Junior Panthers open with win over Clinton

Heber Springs ninth-grader Liam Buffalo looks for an open receiver in the junior Panthers, 34-32, win over Clinton Thursday night. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

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 JUNIOR HIGH SCHEDULE

(All Games Start at 7 p.m.)

Aug. 26 – Heber Springs 32, Clinton 28

Sep. 09 – at Harding Academy

Sep. 16 – Dover

Sep. 23 – at Lonoke *

Sep. 28 – Stuttgart *

Oct. 07 – at Central Arkansas Christian *

Oct. 14 – Bald Knob *

Oct. 21 – at Southside Batesville *

Oct. 28 – at Clinton *

(* – Denotes conference contest)

HEBER SPRINGS JUNIOR HIGH ROSTER

(Alphabetical and listed with grade)

8TH- Eli Buffalo

9TH – Liam Buffalo

8TH- Caleb Carr

9TH – Axley Davis

8TH- Seth Dudeck

8TH- Jack Duvall

8TH- Emitt Dwyer

9TH- Tyler Dye

8TH- Nate Eaton

9TH – Luke Elliott

8TH – Nash Farmer

8TH- Lucas Garcia

8TH – Britt Grice

8TH- Cooper Holmes

8TH- Cade James

8TH- Tripp Johnston

8TH – Elijah Jones

9TH – Carter Julian

9TH – Jacob McMullin

9TH – Justin Newton

9TH – Braidyn Ogle

9TH – Gauge Owens

8TH – Casey Pearce

9TH – Crimson Pettigrew

9TH – Logan Rutledge

8TH- Jeremiah Sanders

8TH- Seth Smith

9TH – Damien Standridge

9TH- Weston Warden

9TH- Ty West

8TH – John Wilson

Final Heber Springs Junior High Stats

SCORING BY QUARTERS
Heber Springs    56   92  38  61 - 247 (30.9 ppg)
Opponent         12   56  34  52 - 154 (19.3 ppg)

TEAM STATS  
First Downs by Rush: Heber Springs 35, Opponent 60
First Downs by Pass: Heber Springs 71, Opponent 12 
First Downs by Penalty: Heber Springs 3, Opponent 9 
Total First Downs: Heber Springs 109, Opponent 81 
Penalties: Heber Springs 38/315, Opponent 39/257 
3rd-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 20/52, Opponent 20/59
4th-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 15/27, Opponent 11/22 
Fumbles/Lost: Heber Springs 8/2, Opponent 10/6 
Sacks/Yards Lost: Heber Springs 6/62, Opponent 0/0 
Rush/Yards/Avg: Heber Springs 104/641/6.2, Opponent 230/1026/4.5
Rushing Yards Per Game: Heber Springs 80.1, Opponent 128.3
Passing (A/C-Yards-TD/Int): Heber Springs 125/203-1870-23/6, Opponent 33/78-487-6/7
Passing Yards Per Game: Heber Springs 233.8, Opponent 60.9 
Total Offense: Heber Springs 2511, Opponent 1513 
Total Offense Per Game: Heber Springs 313.9, Opponent 189.1  
Punts: Heber Springs 2/43/21.5, Opponent 14/460/32.9

INDIVIDUAL STATS  
OFFENSE  
Rushing: Liam Buffalo 21/147/2, Gideon Tate 26/137/1, Weston Warden 23/115/1, Parker Brown 11/112/2, Dalton Yancey 6/61/1, Xander Lindley 4/51/1, Hayden Johnson 5/25, Hud Haggard 1/9, Jacob Golden 1/5, Ladd Choate 2/5, Bryce Seigrist 1/(-6), Team 3/(-22). 
Passing: Liam Buffalo 122/199-1787-22/6, Zachary Parker 3/3-83-1/0, Parker Brown 0/1-0-0/0 
Receiving: Parker Brown 32/602/7, Dalton Yancey 26/419/6, Xander Lindley 27/557/6, Weston Warden 15/156/2, Hud Haggard 15/115/2, Ty West 5/21, Chris Roberts 1/28, Gideon Tate 1/0
Kickoff Returns: Heber Springs, Parker Brown 5/155/1, Corbin Jones 4/4, Hud Haggard 3/0, Xander Lindley 3/95/1, Chris Roberts 2/0, Zachary Parker 1/0, Jude Bray 1/0, Dalton Yancey 1/0 
Punt Returns: Xander Lindley 1/13
Interception Returns: Parker Brown 3/108/2, Liam Buffalo 2/0, Logan Rutledge 1/0, Dalton Yancey 1/0.
Total Offense: Liam Buffalo 1934, Gideon Tate 137, Weston Warden 115, Parker Brown 112, Zachary Parker 83, Dalton Yancey 61, Xander Lindley 51, Hayden Johnson 25, Hud Haggard 9, Jacob Golden 5, Ladd Choate 5, Bryce Seigrist (-6).
All-Purpose Yards: Parker Brown 977, Xander Lindley 716,  Dalton Yancey 480, Weston Warden 271, Liam Buffalo 147,  Gideon Tate 137, Hud Haggard 124, Chris Roberts 28, Hayden Johnson 25, Ty West 21, Jacob Golden 5, Ladd Choate 5, Corbin Jones 4, Bryce Seigrist (-6).
DEFENSE  
Sacks/Yards lost:  Parker Brown 4/41, Hud Haggard 1/11, Chris Roberts 1/10
Interceptions: Liam Buffalo 2, Parker Brown 3, Dalton Yancey 1, Logan Rutledge 1,  
Fumble Recoveries: Ladd Choate, Xander Lindley, Dalton Yancey, Axley Davis, Hayden Johnson, Team  
Punts: Liam Buffalo 2/43/21.5 
SCORING
Parker Brown 84, Xander Lindley 54, Dalton Yancey 48, Gideon Tate 29 (20/21 XP, 1/1 FG. MADE: 25), Weston Warden 18, Hud Haggard 12, Liam Buffalo 12

Heber Springs Junior High Season Stats: Through 6 Games

SCORING BY QUARTERS
Heber Springs    42   64  38  41 - 185 (30.8 ppg)
Opponent          6   40  14  22 -  82 (13.7 ppg)

TEAM STATS  
First Downs by Rush: Heber Springs 25, Opponent 34
First Downs by Pass: Heber Springs 53, Opponent 12 
First Downs by Penalty: Heber Springs 2, Opponent 6 
Total First Downs: Heber Springs 80, Opponent 52 
Penalties: Heber Springs 26/215, Opponent 30/197 
3rd-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 17/41, Opponent 10/42
4th-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 12/20, Opponent 7/18 
Fumbles/Lost: Heber Springs 7/2, Opponent 9/6 
Sacks/Yards Lost: Heber Springs 6/62, Opponent 0/0 
Rush/Yards/Avg: Heber Springs 80/479/6, Opponent 144/532/3.7
Rushing Yards Per Game: Heber Springs 79.8, Opponent 88.7 
Passing (A/C-Yards-TD/Int): Heber Springs 91/154-1448-18/3, Opponent 31/72-467-6/6
Passing Yards Per Game: Heber Springs 241.3, Opponent 77.8 
Total Offense: Heber Springs 1927, Opponent 999
Total Offense Per Game: Heber Springs 321.2, Opponent 166.5  
Punts: Heber Springs 2/43/21.5, Opponent 11/374/34 

INDIVIDUAL STATS  
OFFENSE  
Rushing: Gideon Tate 26/137/1, Weston Warden 15/100/1, Dalton Yancey 6/61/1, Parker Brown 9/61/1, Liam Buffalo 9/56/1, Xander Lindley 3/36/1,  Hayden Johnson 5/25, Hud Haggard 1/9, Jacob Golden 1/5, Ladd Choate 2/5, Bryce Seigrist 1/(-6), Team 2/(-11). 
Passing: Liam Buffalo 88/150-1365-17/3, Zachary Parker 3/3-83-1/0, Parker Brown 0/1-0-0/0 
Receiving:  Dalton Yancey 21/385/5, Parker Brown 19/445/6, Xander Lindley 17/399/4, Hud Haggard 13/105/2, Weston Warden 11/103/1, Ty West 5/21, Chris Roberts 1/28, Gideon Tate 1/0
Kickoff Returns: Heber Springs, Hud Haggard 3/0, Corbin Jones 2/0, Xander Lindley 2/81/1, Parker Brown 2/40, Zachary Parker 1/0.  
Punt Returns: Xander Lindley 1/13
Interception Returns: Parker Brown 2/46/1, Liam Buffalo 2/0, Logan Rutledge 1/0, Dalton Yancey 1/0.
Total Offense: Liam Buffalo 1421, Gideon Tate 137, Weston Warden 100, Zachary Parker 83, Dalton Yancey 61, Parker Brown 61, Xander Lindley 36, Hayden Johnson 25, Hud Haggard 9, Jacob Golden 5, Ladd Choate 5, Bryce Seigrist (-6).
All-Purpose Yards: Parker Brown 592, Xander Lindley 529,  Dalton Yancey 446, Weston Warden 203, Gideon Tate 137, Hud Haggard 114, Liam Buffalo 56, Chris Roberts 28, Hayden Johnson 25, Ty West 21, Jacob Golden 5, Ladd Choate 5,  Bryce Seigrist (-6).
DEFENSE  
Sacks/Yards lost:  Parker Brown 4/41, Hud Haggard 1/11, Chris Roberts 1/10
Interceptions: Liam Buffalo 2, Parker Brown 2, Dalton Yancey 1, Logan Rutledge 1,  
Fumble Recoveries: Ladd Choate, Xander Lindley, Dalton Yancey, Axley Davis, Hayden Johnson, Team  
Punts: Liam Buffalo 2/43/21.5 
SCORING
Parker Brown 60, Xander Lindley 42, Dalton Yancey 38, Gideon Tate 25 (16/17 XP, 1/1 FG. MADE: 25), Weston Warden 12, Hud Haggard 12, Liam Buffalo 6

Heber Springs dominates second half, downs Bald Knob

Heber Springs’ Xander Lindley, Parker Brown and Dalton Yancey as the team gets ready to run on to the field Thursday at Bald Knob. The “paw boys” scored all four touchdowns in the Panthers 29-7 win. The trio also combined for 14 receptions for 222 yards. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

By PHILIP SEATON

BALD KNOB – Heber Springs overcame a sluggish start to improve to 5-1 on the season with a 29-8 victory over Bald Knob in junior high football action Thursday night.

The Panthers, 3-1 in 2-4A play, trailed 8-7 late in the first half before scoring 22 unanswered to pull away from the Bulldogs. Liam Buffalo, who was 19 of 27 passing for 288 yards and four touchdowns, hit Parker Brown over the middle for a 57-yard scoring strike with 35.4 seconds left in the half. Buffalo connected with Xander Lindley for the 2-point pass to give Heber Springs a 15-7 advantage at the break.

From that point on, the Panther defense took control.

Heber Springs’ Hud Haggard reacts after a first-down stop by the Panther defense in the second half.

Bald Knob finished the night with 192 yards of total offense on the night, with the majority of that came in the first half, but Heber Springs limited the Bulldogs to 22 yards in the second half and forced three Bald Knob turnovers over that span (fumble recoveries by Axley Davis and Hayden Johnson, and an interception by Dalton Yancey).

Yancey’s interception set up the first score of the second half for the Panthers. Taking over on their own 32, Heber Springs used an 11-play, 68-yard drive to go up 22-8 when Buffalo connected with Yancey for a 3-yard touchdown pass with 42.6 seconds left in the quarter. Gideon Tate, who was three-for-three on PAT kicks on the night, kicked the extra point to make it 22-8. Buffalo was nine of 10 passing on the drive using five different receivers (Tate, Hud Haggard, Brown, Lindley and Yancey – who also had a first-half fumble recovery).

Heber Springs Parker Brown forces a fumble. Maddox Reed (66) helps on the play.

Another turnover set up the next score for Heber Springs in the fourth quarter, Brown sacked Bald Knob quarterback James Holder forcing the fumble. Johnson picked up the ball but was tripped up after a seven-yard return to put the ball on the Bulldog 34.

Heber Springs showed a different look on the next drive with Brown lined up in the “Wildcat” formation. A 12- and 8-yard run by Brown moved the ball to the Bulldog 14. A backwards pass attempt to Buffalo was mishandled on third down forcing a fourth-and-14 from the Bald Knob. But on fourth down, Buffalo took the snap connected with Lindley for the 26-yard touchdown pass.

Heber Springs’ Weston Warden.

Lindley finished the night six receptions for 104 yards and two touchdowns, including a 13-yard reception with 2:02 left in the first quarter that put Heber Springs up 7-0.

Bald Knob’s score came with 1:26 left in the first half as Holder connected with Garrett Swindle for an 8-yard touchdown pass. Javen Smith ran in the 2-point conversion.

The Panthers finished with 300 yards of total offense on the night. Brown led Heber Springs with 127 all-purpose yards (79 receiving, 21 rushing and 27 returns).

Bald Knob’s Jameson Hillis led all rushers with 75 yards on 20 carries. But as a team, the Bulldogs finished the night with 67 yards on the ground on 28 attempts.

Heber Springs will host Southside Batesville on Thursday at Panther Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

A bloody-knee doesn’t stop Heber Springs’ Liam Buffalo as he gets ready to hand the ball off to teammate Gideon Tate. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Panther 7th-Graders claim win in final seconds

Heber Springs quarterback Liam Buffalo looks for running room as coaches Drew Lawrence and Jay Bishop look on during seventh-grade football action in Searcy. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

September 12, 2019

By PHILIP SEATON

SEARCY – Heber Springs scored a touchdown in the final minute to pull out an 18-14 victory over Harding Academy Thursday night in Searcy.

The Panthers improved to 2-0 with the win and will be off next week before returning to action on September 27 at Lonoke.

On Thursday, it was last-minute heroics that got the win for the Panthers.

Heber Springs Ty West running up field against Harding Academy on Thursday. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

After Harding went up 14-12 with 4:36 to play, Heber Springs marched the ball downfield mainly on the legs of quarterback Laim Buffalo, but the drive appeared to stall with the Panthers facing a fourth-and-5 from the Wildcat 17. Instead of going with the legs of Buffalo, it was his arm as he connected with Weston Warden who caught the short pass and did the rest racing 17 yards for the score with 53.7 seconds left. The two-point conversion failed.

The Panther defense held Harding Academy and Heber Springs came away with the win.

Heber Springs’ Axley Davis takes the hand-off from Panther quarterback Liam Buffalo Thursday night in Searcy. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Heber Springs struck first as Buffalo connected with Warden with a 77-yard touchdown pass to put the Panthers up 6-0 with 11:21 to play in the first half.

After Harding Academy tied things up at 6-all with 5:41, Heber Springs struck right before halftime as Buffalo found Bryce Seigrest on a 60-yard touchdown pass.

Turnovers plagued Heber Springs in the second half leading to Harding Academy to taking the lead. After a turnover and the ensuing drive reached inside the Panther 25, Heber Springs’ defense stiffened and stopped the Wildcats on fourth down. But another turnover gave Harding Academy the ball back which led to Wildcat score.

Panther Cubs open with win over Clinton

September 5, 2019

Heber Springs’ Harper Jones fights for extra yards against Clinton in seventh-grade football action on Thursday. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

By PHILIP SEATON

CLINTON – Axley Davis’ three-yard touchdown run with 2:03 provided the go-ahead spark as Heber Springs downed Clinton, 18-12, in seventh-grade football action Thursday night at Tumlison Field.

After Heber Springs failed to score on its first possession of the game, Clinton struck first as Liam Hudson connected with Peyton Sellers for a 35-yard touchdown pass with 10:33 to play in the first half. The two-point run failed.

The Panthers tied things up with 4:33 left in half as quarterback Liam Buffalo kept the ball and raced 69 yards for the game-tying score. The two-point run failed.

Heber Springs quarterback Liam Buffalo looks to get around the edge against Clinton in seventh-grade football action on Thursday in Clinton. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Clinton was moving the ball down the field late in the first half before Lawson Greenwald stepped in front of a Hudson pass and raced 69 yards to give the Panthers a 12-6 lead with eight seconds left. The two-point run failed.

Heber Springs’ Lawson Greenwald celebrates on the sidelines after returning an interception for a touchdown against Clinton on Thursday in seventh-grade action. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

The Yellowjackets knotted things up at 12-all with 14:02 to play in the game on a 30-yard run by Sellers. The two-point run failed.

Clinton still had time to tie the game, but Heber Springs’ Weston Warden’s interception ended the threat and sealed the win.

Heber Springs coach Hunter Davis celebrates after the Panthers recovered a fumble late in the first half in seventh-grade football action on Clinton. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Heber Springs will look improve to 2-0 on the season on Thursday in Searcy when the Panthers tangle with Harding Academy at 5:30 p.m. Clinton will be idle next week after Conway Christian canceled their scheduled contests. The Eagles are not fielding a seventh-grade or junior high teams this season after not having enough players.

Roster: Heber Springs 7th-Grade Football

September 5, 2019

The 2019 Heber Springs Seventh-Grade Football Roster:

  • Adrian Garcia
  • Axley Davis
  • Brady Woodam
  • Braidyn Ogle
  • Bryce Seigrest
  • Caleb Little
  • Carter Julian
  • Crimson Pettigrew
  • Damien Standridge
  • Daniel Townsend
  • Dayton Wall
  • Eli Presnull
  • Gauge Owens
  • Gavin Widner
  • Harper Jones
  • Jacob Golden
  • Jacob McMullin
  • Justin Newton
  • Kaiden Henderson
  • Landon Drew
  • Lawson Greenwald
  • Liam Buffalo
  • Logan Rutledge
  • Samuel Barton
  • Ty West
  • Weston Warden
  • Zachary Maples

Coaches:

  • Drew Lawrence
  • Jay Bishop
  • Hunter Davis