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 FIRST QUARTER HS - Liam Buffalo 17-yard run (Buffalo to Ty West pass), 48.3 SECOND QUARTER 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 THIRD QUARTER HA - Hall 19-yard run (pass failed), 6:50 HA - Cam Pryer 26-yard run (run failed), 4:24 FOURTH QUARTER HS - Buffalo to Carter Julian 12-yard pass (Buffalo to Julian pass), 1:23 TEAM STATISTICS FIRST 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 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS 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 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 – 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)