Panther Game Day: Harding Academy comes to town

Heber Springs’ Austin Winchester fights for yardage in a preseason scrimmage last month at Beebe. The Panthers open their 2021 campaign tonight at home against Harding Academy. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

Heber Springs will begin its 100th season of football against one of its oldest rivals.

The Panthers will host two-time defending Class 3A champion Harding Academy at 7 p.m. Friday in the delayed season opener at Panther Stadium.
Newport canceled last week’s scheduled opening game to Heber Springs because of Covid-19 reasons. Nonconference games not played for Covid reasons are counted as non-contests, while conference games will be counted as forfeit wins or losses.

HARDING ACADEMY (1-1) AT HEBER SPRINGS (0-0)
PANTHER STADIUM
KICKOFF: 7 p.m.
LAST WEEK: Heber Springs was off; Harding Academy lost at Valley View 31-30
LAST MEETING: 2019 at Harding Academy, a 45-6 win by the Wildcats
SERIES: Harding Academy leads 36-14

NOTES: With Newport canceling the opener last week, tonight's opener will be the latest first game for Heber Springs since Sept. 11, 1959, when the Panthers beat Clinton, 25-0 ... Heber Springs has not won a season-opener since 2015 (a 35-20 win at Clinton). The Panthers last home-opening win came in 2014 with a 29-16 win over Clinton ... Heber Springs is 0-4 all-time in season-openers against Harding Academy ... Besides being the 100th season of Panther football, the opener tonight begins the 60th year of Panther Stadium. The Stadium opened on Sept. 1, 1962, when the Panthers dropped a 7-6 decision to McCrory ... Heber Springs is 3-16 all-time at Panther Stadium against Harding Academy ... The teams first met in 1951, the first season that Harding Academy had football, as conference foes. The two teams were part of the 2B conference. The two teams would be part of the 2B conference for 17 seasons with the Wildcats winning 11 of the 17 games ... Harding Academy is a 3A school but with a new rule passed by the Arkansas Activities Association this summer based on performance of private schools using a points system, the Wildcats have already accrued enough points that they will be moving up to class 4A next season. Those private schools that move up will be added as the ninth team to any conference they are assigned to. All indications are that the Panthers and Wildcats will be conference foes next season. The AAA will release next season's conference assignments after the completion of this season. 

“It was disappointing when we learned that Newport would be unable to play us, but the players quickly turned their attention to Harding Academy,” Panther coach Todd Wood said. “The extra time gave us an opportunity to let players gain experience at playing different positions, which will help us when starting conference play.”

The Wildcats (1-1) are coming off a 31-30 loss at Class 5A Valley View in Jonesboro.

Harding Academy had major graduation losses on offense, but the Wildcats have been productive through two games.

Junior quarterback Kade Smith, who started at safety during most of last season, leads the offense. Smith has completed 32-of-42 passes for 477 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions.

Andrew Miller is the leading rusher for the Wildcats with 23 carries for 96 yards and three touchdowns. Jackson Fox is Smith’s favorite receiver with 11 catches for 241 yards and one touchdown.

“Harding reloads, not rebuilds,” Wood said. “The new guys have not miss a beat. They still play with a lot of discipline and also are very aggressive. Harding will have an advantage with two games under its belt.”

Linebacker Levi Mercer and end Eli Wallis lead the Harding Academy defense with 11 tackles each. The Wildcats, who have allowed 39 points in two games, return nine of 11 starters.

“We know most of Harding’s experience returns was on defense,” Wood said. “But offensively, they have not missed a beat.”

Wood feels more comfortable about his team with an offseason of weight room work, spring practice and summer workouts.

“We are farther ahead than at this time last year,” Wood said. “We understand our roles, plays and assignments better.”

The Panthers will start an all-sophomore backfield with quarterback Xander Lindley and running back Parker Brown. Lindley was a starting receiver for last season’s successful junior high school team, though he did play some at quarterback as an eighth-grader, and Brown started at running back. Gideon Tate, another sophomore, and senior Jackson West also will see action in the backfield.

Two starters return on the offensive line — left guard Peyton Owens and left tackle Thad Bray. Tristan Thissen will start at right guard and Corbin Jones at right tackle. Sophomore Joenah Cordell was named the starting center in the place of Zach Thomas, who is sidelined because of illness for at least two more weeks.

Gus Hannah and Easton Cusick lead an experience receiving corp. Dalton Yancey, another sophomore, Austin Winchester and Chris Edwards will be among other players to watch in the passing game.

“Lindley developed with a strong arm during the summer,” Wood said. “He continues to learn how the offense works. We needed a quarterback with mobility and who can make plays downfield when the pocket breaks down. Bray and Owens are solid players on the line. The players have worked hard and ready for the season to start.”

On defense, Lucas Langster and Jones will start at the ends with Blaze Emerson at nose guard. Chris Benton, who was expected to start on the defensive line, is sidelined indefinitely with a hand injury.

Kenan Sneed, the leading tackler for the Panthers last season, leads the linebacking corps. Thissen will start at the other inside linebacker. Chris Roberts, Hayden Johnson, Hayden Davis and Tate will split time at the two outside linebackers.

Edwards will start at cornerback with Zane Lozeau and Zack Parker splitting time at the other cornerback. Gage Buford and Colton Turley are the starters at the safeties.

“Sneed is the leader of the defense,” Wood said. “Hayden Johnson will start at outside linebacker. He’s small but makes up for it with his speed and aggressive player. Langster returns on the defensive line. I expect Cordell and Emerson to contribute. Owens and Bray also will play on the defensive line. Thissen will play at inside linebacker.”

Wood said the team is ready, and he expects a good performance.

“We need to  get the season going and learn our weaknesses,” he said. “It will help in preparing for the conference season. One of our downfalls last year was quick turnovers. We must execute and move the ball to stay in games.”

Panthers continue to work toward opener

IMG_7969_(2)

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY


Heber Springs coach Todd Wood and his staff hopes to learn answers after the Panthers tangle in a benefit football scrimmage at Beebe on Tuesday.
Action will start at 6 p.m. with the teams participating in sets of plays on offense and defense. The scrimmage will conclude with the two teams playing for two quarters.

Wood, who was 2-9 in his first year as head coach, and the staff is optimistic that the team will enjoy success during the 2021 season.

“One of the big changes has been a spring camp and summer workouts going into fall practice,” Wood said when asked about the team’s progress. “We are more advanced at this point than last year. .”

Wood said the addition of one coach to the staff helps to spread teaching responsibility among coaches with players at all positions. Ryan Bridges, who previously coached at White Hall, is working primarily with the defensive line. He also is the school’s new baseball coach.

One of the big questions on offense going into the season is determining a starting quarterback. Wood said senior John McBroome, who started two games last season, and sophomore Xander Lindley have emerged as the top two candidates. Wood hopes for a starter to emerge from the scrimmage.

“John has a little more experience with the offense,” Wood said. “Xander was a receiver on last year’s successful junior high team, but he has prior quarterbacking experience. Xander has a good arm and a lot of speed. We plan to give them equal reps at Tuesday’s scrimmage. We also will take at look at Wyatt Winchester.”

Jackson West and sophomore Parker Brown are battling for the starting role at running back. West and Brown also are in the plans at receiver.

“Jackson is slightly ahead at running back,” Wood said. “We also plan to look at Gideon Tate at running back.”

The receiving corps may be the most experience group of players. With a year in the system, Wood believes they will have a bigger impact this season

“Gus Hannah is one of our fastest players on the team and runs excellent routes,” Wood said. “Easton Cusick gained speed and size during the offseason. Dalton Yancey played well for the junior high team last year. Austin Winchester can play a role and will get playing time. Chris Edwards may play at receiver and also start at cornerback. We need to figure out how to use all of the players.”

Three starters return on the offensive line — center Zach Thomas, left guard Peyton Owens and left tackle Thad Bray. Tristan Thissen is the leading candidate at right guard and Corbin Jones at right tackle.

Wood said Lucas Langster, who will start at defensive end, is the backup behind Owens. Blaze Emerson is the likely backup at right guard.

“Thad is our anchor on the line,” Wood said. “Zach can make the calls for the line. We are thin in numbers on the line, but we have players to fill all positions.”

Wood expects the defense will be improved and trying to limit the number of players playing both ways.

“We are looking for effort from the defense,” said Wood when asked about objectives of Tuesday’s scrimmage. “We want to play more physical than last year and tackle well.”

Langster and Jones will play the ends on defense with Emerson at nose guard. Owens and Joenah Cordell will provide depth.

Kenan Sneed, the leading tackler for the Panthers last season, leads the linebacking corps. Thissen is the likely starter at the other inside linebacker with Thomas also expected to play. Chris Roberts, Hayden Johnson, Hayden Davis and Tate rotating at the outside linebackers.

Except for Edwards, the secondary lacks varsity experience, but Wood is confident of the players to play well.

Zane Lozeau, a transfer from Dover, and Zack Parker are battling for the starting job at the cornerback opposite Edwards. Chandler Webber will also play at cornerback. Gage Buford and Colton Turley are the likely starters at the safeties.

“Edwards is one of the strongest players on the team,” Wood said. “We have the players and just need to put them in the right spots.”

After Tuesday’s scrimmage, the Panthers will have a three-week wait until the season opener at Newport on Sept. 3.

“The best thing about the time from the scrimmage to the season opener is the team can make the necessary adjustments,” Wood said. “We will not show everything against Beebe during the scrimmage.”

IMG_7786_(2)

Panthers wrap up spring practice, head into summer

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

What a difference one year makes for head coach Todd Wood and the Heber Springs Panther football team.

After surviving the trials of COVID-19 and a 2-9 record during the 2020 season, Wood and the Panthers completed their first spring practice and head into the 2021 season with high hopes.

“We worked out three times a week, and Tuesdays and Thursdays were learning days,” Wood said. “The players remembered what they learned last year, and we tried to build on that. We fine-tuned what we learned. One of our goals was to put players in the right position on offense and defense going into fall practice.”

Wood said the year of experience helped he and his staff to learn more about players’ skill level.

“I made the defensive calls during previous years and needed time to learn in calling the plays for the offense,” he said. “I’m not where I want to be, but farther ahead for next season. The best part is is we have a better idea where each player should be on offense and defense.”

One of the team’s questions going into next season will be developing a new starting quarterback. Matthew Cook, who has graduated, moved into that role beginning with the third game last season.

Sophomore Xander Lindley, junior Wyatt Winchester and senior John McBroome took most of the snaps during spring drills.

“McBroom (who started the first two games last season) is back,” Wood said. “He has been working on improving his footwork and increased his speed, so he can escape out of the pocket and throw on the run. We are working with him to read defenses and where to throw the ball.”

Winchester worked at quarterback last year, but he had limited game action.

“He (Winchester) has the strongest arm of the three players,” Wood said. “He needs to work on his footwork and being more of a mobile quarterback, plus read defenses better.”

Lindley, who was on last year’s junior high school team, has limited experience.

“He has a good arm, very mobile, reads defenses well and throws to the right receiver,” Wood said. “He will get a strong look because of his mobility. We hope to have a starter in place by our preseason scrimmage (at Beebe on Aug. 17).”

Jackson West is the leading candidate to start at running back.

“He was the backup last year,” Wood said. “We like him at receiver with his height and good hands. Parker Brown also has good hands, along with a lot of speed (4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash). Parker also is a possibility at running back, along with Gideon Tate.”

The Panthers also have experience back at receiver with Gus Hannah, Easton Cusick and West. Brown, Austin Winchester and Dalton Yancey also are candidates.

“Gus will be one of our quicker receivers and a primary target,” Wood said. “Easton has worked hard during the offseason to build his body up and increase his speed. Gus and Easton will be our mainstays. Austin had a good spring and is a big target for the underneath passes. I feel good about our receivers.”

Chris Edwards, a projected starter at cornerback, could see action at receiver.

Three starters return on the offensive line — tackle Thad Bray, center Zach Thomas and guard Peyton Owens. Tripp Young is a projected starter at the other guard with the other tackle spot  undetermined.

“We were able to get into the weight room and steadily increased our maximum lifts during the spring,” Wood said. “The players gained weight, and we should be OK on the line.”

Wood said Lucas Langster, who is projected as a starter on the defensive line, and Corbin Jones could play on the offensive line.

Wood liked the defense’s progress and hopes few players will have to go both ways.

“I’m happy with the defense, particularly in the secondary,” he said. “We will have two new linebackers. We will do more fine-tuning going into fall practice.”

Wood said the goal is to have as few players as possible playing on offense and defense fulltime.

“We may go with players who you didn’t see on the field much last year,” he said. “Chris Benton is a big boy and give us more size at nose guard.

Blaze Emerson and Jones also will play with Langster at defensive end. We plan also to rotate guys like Bray, Owens and Young to help with depth.”

Kenan Sneed, last year’s leading tackler, returns at linebacker. Thomas is expected to play at inside linebacker. Hayden Johnson, Hayden Davis, Dakota Farmer, Tate and West are candidates at outside linebacker.

Edwards is the projected starter at one cornerback with the starter undetermined at the other cornerback spot. Gage Buford and Colton Turley are the expected starters at the safeties.

“I liked what I’ve seen in the secondary,” Wood said.

Heber Springs will compete at the Greenbrier 7-on-7 tournament on June 10. The Panthers will be participating in a 7-on-7 event at Carlisle and possibly one more tournament, plus two team camps.

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

Heber Springs Junior High Season Stats (after 3 games)

SCORING BY QUARTERS
Heber Springs    28   42  10  13 - 93 (31 ppg)
Opponent          0   12   0   8 - 20 (6.7 ppg)

TEAM STATS  
First Downs by Rush: Heber Springs 15, Opponent 10
First Downs by Pass: Heber Springs 29, Opponent 1 
First Downs by Penalty: Heber Springs 0, Opponent 4 
Total First Downs: Heber Springs 44, Opponent 15 
Penalties: Heber Springs 18/154, Opponent 12/73 
3rd-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 7/20, Opponent 3/19 
4th-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 7/10, Opponent 2/4 
Fumbles/Lost: Heber Springs 6/1, Opponent 4/3 
Sacks/Yards Lost: Heber Springs 4/36, Opponent 0/0 
Total Offense: Heber Springs 1070, Opponent 225
Total Offense Per Game: Heber Springs 356.7, Opponent 75 
Rush/Yards/Avg: Heber Springs 51/308/6, Opponent 51/117/2.3
Rushing Yards Per Game: Heber Springs 102.7, Opponent 39 
Passing (A/C-Yards-TD/Int): Heber Springs 44/71-762-7/0, Opponent 14/35-108-1/5
Passing Yards Per Game: Heber Springs 254, Opponent 36 
Punts: Heber Springs 2/43/21.5, Opponent 9/340/37.8 

INDIVIDUAL STATS  
OFFENSE  
Rushing: Gideon Tate 17/79, Weston Warden 8/70/1, Dalton Yancey 3/44/1, Parker Brown 5/40/1, Xander Lindley 2/34/1, Hayden Johnson 5/25, Liam Buffalo 4/10/1, Hud Haggard 1/9, Jacob Golden 1/5, Ladd Choate 2/5, Bryce Seigrist 1/(-6), Team 2/(-11). 
Passing: Liam Buffalo 42/69-691-6/0, Zachary Parker 2/2-71-1/0. 
Receiving:  Dalton Yancey 10/195/2, Xander Lindley 7/160/2, Weston Warden 6/45, Hud Haggard 6/65/1 Parker Brown 6/188/2, Ty West 2/3, Chris Roberts 1/28.
Kickoff Returns: Heber Springs, Hud Haggard 2/0, Corbin Jones 1/0, Xander Lindley 1/0.  
Punt Returns: Xander Lindley 1/13
Interception Returns: Parker Brown 2/46/1, Liam Buffalo 2/0, Logan Rutledge 1/0.
Total Offense: Liam Buffalo 701, Gideon Tate 79, Zachary Parker 71, Weston Warden 70, Dalton Yancey 44, Parker Brown 40, Xander Lindley 34, Hayden Johnson 25, Hud Haggard 9, Jacob Golden 5, Ladd Choate 5, Bryce Seigrist (-6).
All-Purpose Yards: Parker Brown 274, Dalton Yancey 239, Xander Lindley 207, Weston Warden 114, Gideon Tate 79, Hud Haggard 74, Chris Roberts 28, Hayden Johnson 25, Liam Buffalo 10, Jacob Golden 5, Ladd Choate 5, Ty West 3, Bryce Seigrist (-6).
DEFENSE  
Sacks/Yards lost:  Parker Brown 2/15, Hud Haggard 1/11, Chris Roberts 1/10
Interceptions: Liam Buffalo 2, Parker Brown 2, Logan Rutledge 1,  
Fumble Recoveries: Ladd Choate, Xander Lindley, Team  
Punts: Liam Buffalo 2/43/21.5 
SCORING
Parker Brown 36, Xander Lindley 22, Dalton Yancey 20, Gideon Tate 7 (4/5 XP, 1/1 FG. MADE: 25), Liam Buffalo 6, Weston Warden 6, Hud Haggard 6

Junior Panthers improve to 3-0 on season

Heber Springs’ Xander Lindley runs through a tackle attempt by a pair of Lonoke defenders on his way to a 37-yard touchdown Thursday at Panther Stadium. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

By PHILIP SEATON

With Lonoke starting quarterback Bradon Allen moved up to the senior high team, the Heber Springs Junior Panthers took full advantage of his absence scoring 33 first-half points en route to a 40-6 victory over Lonoke Thursday night at Panther Stadium.

Heber Springs improved to 3-0 on the season, but more importantly opened 2-4A conference play with a victory.

“We had a great game,” Heber Springs coach James Ortiz said. “We were prepared. We watched a lot of film during the week. Our guys were focused. We were ready to win and that’s all there is to it.”

In Allen’s absence, the Panthers were able to limit Lonoke to 21 yards of total offense, including 1 of 4 passing for one yard.

Freshman Xander Lindley had a big night scoring three times and finishing with 166 all-purpose yards for Heber Springs.

Heber Springs’ Corbin Jones.

After Liam Buffalo opened the scoring for the Panthers with a 6-yard run to make it 6-0 with 5:12 left in the first quarter, Lindley would score the next three times Heber Springs had possession – a 27-yard run with 3.2 seconds left in the first, a 23-yard reception with 6:53 in the second and a 37-yard reception with 2:51 left in the half – as the Panthers built a 26-0 lead.

Lindley also had a hand in Heber Springs’ next score after he recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff to give the Panthers the ball on the Lonoke 40. Three plays later, Weston Warden raced 31 yards to make it 33-0 (after the Gideon Tate PAT kick) with 2:07 left in the half.

Lonoke managed to get on the board late in the half on a seven-play, 61-yard drive that Tripp Sullivan capped off with a 1-yard run with no time left on the clock. Lonoke picked up it’s only first downs of the night on the drive with two those coming on runs and three coming on Panther penalties.

Heber Springs got on the board again on its first possession of the second half as Zachary Parker connected with Dalton Yancey on a 52-yard scoring pass to make it 40-6. Tate added the PAT.

Buffalo was effective on the night for the Panthers completing 11 of 15 pass attempts for 170 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Lindley caught five of the Buffalo offerings for 139 yards while Yancey added four receptions for 74 yards.

Warden paced Heber Springs on the ground with 56 yards while Tate rushed for 42 yards as the Panthers finished with 369 yards of total offense.

Heber Springs will travel to Stuttgart for a 7 p.m. contest on Thursday with the Ricebirds.

Heber Springs’ Gideon Tate runs with the ball in the second half. Also pictured, for Lonoke, Jackson Miller (26)

STATS

Lonoke            0   6   0   0 -  6 
Heber Springs    12  21   7   0 - 40 
FIRST QUARTER 
Heber Springs, Liam Buffalo 6-yard run (Pass failed), 5:12
Heber Springs, Xander Lindley 27-yard run (Pass failed), 3.2 
SECOND QUARTER 
Heber Springs, Buffalo to Lindley 23-yard pass (Buffalo to Lindley pass), 6:53
Heber Springs, Buffalo to Lindley 37-yard pass (Pass failed), 2:51
Heber Springs, Weston Warden 31-yard run (Gideon Tate kick), 2:07
Lonoke, Tripp Sullivan 4-yard run (Pass failed), :00
FOURTH QUARTER 
Heber Springs, Zachary Parker to Dalton Yancey 52-yard pass (Tate kick), 5:08 

TEAM STATS 
First Downs by Rush: Heber Springs 6, Lonoke 2
First Downs by Pass: Heber Springs 9, Lonoke 0 
First Downs by Penalty: Heber Springs 0, Lonoke 3
Total First Downs: Heber Springs 15, Lonoke 5
Penalties: Heber Springs 7/53, Lonoke 4/20
3rd-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 2/6, Lonoke 1/5
4th-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 3/4, Lonoke 0/0 
Fumbles/Lost: Heber Springs 2/0, Lonoke 2/2
Sacks/Yards Lost: Heber Springs 2/17, Lonoke 0/0
Total Offense: Heber Springs 369, Lonoke 21 
Rush/Yards/Avg: Heber Springs 22/147/6.7, Lonoke 16/20/1.3
Passing (A/C-Yards-TD/Int): Heber Springs 12/16-222-3/0, Lonoke 1/4-1-0/1
Punts: Heber Springs 0/0, Lonoke 4/145/36.3

INDIVIDUAL STATS 
OFFENSE 
Rushing: Heber Springs, Weston Warden 4/56, Gideon Tate 10/42, Xander Lindley 1/27, Parker Brown 1/8, Liam Buffalo 1/6, Jacob Golden 1/5, Ladd Choate 2/5, Hayden Johnson 1/4, Bryce Seigrist 1/(-6). Lonoke, Kemarcus Jones 1/18, Zhorion Gipson 6/14, Tripp Sullivan 9/(-12).
Passing: Heber Springs, Liam Buffalo 11/15-170-2/0, Zachary Parker 1/1-52-1/0. Lonoke, Tripp Sullivan 1/4-1-0/1.
Receiving: Heber Springs, Xander Lindley 5/139, Dalton Yancey 4/74, Weston Warden 2/3, Parker Brown 1/6. Lonoke, Zhorion Gipson 1/1.
Kickoff Returns: Heber Springs, Hud Haggard 1/0. Lonoke, Kemarcus Jones 3/21, Tripp Sullivan 2/18, Alex Whiting 1/7, J.T. Stuart 1/1. 
Total Offense: Heber Springs, Liam Buffalo 176, Weston Warden 56, Zachary Parker 52, Gideon Tate 42, Xander Lindley 27, Parker Brown 8, Jacob Golden 5, Ladd Choate 5, Hayden Johnson 4, Bryce Seigrist (-6). Lonoke, Kemarcus Jones 18, Zhorion Gipson 14, Tripp Sullivan (-11).
All-Purpose Yards: Heber Springs, Xander Lindley 166, Dalton Yancey 74, Weston Warden 59, Gideon Tate 42, Parker Brown 14, Liam Buffalo 6, Jacob Golden 5, Ladd Choate 5, Hayden Johnson 4, Bryce Seigrist (-6).
DEFENSE 
Sacks/Yards lost: Heber Springs, Hud Haggard 1/11, Parker Brown 1/6
Interceptions: Heber Springs, Logan Rutledge 1/0.
Fumble Recoveries: Ladd Choate, Xander Lindley. 
Punts: Lonoke, Tripp Sullvian 4/145/36.3 
Kicking: Heber Springs, Gideon Tate (2/2 XP) 

Game Stats: Harding Academy at Heber Springs Junior High

HARDING ACADEMY AT HEBER SPRINGS
Junior High Football
September 10, 2020
at Panther Stadium

Harding Academy   0   6   0   0 -  6
Heber Springs     8   6   3   6 - 23

FIRST QUARTER
Heber Springs, Parker Brown 46-yard interception return (Xander Lindley 2-point run), 2:13
SECOND QUARTER
Heber Springs, Liam Buffalo to Brown 35-yard pass (pass failed), 7:12 
Harding Academy, Owen Miller to Kyler Hoover 52-yard pass (pass failed), 5:02
FOURTH QUARTER
Heber Springs, Gideon Tate 25-yard field goal, 7:11
Heber Springs, Buffalo to Hud Haggard 4-yard pass (kick failed), 5:04

TEAM STATS
First Downs by Rush: Heber Springs 3, Harding Academy 1
First Downs by Pass: Heber Springs 11, Harding Academy 1
First Downs by Penalty: Heber Springs 0, Harding Academy 1
Total First Downs: Heber Springs 14, Harding Academy 3
Penalties: Heber Springs 6/61, Harding Academy 5/33
3rd-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 2/9, Harding Academy 0/6
4th-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 3/4, Harding Academy 1/2
Fumbles/Lost: Heber Springs 3/0, Harding Academy 2/1
Sacked/Yards Lost: Heber Springs 0/0, Harding Academy 1/10
Total Offense: Heber Springs 279, Harding Academy 113
Rush/Yards/Avg: Heber Springs 15/49/3.3, Harding Academy 12/21/1.7
Passing (A/C-Yards-TD/Int): Heber Springs 17/33-230-2/0, Harding Academy 8/17-92-1/3
Punts: Heber Springs 2/43/21.5, Harding Academy 1/42
INDIVIDUAL STATS
OFFENSE
Rushing: Heber Springs, Hayden Johnson 4/21, Hud Haggard 1/9, Gideon Tate 3/9, Xander Lindley 1/7, Parker Brown 1/6, Liam Buffalo 3/4, Team 2/(-11). Harding Academy, Kyler Hoover 5/28, Owen Miller 6/(-6), Jack Citty 1/(-1).
Passing: Heber Springs, Liam Buffalo 17/33-230-2/0. Harding Academy, Owen Miller 8/17-92-1/3.
Receiving: Heber Springs, Hud Haggard 6/65, Parker Brown 3/83, Dalton Yancey 3/30, Xander Lindley 2/21, Ty West 2/3, Chris Roberts 1/28. Harding Academy, Kyler Hoover 4/65, Endy McGalliard 3/21, Jack Citty 1/6.
Kickoff Returns: Heber Springs, Hud Haggard 1/0, Xander Lindley 1/0. Harding Academy, Kyler Hoover 2/37, Jack Citty 2/35, Kohl Griffin 1/(-2).
Interceptions: Heber Springs, Parker Brown 2/46, Liam Buffalo 1/0
Total Offense: Heber Springs, Liam Buffalo 234, Hayden Johnson 21, Hud Haggard 9, Gideon Tate 9, Xander Lindley 7, Parker Brown 6. Harding Academy, Owen Miller 86, Kyler Hoover 28, Jack Citty (-1).
All-Purpose Yards: Heber Springs, Parker Brown 135, Hud Haggard 74, Dalton Yancey 30, Xander Lindley 28, Chris Roberts 28, Hayden Johnson 21, Gideon Tate 9, Ty West 3. Harding Academy, Kyler Hoover 130, Jack Citty 40, Endy McGalliard 21, Kohl Griffin (-2), Owen Miller (-6)
DEFENSE
SACKS/YARDS LOST: Heber Springs, Chris Roberts 1/10.
PUNTS: Heber Springs, Liam Buffalo 2/43/21.5. Harding Academy, Owen Miller 1/42.
KICKING: Heber Springs, Gideon Tate (0/1 XP, FG: Made - 25)

 

Roster: Heber Springs Junior High Football

September 5, 2019

The 2019 Heber Springs Junior High Football Roster:

  • 2 – Conner Riddle – 9th
  • 3 – Hunter Warren – 8th
  • 4 – Easton Cusick – 9th
  • 5 – Xander Lindley – 8th
  • 7 – Chandler Webber – 9th
  • 8 – Chris Roberts – 8th
  • 9 – Wyatt Winchester – 9th
  • 10 – Gideon Tate – 8th
  • 12 – Hud Haggard – 8th
  • 13 – Hunter Edwards – 9th
  • 14 – Chris Edwards – 9th
  • 15 – Shawn Doyle – 9th
  • 16 – Cedric Thissen – 8th
  • 17 – Peyton Talbert – 9th
  • 18 – Dalton Yancey – 8th
  • 20 – Colton Turley – 9th
  • 23 – Kenan Sneed – 9th
  • 24 – Bauer Pruitt – 9th
  • 25 – Tasker Singleton – 8th
  • 26 – Jacob Townsend – 9th
  • 28 – Hayden Johnson – 8th
  • 29 – Zachary Parker – 8th
  • 31 – Andrew Dill – 8th
  • 32 – Ryan Bommarito – 9th
  • 34 – Channer Smith – 8th
  • 46 – Joshua Blanchard – 9th
  • 51 – Peyton Oldham – 9th
  • 57 – Braydon McFarland – 8th
  • 58 – Jude Bray – 8th
  • 59 – Kaden Long – 8th
  • 62 – Tyler Yeakley – 9th
  • 63 – Joenah Cordell – 8th
  • 67 – Corbin Jones – 8th
  • 68 – Garrison Brimhall – 9th
  • 70 – Marshall Phillips -8th
  • 76 – Michael Guffey – 9th
  • 77 – Joseph Rose – 9th
  • 78 – Chris Benton – 9th
  • 79 – Tripp Young – 9th