIVING: Heber Springs, Tanner Graham 1/7
KICKOFF RETURNS: Heber Springs, Rhett Herring 3/87/29.0, Landen Peterson 2/6. Clinton 2/32

Junior Panthers tripped up in home-opener

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


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