Junior Panthers stumble at Harding Academy

Heber Springs’ Weston Warden fights for yards Thursday against Harding Academy. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

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)

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

Heber Springs tops Southside in 7th-grade action

Heber Springs’ Eli Buffalo runs past Southside Batesville’s Devan Hightower on his way for a 70-yard touchdown in the second half. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

By PHILIP SEATON

The Heber Springs Panther Cub 7th-Grade football team improved to 5-2 on the season with a 34-14 victory over Southside Batesville Thursday night at Panther Stadium.

Heber Springs started the scoring earlier as Emmett Dwyer connected with Jacob Haskett for a 34-yard scoring strike to go up 6-0 with 14:30 left in the first half. The big play on the drive came on a 26-yard run by Haskett.

A 2-yard touchdown run by Southside Batesville’s Lane Johnson tied things up at 6-6 with 3:03 left in the first half. The 2-point conversion failed for the Southerners.

Heber Springs wasted little time recapturing the lead as Haskett connected with Cooper Holmes on a 40-yard to scoring play that put Heber Springs up 12-6 with 1:43 left in the half. The 2-point conversion failed for the Panthers. A 30-yard run by Haskett had set up the scoring play.

Heber Springs’ Jake Barnett brings down Southside Batesville’s Brady Wood in the second half on Thursday at Panther Stadium. Also picture, Southside Batesville’s Jaymas Mullins (71). PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Heber Springs wasn’t finished in the first half as Eli Buffalo intercepted a Brady Wood pass attempt at midfield. On the first play of the drive, Dwyer connected with Buffalo on a short screen pass that Buffalo turned into a 51-yard touchdown to put the Panthers up 18-6 with 34.5 seconds left in the half. Dwyer connected with Lucas Garcia for the 2-point conversion to make it 20-6 at the break.

The Panthers would go up 28-6 on their first possession of the second half having two touchdowns called back by penalties before make the third time count on a 16-yard touchdown run by Buffalo with 15:04 left in the contest.

Dwyer connected with Buffalo for a 25-yard pass to move the ball to the Southside 45. Garcia raced 45 yards for the score only have to holding penalty erase that touchdown. On the next play, Buffalo’s 20-yard touchdown run was called back after another holding penalty. After the successful score by Buffalo, Dwyer connected with Beau Bramlett for the 2-point conversion to put the Panther advantage at 28-6.

Southside Batesville would make it 28-14 after Wood would score on a 2-yard run. Brennen Matthews hit Kaden Williams for the 2-point conversion to make it 28-14 with 3:31 to play.

Heber Springs would add a final score with 1:26 left as Buffalo would score on a 70-yard run to make it 34-14.

The Panther Cubs will close out their season on Thursday when they host Clinton at Panther Stadium.

Heber Springs 7th-Graders top Bald Knob

Heber Springs’ Gavin Widner fights off the tackle attempt of Bald Knob’s Devin Quinn in seventh-grade football action Thursday night in Bald Knob. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

By PHILIP SEATON

BALD KNOB – The Heber Springs Panther Cubs improved to 4-2 on the season with a 28-14 victory over Bald Knob Thursday night.

Heber Springs struck first as Jacob Haskett scored on an 11-yard run with 14:42 left in the first half. The 2-point pass failed as the Panther Cubs led 6-0.

Heber Springs quarterback Emmett Dwyer.

Heber Springs would scored again to go up 14-0 with 3:55 left in the first half as Emmett Dwyer connected with Haskett for a short-pass completion with Haskett doing the rest racing past several Bulldog defenders for a 91-yard touchdown. Dwyer connected with Eli Buffalo for the 2-point conversion.

Bald Knob pulled to within a score early in the second half as Bulldog quarterback Dakota Shoebottom broke a pair of tackles and rambled 69 yards for a touchdown with 18:51 left in the half. The 2-point pass failed.

Heber Springs would go up 22-6 with 12:50 left as Dwyer found Cooper Holmes for a 60-yard touchdown pass. Dwyer would run in the 2-point conversion.

Heber Springs’ Jacob Haskett

Dyce Young recovered a Bald Knob fumble on the Bulldogs next possession, but the Panthers turned the ball over ending that scoring threat.

Heber Springs added another score on a 5-yard touchdown run by Eli Buffalo with 3:59 left. The 2-point conversion failed.

Bald Knob added a late score to settle the final score as Shoebottom scrambled for a 58-yard touchdown run with 1:18 left. Shoebottom connected with Kaden Posey for the 2-point conversion.

Heber Springs returns to action on Thursday when it hosts Southside Batesville.

Heber Springs’ Seth Dudeck looks to get past Bald Knob’s Kaden Posey. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO
Heber Springs’ Eli Buffalo (5) and Lowell Smith (78). PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Heber Springs’ 7th-Graders move to 2-1

Heber Springs’ Jacob Haskett looks for running room as Lonoke’s Colton Trickey (21) gives chase during the Panthers 14-6 win on Thursday at Panther Stadium. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

By PHILIP SEATON

The Heber Springs seventh-grade football team improved to 2-1 on the season with a 14-6 victory over Lonoke Thursday night at Panther Stadium.

With a late start, the two teams played only one half of football.

Heber Springs’ Grady Turley. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Heber Springs struck first as Gavin Widner scored on a 20-yard run with 15:08 to play to make it 6-0 in favor of the Panther Cubs. Emmett Dwyer connected with Cooper Holmes for the 2-point conversion.

After a Maddox Shumate interception gave the Panther Cubs the ball at the Lonoke 29, Eli Buffalo – playing in his first game of the season – rushed 18 yards to the Lonoke 11 before Jacob Haskett carried it over from there to make it 14-0 with 37 seconds left.

Lonoke added a score the buzzer as J.T. Stuart connected with Cameron Hooten for a 16-yard touchdown pass.

Heber Springs will be on the road Thursday when the Panther Cubs travel to Stuttgart.

Heber Springs’ Eli Buffalo looks upfield just out of reach of Lonoke’s Khalon Calhoun (14). PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Panther 7th-Graders fall in opener

Heber Springs’ Dyce Young (56) breaks off a long run against Harding Academy Thursday night in seventh-grade football action. Heber Springs’ Grady Turley (24) and Emmett Dwyer (34) and Harding Academy’s Catcher Smith (2) and Cam Pryor (19) also pictured. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

By PHILIP SEATON

The Heber Springs Panthers dropped a 22-14 decision to Harding Academy on Thursday in the season opener for the seventh-grade squad at Panther Stadium.

Heber Springs (0-1) led 14-6 after Seth Dudeck returned a Wildcat fumble 26 yards for touchdown with 12:42 to play in the contest, but Harding Academy scored 16 straight to pull out the win.

The Panthers struck first as Jacob Haskett scored on a 10-yard run with 11:29 to play in the first half. Dyce Young plunged over for the 2-point conversion and Heber Springs led 8-0.

Harding Academy answered at the 6:53 mark of the first stanza with a 53-yard run by quarterback Cam Pryor to make it 8-6, after the Panthers stopped the 2-point conversion.

Heber Springs’ Jacob Haskett attempts to avoid the tackle of Harding Academy’s Cam Pryor in seventh-grade football action Thursday night at Panther Stadium. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Heber Springs moved the ball deep into Wildcat territory late in the first half as a 22-yard run by Young and a 41-yard pass play as Emmett Dwyer connected with Cooper Holmes, but the drive ended when Harding Academy’s Jack Roberts intercepted the Panthers pass attempt at the Wildcat 8 with 37 seconds left in the half.

Heber Springs’ first drive of the second half also got deep into Wildcat territory after a 28-yard run by Haskett and an 18-yard reception by Holmes, but another interception stopped the drive. A couple plays later, Dudeck picked up the loose Wildcat football and rushed in for what would be the Panthers final score.

Harding Academy would tie the game with 8:01 left to play on an 83-yard run by Roberts and the 2-point run by Pryor. 

The Wildcats would score the go-ahead touchdown with 1:55 to play on a 36-yard run by Pryor. Roberts added the 2-point run to set the final score. 

Heber Springs will return to action on Thursday when they travel to Dover.

Heber Springs’ Emmett Dwyer looks upfield against Harding Academy Thursday night at Panther Stadium. Heber Springs’ Gavin Widner (6) and Harding Academy’s Josiah Swindle (70), also pictured. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO