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 cross country team heads to state meet

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

Heber Springs High School runners hope for better performances and compete for medals at the Class 4A state cross country championship at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs Friday.

The Lady Panthers, who were the 4-4A Conference runner-up, will start at 9 a.m. The Panthers, who were fourth at the conference meet, will go to the starting line at 9:45 a.m.

Three Lady Panthers, ranked sixth by Arkansas mile split, finished among the top 10 last week’s conference meet in Clarksville. Sydney Buffalo claimed fifth place with a time of 22:53.0. Maygan Jarvis (23:27.90) captured sixth place and Vallie Cantrell (23:30.20) was seventh. Riley Bailey (24:03.50) finished 11th, followed by Samantha Gilley (24:33.10) in 12th place and Allison Wildman (25:05.10) in 13th place.

“Sixth of the 10 girls had personal best performances,” Heber Springs head coach Dale Cresswell said. “Clarksville had a very good team. Times don’t really matter at the state meet, it’s runners’ places on that day.”

Sophomore Nathan Poff finished ninth for the Panthers with a time of 19:11.0. Mason Harris (13th place, 20:12.50), Gabe Tate (15th place, 20:22.60) and Landon Leisenring (19th place, 20:43) were among the top 20.

“Six runners had personal bests at the conference meet,” Cresswell said. “Nathan broke his toe early in the season and recently returned. His times now are faster than last year when he competed as a freshman.”

Cresswell said he was impressed with his younger runners. Seventh grader Sarina Mays (14:45.60) finished fourth for the junior high girls. Eighth-grader Jocelyn Baureis (15:07.40) claimed eighth place and eighth-grader Marisa Kelley (15:08.30) was ninth.

Eighth-grader Wade Harris (12:32.90) led the junior high school boys by finishing third, followed by freshman Noah Cordes (13:04.60), who was seventh. Freshman Logan Cox (13:14.90) finished ninth.

Both teams were runner-up in their respective divisions.

“The junior girls ran well all year,” Cresswell said. “Our No. 1 runner was a seventh-grader and our No. 2 runner was an eighth-grader. The junior high boys also ran well and unfortunately got caught by Pottsville at the end of the race.”

HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS
Heber Springs results — 5. Sydney Buffalo, 22:53.00; 6. Maygan Jarvis, 23:27.90; 7. Vallie Cantrell, 23:30.20; 11. Riley Bailey, 24:03.50; 12. Samantha Gilley, 24:33.10; 13. Allison Wildman, 25:05.10; 20. Ava Noble, 27:27.30; 21. Ellie Riddle, 27:31.00; 25. Lily Hendrix, 28:49.80.
Team totals — 1. Clarksville 21; 2. Heber Springs 36; 3. Ozark 67.

HIGH SCHOOL BOYS
Heber Springs results — 8. Nathan Poff, 19:11.0; 13. Mason Harris, 20:12.50; 15. Gabe Tate, 20:22.60; 19. Landon Leisenring, 20:43.20; 24. Reagan Buell, 20:55.10; 25. Colt Allen, 20:57.80; 32. Noah Cordes, 21:58.60; 34. Morgan Salsman, 22:10.80; 35. Judson Ogle, 22:19.50; 38. Aaron Combs, 23.34.80; 43. Evan Burgess, 24:43.70.
Team totals — 1. Dardanelle, 42; 2. Subiaco Academy, 46; 3. Clarksville, 59; 4. Heber Springs, 73; 5 Pottsville, 83.

JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS
Heber Springs results — 4. Sarina Mays, 14:45.60; 8. Jocelyn Baureis, 15:07.40; 9. Marisa Kelley, 15:08.30; 11. Annalyse Wilson, 15:12.40; 14. Joy Bray, 15:27.90; 17. Taylor Westenhover, 16:23.30; 20. Kaitlyn Pierce, 16:23.50; 21. Lynnlee Presley, 16:34.80; 22. Rylee Birmingham, 16:43.70; 24.  Ella Harper, 17:05.90; 36. Allie Rouse, 18:28.00; 37. Eva Jones, 18:29.30.
Team totals — 1. Pottsville, 28; 2. Heber Springs, 46; 3. Clarksville, 83; 4. Dardanelle, 86.

JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL BOYS
Heber Springs results — 3. Wade Harris, 12:32.90;0;  7. Noah Cordes, 13:04.60; 9. Logan Cox, 13:14.90; 13. J.P. Bonkoski, 13:46.60; 14. Eli Buffalo 13:48.40; 15. Judson Ogle, 13:50.90; 16. Thomas Spears, 13:54.90; 17. Hunter Warren, 13:58.00; 21. Eli Bailey, 14:35.10; 40. Cameron Johnson, 17:21.10.
Team totals — 1 Pottsville, 36; 2. Heber Springs, 42; 3. Subiaco Academy, 77; 4. Clarksville, 78.

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 fall to CAC

Heber Springs’ Lucas Garcia carries the football against Central Arkansas Christian Thursday night at Panther Stadium. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Kevin Williams rushed for a two touchdowns in leading Central Arkansas Christian to a 22-0 victory over Heber Springs in seventh-grade football action Thursday night at Panther Stadium.

Williams, the son of NFL Hall of Fame nominee Kevin Williams, put CAC up 6-0 with 15:32 left in the first half on a 12-yard touchdown run.

Williams’ second touchdown run of 11-yards made it 12-0 with 5:50 left in the half. Jacob Henry added the 2-point run to put the Mustangs up 14-0.

Henry would score on a 36-yard run with 53 seconds left in the first half while Williams would run in the 2-point conversion as CAC led 22-0 at the break.

Neither team would score in the second half.

With the loss, the Panther Cubs fall to 3-2 on the season and will look to rebound next week on the road at Bald Knob.

Heber Springs’ Eli Buffalo. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Heber Springs 7th-grade team downs Stuttgart

Heber Springs’ Eli Buffalo runs for a big gain against Stuttgart Thursday night in Stuttgart. Pursuing Buffalo is Suttgart’s Quaterion Johnson. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

By PHILIP SEATON

STUTTGART – The Heber Springs 7th-Grade Panthers improved to 3-1 on the season with an 8-0 win over Stuttgart on Thursday.

The Panther Cubs got all of the points they would need on their first possession of the game. After forcing Stuttgart to a three-and-out on defense, Heber Springs took over possession in their own territory before Eli Buffalo broke off a 30-yard run to put the ball at the Stuttgart 25. Two plays later, Emmett Dwyer connected with Lucas Garcia for a 25-yard touchdown pass to make it 6-0 with 16:37 left in the first half. Dwyer connected with Buffalo for the 2-point conversion.

Heber Springs’ threatened to score again in the second half after Seth Dudeck picked off a Stuttgart pass attempt near midfield, but the Panther Cubs were unable to score.

Heber Springs’ returns to action on Thursday when they host Central Arkansas Christian at Panther Stadium. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m.

Heber Springs’ Lucas Garcia springs past Stuttgart’s Quaterion Johnson for a 25-yard touchdown reception in the first half of the Panther Cubs, 8-0, win on Thursday. 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