Hooten, Heber Springs hold off Head, Newport

IMG_7191
Heber Springs junior Jaylea Hooten battles for position early in the first quarter against Newport Monday night at the Panther Den. Hooten finished with 35 points in the win. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

HEBER SPRINGS – Raigan Head won the scoring battle, but Jaylee Hooten’s team won the game as Heber Springs downed Newport, 59-44, Monday night in senior girls action at the Panther Den.

The two juniors combined to score 71 of the game’s 103 points with Head leading the way with 36 points followed by Hooten with 35.

It would be near the end of the third quarter before another Greyhound scored a point besides Head, a transfer from Tuckerman.

“I had some kids try to guard her so I could hide Jaylea,” first-year Heber Springs coach Spencer Gay said. “I didn’t want Jaylea to pick-up some silly fouls. When I had to put some smaller kids on her, she kind of took over.

“I am used to collapsing, and not letting one kid beat us, but I haven’t had a chance to instill that in these girls. So we’ve got some work to do, but man, she is hard to stop.”

While the duo was busy scoring points, it was Hooten who was getting more help from her teammates.

A Hope Turney field goal with 3:06 left in the first quarter help capped a 6-0 run to give Heber Springs an 8-2 advantage. The junior would later add a 3-pointer with five seconds left in the quarter to finish off another 12-3 run to give the Panthers a 20-7 lead after the first quarter.

Heber Springs seemed to be in control at that point, but cooled off in the second quarter, allowing Newport (0-1) to close the gap to 10 points at the half, 26-16.

“We started off hot, but we cooled off,” Gay said. “The shots weren’t falling, but we still took any shot we could get instead of waiting for the right shot.”

Baskets by sophomores Savannah Stout and Addison Hudspeth pushed the Panthers advantage back to 14 at 30-16 with 6:58 to play in the third quarter, but the Greyhounds were able to get within 10 late in the quarter at 36-26.

Heber Springs would go on 6-0 run to start the fourth, but the Panthers couldn’t stop Head as she scored seven straight to make it a 46-35 contest with 5:53 left.

A 3-pointer by Olivia Norton and a Hooten field goal with 5:04 to play expanded the Heber Springs advantage and Newport would not get any closer.

Hooten scored 20 of her 35 points in the second half and was a perfect eight-of-eight from the free-throw line over that period — she was 13-of-15 from the line on the night.

“Jaylea sees everything as a blur,” Gay said. “She is so fast.”

It had a been a week since the Panthers opened their season with a win over Mount St. Mary.

“I did see some things we improved on,” Gay said, “but some things are still bothering me. Our transition offense is still an enigma. It still difficult to figure out for us. We just try to get going so fast.”

Heber Springs will get a chance to improve on that Thursday night when they travel to Bald Knob (1-1) for the first road game of the season.

“They have an athlete and a good shooter,” Gay said.  “So they have two kids that I am going to have to worry about. We saw them this summer. We are going to see the 2-3 zone and they are going to press us, so we are going to have to be ready.”

Newport (0-1)                 7   9  12  16 - 44
Heber Springs (2-0)          20   6  14  19 - 59
Newport (44): Avery Robinson 2, Raigan Head 36, Lexi Harp 2, Grace Fain 4
Heber Springs (59): Hope Turney 8, Kylie Carr 2, Madison Clemons 2, Jaylea Hooten 35, Addison Hudspeth 3, Sophie Stone 2, Savannah Stout 4, Olivia Norton 3.

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HEBER SPRINGS SENIOR GIRLS
2021-2022
(Click on a game for previous details)
(Record: 2-0, 4-4A Conference: 0-0)
Nov. 09   Heber Springs 53, Mount St. Mary 42
Nov. 15   Heber Springs 59, Newport 44
Nov. 18   at Bald Knob (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m.
Nov. 22   Guy-Perkins (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m.
Nov. 23   at Shirley (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m.
Nov. 29-Dec. 4 at Conway St. Joseph Tournament (SG, SB)
Dec. 07   at Benton Harmony Grove (JG, SG, SB), 5 p.m.
Dec. 14   South Side Bee Branch (JG, SG, SB), 5 p.m.
Dec. 17   at Ozark (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. *
Dec. 20   at Lonoke (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. 
Dec. 21   at Des Arc (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m.
Dec. 28-30 at Mount Vernon-Enola Tournament (SG, SB)
Jan. 04   Morrilton (SGJV, SBJV, SG, SB), 6 p.m. *
Jan. 07   at Dardanelle (JG, JB. SG, SB), 4 p.m. *
Jan. 11   at Clarksville (SBJV, SG, SB), 5 p.m. *
Jan. 14   Pottsville (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. *
Jan. 21   Ozark (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. *
Jan. 25   at Morrilton (SGJB, SBJB, SG, SB), 6 p.m. *
Feb. 01   Dardanelle (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m.
Feb. 03   Clarksville (SBJV, SG, SB), 5 p.m. *
Feb. 08   at Pottsville (SGJV, SG, SB), 6 p.m. *
Feb. 14   District Tournament at Subiaco Academy

Newport tops Heber Springs in junior girls contest

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Heber Springs’ Jovie Smithson goes up for a lay-up against Newport Monday night at the Panther Den. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

HEBER SPRINGS – Ada Choate paced Heber Springs with a pair of 3-pointers, but it was not enough as Newport handed the Panthers a 35-16 setback Monday night at the Panther Den.

Newport led 17-10 at the half and 25-13 at the end of the third quarter.

HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (16): Taylor Parker 2, Jovie Smithson 2, Baleigh Burchfield 1, Annalyse Wilson 2, Ada Choate 6, Haven Downs 3.

NEWPORT SCORING (35): Aubrey Burns 6, Niya Davis 4, Sadie Washam 9, Tamera Morgan 9, Lexi Hembrey 3, Sabarbra Ridley 4

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HEBER SPRINGS JUNIOR GIRLS
2021-2022 SCHEDULE AND RESULTS
RECORD: 0-3. 4A-4 CONFERENCE: 0-0
(For past write-up click on game)
Nov. 09   Mount St. Mary 21, Heber Springs 16
Nov. 11   Mount Vernon-Enola 37, Heber Springs 21
Nov. 15   Newport 35, Heber Springs 16
Nov. 18   at Bald Knob
Nov. 22   Guy-Perkins
Nov. 23   at Shirley
Nov. 30   Southside Batesville
Dec. 02   Pangburn
Dec. 06   at Cedar Ridge
Dec. 07   at Benton Harmony Grove
Dec. 09   at Rose Bud
Dec. 14   South Side Bee Branch
Dec. 17   at Ozark *
Dec. 20   at Lonoke
Dec. 21   at Des Arc
Jan. 07   at Dardanelle
Jan. 13   White County Central
Jan. 14   Pottsville *
Jan. 21   Ozark *
Jan. 24   at Mayflower
Jan. 27   Bradford
Feb. 01   Dardanelle *
Feb. 05   District Tournament at Dardanelle
(* - Denotes conference contest)

HSHS All-Decade Team: 2000s

The 2000s era of Heber Springs football started with a whimper and ended with a bang.

Long-time assistant Todd Thompson would take over for Bill Buckner for the 2000 campaign as the 2AAA conference would see some changes with Hoxie joining the conference. Heber Springs would struggle through the 2000 and 2001 seasons, before breaking into the win column with an 2002 season-opening win over Little Rock Lutheran. After a loss to Clinton, the Panthers would down Lamar before entering conference play. Corning had replaced Bald Knob starting with the 2002 season.

Former Panther standout Dale Cresswell would take over as head coach for the 2003 and 2004 seasons, claiming a win against Lamar in 2004.

Former East Carolina University assistant coach Steve Janski would take over the program starting with the 2005 season and guide the team the rest of the decade.

Opening with a win over Bald Knob, the Panthers would also claim a nonconference win at Lamar. Heber Springs would break at conference losing streak on Oct. 21, 2005, with a win at Mountain View. They would follow that with a win over Yellville-Summit to finish 4-6.

The 2006 campaign saw Heber Springs shifted to the 2-4A conference joining Lonoke, Stuttgart, Marianna-Lee, Bald Knob, Southside Batesville, Mountain View and Newport. The Panthers would start the season 4-0 with wins over Clinton, DeWitt, Yellville-Summit and Lonoke, before falling to Stuttgart and Marianna-Lee in back-to-back weeks. Blowout wins over Bald Knob and Southside Batesville would follow, before Heber Springs would claim its first win over Newport. Mountain View forfeited the reminder of its season on Oct. 23 due to low player numbers giving the Panthers a 13-0 conference win. The Yellowjackets did field a “B” team that traveled to Heber Springs in week 10 so the Panthers could have a “senior night,” heading into the playoffs. The Panthers would claim their first playoff win in 27 years with a 21-12 win over Greenland. Heber Springs would finish out a 10-3 with a loss at Nashville.

The 2007 Panthers would finish the season with a 5-6 record earning the school’s first back-to-back appearance in the playoffs. In week 8, Heber Springs would set a school record with 76 points in win over Southside Batesville.

The 2008 Heber Springs would start the season 1-4 and the postseason definitely seemed in doubt as the Panthers trailed at Marianna-Lee 30-0 with 8:10 left in the first half, but Heber Springs would score 32 unanswered to claim a 32-30 win. That victory seem to propel the Panthers as they would win six straight, including playoff wins over Prairie Grove and West Fork reaching the 4A quarterfinals for the third time in school history and the first time since 1979. Heber Springs would end with an 8-5 mark.

Heber Springs’ 2009 season saw a 4-0 start, before falling at Stuttgart, 15-12, in week 4. After a win against Marianna-Lee and a loss at Bald Knob, the Panthers would five-in-a-row to advance to the 4A quarterfinals in back-to-back for the first time in school history. The Panthers would finish with a 10-3 mark.

The 2000s HSHS All-Decade Football Team

(Position, Player and Last Season Played)

OFFENSE

WR – Shane Bryant (2005)

WR – Stuart Tillman (2005)

OL – Frazier Blankenship (2007)

OL – Billy Grammar (2009)

OL – Trevor Reed (2006)

OL – Alex Witkowski (2007)

OL – Alex Wyatt (2006)

QB/P – Devin Tillman (2005)

RB – Curtis Decker (2006)

RB – Ryan Grist (2007)

RB – Braylon Mitchell (2009)

K – Antonio Romero (2008)

AP – Wes McMullen (2009)

AP – Taylor Tubbs (2004)

AP – Jacob Wilson (2004)

DEFENSE

DL – Garrett Davis (2006)

DL – Warren DeBusk (2000)

DL – Matt Fedora (2002)

DL – Ryan Palenske (2009)

LB – Michael Harmon (2005)

LB – Tanner Tubbs (2006)

LB – Jonathan West (2005)

LB – Thomas Wharton (2001)

DB – Hunter Derrick (2009)

DB – Jimmy Head (2001)

DB –Hilton Hoover (2008)

AP – David Darrell (2009)

AP – Jake Logan (2007)

AP – Zach Nelson (2009)

AP – Jacob Smithson (2002)

PREVIOUS DECADES

The 1990s HSHS All-Decade Team

The 1980s HSHS All-Decade Team

The 1970s HSHS All-Decade Team

The 1960s HSHS All-Decade Team

The 1950s HSHS All-Decade Team

The 1940s HSHS All-Decade Team

The 1930s HSHS All-Decade Team

The 1910s/20s HSHS All-Decade Team

HSHS All-Decade Team: 1960s

The 1960s era of Heber Springs football saw the game change with more liberal substitution rules and the Panthers coming close to pair of conference championships.

Bill Rosa took over coaching duties from Cecil Alexander for the 1960 season and the Panthers finished with a 1-7 mark, defeating Newport “B” in week 6.

James Staggs would take over in 1961 with a young assistant coach Isaac Witt helping out. After starting the season 0-3, the Panthers would close out the season by winning five in a row and finishing their first winning season since 1952. Heber Springs would down Carlisle, Harding Academy in 2B action, Searcy “B”, Cotton Plant and Beebe.

The next season, 1962, would see another new coach on the sidelines for the Panthers as former Arkansas Razorback fullback Darrell Williams (whose twin brother Jarrell would win 261 games and four state championships as a head coach at Springdale) took over the coaching duties, with Witt remaining as an assistant. The 1962 season also saw the opening of the current Panther Stadium as McCrory won the first game at the new field, 7-6. After downing Clinton, 13-7 on the road, the Panthers returned home for a week 3 contest with the coach Harold Horton-led Bald Knob Bulldogs. The match-up of former Razorback teammates would go to the Bulldogs but the Panthers would four out of their last six to finish with a winning record.

The Panthers fifth coach in as many seasons, Russell Sims, took over in 1963 — with Witt still in an assistant’s role. Heber Springs finished the season with a 3-7-1 mark, tying McCrory in the opener and downing Newport “B”, Beebe and Batesville “B”.

Sims and Witt stayed together in 1964 and led the Panthers to an historic 9-win season (the most wins in school history until 1979). The Panthers would meet Hazen in the next to last week of the season in match-up of ranked teams to determine the champion for district 2B. The Hornets would claim a 13-12 victory to earn the title.

With the success, Sims and Witt both left with Sims taking over the Mountain Home program. Richard Whybrew and former Clinton standout Stanley Stanton would lead the program for the 1965 and 1966 seasons. The Panthers would manager only two wins in each season, downing Clinton and Cotton Plant in 1965 and Cotton Plant and DeValls Bluff in 1966.

Witt would return for the 1967 season, this time as head coach, as Heber Springs would finish 1-9-1, downing Marshall in week two and tying Hazen in week 9.

Jim Patchell would join Witt’s staff for the 1968 and 1969 seasons as the Panthers would close out the decade by going 7-2 in 1968 and 7-3 in 1969. The 1968 squad lost a heartbreaker to Hazen, 12-7, in the final game of the season that would have earned the Panthers their second conference title.

After two decades in the 2B, Heber Springs moved up a classification as the school begin to grow in the late 1960s. The 1969 team was placed in the 2A-South but did not play a conference schedule. Instead, many newer programs that would later be conference rivals began football programs, including Mountain View, Vilonia, Highland, Marshall and Greenbrier; and the Panthers feasted on those programs going 9-0 against those schools.

The 1960s HSHS All-Decade Football Team

(Position, Player and Last Season Played)

OFFENSE

WR – Dennis DeBusk (1965)

WR – Dwight Olmstead (1968)

OL – Verlon Abram (1969)

OL – Wayne Bailey (1964)

OL – Charles Bradford (1960)

OL – John Cunningham (1965)

OL – James Robert DeBusk (1967)

QB – Rickey Pilkington (1968)

RB – Ronnie Lewellyn (1968)

RB – Bubba Ramsey (1961)

RB – Ernie Longing (1963)

K/AP – Jim Patchell (1962)

AP – Freddie Clayton (1964)

AP – Larry Robinson (1968)

DEFENSE

DL – Thurman Clark (1964)

DL – Joe Paul Daves (1962)

DL – Eddie Lacy (1968)

DL – Robert Walters (1966)

LB – David Lay (1968)

LB – Don Lucy (1964)

LB – Bill Cook (1961)

DB/P – Jerry Todd (1964)

DB – Wain Westerman (1968)

DB – Dan Verser (1963)

DB – Jeff Long (1964)

AP – Whit Birdsong (1969)

AP – Terry Lynn (1969)

AP – Gene McFarland (1962)

PREVIOUS DECADES

The 1950s HSHS All-Decade Team

The 1940s HSHS All-Decade Team

The 1930s HSHS All-Decade Team

The 1910s/20s HSHS All-Decade Team

HSHS All-Decade Team: 1950s

The 1950s era of Heber Springs football saw some success in the early part of the decade, some struggles in the middle part of the decade and a rebirth with a familiar face in the latter part of the decade as players still played both ways.

New coach Leland Myers guided the Panthers to one of the best marks in school history in 1950 with a 6-2-1 record. Heber Springs opened the season with a loss to Augusta but won six straight with wins over Clinton, Bald Knob, Ola, Cotton Plant, Arkansas School for the Deaf and Sloan-Hendrix. The tie came on Nov. 24 over a heavily-favored Morrilton squad. A loss to McCrory on Thanksgiving closed out the season.

The Panthers would win five games in 1951, the best two-year stretch in school history up that point, with wins over Mountain Home, Harding Academy, Hickory Ridge, Arkansas School for the Deaf and Clinton.

Former Heber Springs Panther standout Robert Fisher would take over as coach in 1952 guiding the Panthers to their first conference title in school history with a 5-3-1 mark — it would be 23 years before Heber Springs would win another conference title. The Panthers defeated Augusta, Harding Academy and Cotton Plant to earn the conference crown and also picked up victories over Mountain Home and Hickory Ridge. On Nov. 21, the Panthers traveled to Earle for a Class B playoff game (with only eight teams in the playoffs at the time). Heber Springs had two weeks off before the game while the Bulldogs had beaten county-rival West Memphis a week earlier and handed the Panthers a 25-6 setback. A Thanksgiving Day loss five-days later to McCrory set the final mark.

A new coach took over the reigns of the Panther program in 1953. Bernis Duke would go on to hall of fame career winning a state basketball title at Newport and later coaching the Oral Roberts University (in Tulsa, Okla.) tennis team for 33 years. Duke was inducted into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Hall of Fame in 2002 and the ORU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010 — the tennis center on the ORU campus is named in his honor, but at Heber Springs his only attempt at coaching football resulted in a one-win campaign in 1953 (a win over the “B” team from Conway).

The 1954 squad had the same fate as the 1953 squad, a single win over the “B” team from Conway. The assistant coach for that squad, Elmer Gathright, would also have building named after him, the basketball gymnasium at West Side High School in Greers Ferry.

In 1955 and 1956, another future Hall-of-Famer took over the reigns of the football program as Bald Knob High School graduate Carl Steward would guide the program to a 4-14 mark (a pair of wins over Bradford, a win over Conway “B” and Clinton). Steward would later make his mark as a track coach and a track official.

The decade closed with another HSHS graduate, Cecil Alexander, guiding the program for three season. Alexander, who had starred on the gridiron at Hendrix College after graduating from HSHS, would guide the program for the rest of the decade going 9-12-4. His first squad in 1957 defeated Harding Academy, Bradford and “B” teams from Batesville and Jacksonville to finish 4-4. In 1958, the Panthers would go 3-3-3 with wins over Newport “B”, Augusta and Sylvan Hills and ties with Carlisle, Mabelvale and Conway “B”. His 1959 squad would beat Clinton and Harding Academy and tie Danville.

The 1950s HSHS All-Decade Football Team

(Position, Player and Last Season Played)

End – Pete Benbrook (1950)

End – Sherlon Martin (1959)

Line – Elwood Cooper (1952)

Line – Roy Ferguson (1953)

Line – Dale Ramsey (1951)

Line – Richard Stark (1951)

Line – Tommy Whitaker (1952)

Back – Cecil Alexander (1952)

Back – Mickey Barnett (1951)

Back – Jimmy Davis (1952)

Back – Victor Davis (1959)

Back – Jerry Pilkington (1950)

Back – Keith Pilkington (1957)

All-Purpose – Lovell Davis (1953)

All-Purpose – Jim Alexander (1958)

PREVIOUS DECADES

The 1940s HSHS All-Decade Team

The 1930s HSHS All-Decade Team

The 1910s/20s HSHS All-Decade Team

Hounds top Panthers in opener

Heber Springs’ Hunter Kent looks upfield for running room against Newport Friday night at Panther Stadium. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

September 4, 2020

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

First-half turnovers quickly put the Heber Springs Panthers in a bind during Friday’s football season opener against Newport at Panther Stadium.

Newport turned two interceptions and two fumble recoveries into touchdowns, drove for three more scores and defeated the Panthers 45-6, spoiling the coaching debut of new head coach Todd Wood.

The Greyhounds, who held a 321-121 advantage in total offense, built a 19-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. Newport increased its advantage to 45-0 by halftime.

“Newport is a very good team with a lot of speed and size,” Wood said. “That is the kind of a team I want o play early in the season because it will help prepare us for conference play.”

Heber Springs received the opening kickoff and lost possession on the game’s second play on an interception, giving Newport a first down at the Panther 20. Tharon Davis scored on a 2-yard carry, putting the Greyhounds ahead 6-0 with 10:04 left in the opening quarter.

Newport didn’t wait long to regain possession and extend the lead. Newport recovered a fumble at the Panther 10 and Chris Reynolds caught a touchdown pass from Dejai Marshall with 9:02 left in the quarter.

The Greyhounds didn’t let up. After a short punt, Newport drove 65 yards on six plays with Davis scoring on a 6-yard run for an 19-0 lead with 3:23 remaining in the first quarter. Mark Chavez kicked the extra point.

“You don’t want to give a lot of gifts to a team like Newport early in the game,” Wood said. “They scored after two turnovers and then scored again before the end of the quarter. We looked at the scoreboard and saw we trailed 19-0.”

Heber Springs senior Matthew Cook looks to avoid the tackle of Newport’s Josh Drennin in action Friday night at Panther Stadium. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Newport added four touchdowns during the second quarter with two scores set up by turnovers.

Jamarriel Balentine finished a 5-play, 31-yard drive following a short punt by scoring on a 2-yard run with 11:12 left in the first half. Marshall ran for a 2-point conversion, increasing Newport’s lead to 27-0.

Turnovers set up the Greyhounds’ next two touchdowns. Davis broke free and rushed 41 yards for a touchdown. Marshall connected on a 10-yard scoring pass to Reynold with 9:13 left in the first half.

Marshall threw his third touchdown pass of the opening half, a 39-yard strike to Tristan Griffen, late in the second quarter for the 45-0 halftime lead.

Davis finished the night with 114 yards rushing and three touchdown on nine carries for Newport, all coming in the first half.

“Newport played good defense,” Wood said. “We must recognize what they are doing and find a way to overcome it. The game snowballed on us and it’s hard to dig out of a hole like we had in the first half.”

Heber Springs began the second half by forcing a Newport punt and drove 76 yards on eight plays for its touchdown. Matthew Cook, who moved to quarterback, dashed into the clear and ran 62 yards for a first-and-goal at the Greyhound 1-yard line. Newport pushed the Panthers back to a fourth-and-goal at the 4 when Cook connected with Hunter Kent on a touchdown pass in the back of the end zone.

“We did better in the second half and moved the ball at times, but Newport was playing backups,” Wood said. “We need to fix everything for next week’s game and move forward.”

Wood said the players, especially the underclassmen, learned during the second half and that will benefit the team in the future.

“We have only eight seniors on a 38-player roster and our inexperience shows,” he said. “Some of the young guys learned new things and by the time we get to conference play. Those players will be more seasoned and that will help us out in the long run”

Heber Springs will play Harding Academy at First Security Stadium in Searcy starting at 7 p.m. Friday.

STATS

SCORING
Newport (2-0)       19  26  0  0 - 45
Heber Springs (0-1)  0   0  6  0 -  6

FIRST QUARTER
Newport - Tharon Davis 2-yard run (kick failed), 10:04
Newport - Dejai Marshall to Chris Reynolds 10-yard pass (kick failed), 9:02
Newport - Davis 6-yard run (Mark Chavez kick), 3:26
SECOND QUARTER
Newport - Jamarriel Balentine 2-yard run (Marshall run), 11:12
Newport - Davis 41-yard run (run failed), 10:42
Newport - Marshall to Isiah Kendall 10-yard pass (kick failed), 9:13
Newport - Marshall to Tristan Griffen 39-yard pass (run failed), 1:14
THIRD QUARTER
Heber Springs - Matthew Cook to Hunter Kent 1-yard pass (pass failed), 4:36

TEAM STATS
First Downs by Rush: Heber Springs 4, Newport 6 
First Downs by Pass: Heber Springs 2, Newport 8 
First Downs by Penalty: Heber Springs 0, Newport 0 
Total First Downs: Heber Springs 6, Newport 14 
Third-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 3/11, Newport 3/6 
Fourth-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 2/5, Newport 3/6
Red-Zone Conversions: Heber Springs 2/5, Newport 0/0 
Time of Possession: Heber Springs 23:24, Newport 24:36 
Fumbles/Lost: Heber Springs 2/2, Newport 1/1
Turnovers: Heber Springs 4, Newport 1    
Points Off Turnovers: Heber Springs 0, Newport 25
Penalties: Heber Springs 2/10, Newport 3/25 
Plays/Total Offense/YPP: Heber Springs 48/121/2.5, Newport 41/321/7.8
Rushing: Heber Springs 26/68/2.6, Newport 26/185/7.1
Passing: Heber Springs 10/22-53-1/2, Newport 12/15-136-3/0
Sacks/Yards Lost: Heber Springs 0/0, Newport 4/22
Punts: Heber Springs 3/63/21, Newport 3/108/36 
Inside 20: Heber Springs 0, Newport 1 
INDIVIDUAL STATS
OFFENSE  
RUSHING: Heber Springs,  Matthew Cook 9/48/5.3, Diego Rubio 10/36/3.6, Gus Hannah 1/8, Nathan McKee 1/2, Hunter Kent 1/(-4), John McBroome 4/(-22)/(-5.5). Newport, Tharon Davis 9/114/12.7, Keyron Childress 2/49, Jamarriel Balentine 9/43/4.8, Devin Braxton 1/6, Team 1/(-3),  Cayden Johnson 3/(-12)/(-4), Dejai Marshall 1/(-12).
RUSHING RUNS OF 50+: Heber Springs, Matthew Cook (1). Newport, Keyron Childress (1). 
RUSHING RUNS OF 40+: Newport, Tharon Davis (1).
RUSHING RUNS OF 20+: Newport, Tharon Davis (2).
RUSHING RUNS OF 10+: Heber Springs, Diego Rubio (1). Newport, Jamarriel Balentine (2), Tharon Davis (1).
PASSING: Heber Springs, John McBroome 7/14-43-0/2, Matthew Cook 3/8-10-1/0. Newport, Dejai Marshall 12/12-136-3/0, Isiah Kendall 0/3-0-0/0.
RECEIVING: Heber Springs, Hunter Kent 3/6, Austin Winchester 2/10, Diego Rubio 2/5, Nathan McKee 1/17, Gus Hannah 1/8, Kenan Sneed 1/7. Newport, Isiah Kendall 3/41, Tristan Griffen 3/37, Chris Reynolds 3/32, Jadarius Reed 1/11, Tharon Davis 1/10, Cayden Johnson 1/5.
TOTAL OFFENSE: Heber Springs, Matthew Cook 58, Diego Rubio 36, John McBroome 21, Gus Hannah 8, Nathan McKee 2, Hunter Kent (-4). Newport, Dejai Marshall 124, Tharon Davis 114, Keyron Childress 49, Jamarriel Balentine 43, Devin Braxton 6, Team (-3), Cayden Johnson (-12), 
PUNT RETURNS: None. 
KICK RETURNS: Heber Springs, Diego Rubio 3/42, Matthew Cook 3/15. Newport, Chris Reynolds 1/2.  
FUMBLE RETURNS: None
INTERCEPTION RETURNS: Newport, Chris Reynolds 1/5, Kiland Ellis 1/0.
ALL-PURPOSE YARDS: Heber Springs, Matthew Cook 106, Diego Rubio 83, Nathan McKee 19, Gus Hannah 16, Austin Winchester 10, Kenan Sneed 7, Hunter Kent 2, John McBroome (-22). Newport, Tharon Davis 124, Keyron Childress 49, Jamarriel Balentine 43, Chris Reynolds 42, Isiah Kendall 41, Tristan Griffen 37, Jadarius Reed 11, Devin Braxton 6, Team (-3), Cayden Johnson (-7), Dejai Marshall (-12).
SCORING: Heber Springs, Hunter Kent 6. Newport, Tharon Davis 18, Jamarriel Balentine 6, Chris Reynolds 6, Isiah Kendall 6, Tristan Griffen 6, Dajai Marshall 2, Mark Chavez 1 (1-4 PAT kicks).
DEFENSE
INTERCEPTIONS: Newport, Chris Reynolds 1/5, Kiland Ellis 1/0.
FUMBLE RECOVERIES: Heber Springs, Kenan Sneed 1. Newport, Tristan Griffen 1, Jaden Godair 1.
SACKS/YARDS LOST: Newport, Aabel Robinson 2/11, Jaden Godair 1/6, Tyler Johnson 1/5.
PUNTS/YARDS/AVERAGE/INSIDE THE 20: Heber Springs, John McBroome 2/39/19.5/0, Matthew Cook 1/24/24/0. Newport, Dejai Marshall 3/108/36/1

(Stats compiled by Philip Seaton)

Panthers host Hounds tonight in opener

Heber Springs quarterback John McBroome throws a pass last week against Johnson County Westside in a benefit scrimmage contest. Heber Springs opens its season tonight at 7 p.m. against Newport. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

September 4, 2020

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

Heber Springs received a passing grade for its performance in last week’s benefit game against Johnson County West Side and hope for a higher grade when the Panthers will host the Newport Greyhounds at 7 p.m. tonight in the 2020 football season opener.

Newport opened its season last week by defeating Little Rock Mills, 47-22.

“It was nice to play the benefit game, but there is nothing like Friday night and playing in front of your fans,” first-year head coach Todd Wood said. “It’s a different level of excitement.”

The Panthers scored 29 of its 42 points against Johnson County Westside in the first of two quarters during the benefit game. Wood said the game came at a good time.

“We went into the (benefit) game looking to see what we could do against a different team,” Wood said. “We learned a lot from our mistakes. That is the purpose of a benefit game. Every player got in the game and that gave them an opportunity to gain experience going into the season.”

Nathan McKee, who was sidelined by an ankle injury for most of the preseason, will be available in Friday’s opener. Linemen Jayden Bremmon, who didn’t play in the benefit game, also will be in the starting lineup.

“They will give us a big boost,” Wood said. “I told the team again this week it is not how we start the season, but how we finish the season. We worked on a lot of things in practice and hope to click against Newport. The first three games are to prepare us for the conference games.”

Wood said John McBroome will start at quarterback, but Matthew Cook and Conner Riddle could see action at that position.

“We worked with John this week about making his reads and throwing the ball quicker to the receivers,” Wood said. “Cook will start at one of the receivers, but we have plays that he could be used at quarterback. Matthew will help us at receiver and quarterback. Conner was the junior high starter last season and also will be another option.”

Diego Rubio will get the nod at running back, with Jackson West, Kenan Sneed and Cook possibly playing in the backfield.

“I was impressed by Diego with his hard work and determination from the first day of practice. “Jackson is not only a good runner, but a good receiver. Kenan is not as fast as those two players, but he me makes up with his ability of how the defense is playing. Cook also is an option.”

McKee’s return to the lineup will strengthen the receiving corps. He and Hunter Kent were two of the team’s leading receivers in 2019.

“Nathan was one of our better returning receivers,” Wood said. “Hunter has speed with good hands and can help us stretch the defense. Cook and West also are good receivers.”

The coach said two newcomers have potential to balance the receiving corps.

“Gus Hannah was one of the most impressive receivers during summer camp,” Wood said. “He runs good routes and takes care of the ball. Easton Cusick is a sophomore and proved to be a reliable receiver. We won’t have to depend on one or two receivers to carry the load.”

Heber Springs junior Gus Hannah kicks a PAT in the Panthers scrimmage contest last week against Johnson County Westside. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Wood said the offensive line quickly learned the new blocking schemes. Zach Thomas anchors the line at center, with tackle Bremmon and guard Preston Roberson on the left side. Thad Bray, Payton Owens and Trevor Weathers will alternate on the right side.

“They played with a lot of confidence in the benefit game,” Wood said. “We have the guys who can do the job. They are improving with their run game blocking. I’m pleased with their work.”

Heber Springs will also play a different defense than previous seasons. The Panthers will line up in a 3-4 alignment, but occasionally play a four-player front.

Bray, Bremmon, Owens and Weathers will be the players to watch on the front line. Roberson, who will start at inside linebacker, will be the fourth lineman.

“The play on the defensive line is very important,” Wood said. “We must control the line of scrimmage and take away the other team’s running game.”

Sneed will start at inside linebacker opposite Roberson, with Rubio and West at the outside linebackers. Dakota Farmer and Cook will provide depth at inside and outside linebacker.

McGee and Cook will start at the safeties. Kent and Farmer will be the cornerbacks. Hannah will provide depth at safety and cornerback, and Riddle will see playing time at safety.

Wood said he is ready to start the season and play one of the top-ranked teams in Class 3A.

“Newport is very quick with a lot of speed,” Wood said. “They have a very good running back and quarterback. The quarterback played well against Mills and makes good decisions. They also like to pass and have two tall (6-foot-5) receivers. Newport will put you in bad situations and take advantage of your mistakes.”

Wood said execution will decide who wins Friday’s game.

“We must stop Newport’s big plays, limit our turnovers and create turnovers on defense,” Wood said. “We must execute on offense and defense, especially doing the little things right. On defense, we need 11 guys going to the ball and make things happen. If we can do all of that, we will have a good night.”

NOTEBOOK

NEWPORT (1-0) AT HEBER SPRINGS (0-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m.
WHERE: Panther Stadium, Heber Springs
RADIO: 101.9 The Lake. Billy Morgan will handle play-by-play with Lance Hamilton providing color. Panther Pregame begins at 6:45. 
STREAMING: 101.9 The Lake will also be providing live streaming of the game.
LAST WEEK: Newport 47, Little Rock Mills 22; Heber Springs was idle
SERIES: Newport leads 10-4
LAST MEETING: Heber Springs 33, Newport 20, 2015
NOTES: The two teams were scheduled to meet in the first season of football for Heber Springs in 1913, but as was the case in the early decades of high school football, the game was not played. The two teams would finally meet for the first time on November 5, 1937 at Newport (a 45-0 win for the Greyhounds) ... Newport claimed another win in the series in 1945 before the two teams would meet again 57 years later when Newport moved down in classification and was placed in the 2AAA conference with Heber Springs in 2002. The Greyhounds would win the first four games by a combined 169-47 before the Panthers claimed their first win in the series with a 24-14 win at Newport in 2006. After a Newport win in 2007, the two teams were placed in separate conferences but would meet again in the 4A quarterfinals in 2008 where the Greyhounds ended Heber Springs' season with a 46-14 victory. In 2010, Newport was placed in the 2-4A with Heber Springs and the two teams split the six meetings before the Greyhounds dropped down to class 3A starting in the 2016 cycle ... Though the two teams took a 57-year hiatus, after the Panther football program returned from a two-year absence 1949, the Heber Springs varsity team would play Newport's "B" team. The Greyhound second-teamers would win the first contest, 13-6, in Heber Springs, but Heber Springs' would claim victories over Newport's "B" in 1958, 1960 and 1963 -- the 1960 win over Newport "B" was the Panthers lone victory of the season ... Newport running back Tharon Davis has been offered by North Alabama ... Newport sophomore quarterback Dejai Marshall was 22 of 27 passing for 183 yards and two touchdowns last week against Little Rock Mills ... Senior Night festivities began at 6:15 p.m.

-- By PHILIP SEATON



Heber Springs junior girls fall to Mount Vernon-Enola

Heber Springs’ Rylee Harrod dribbles past a Mount Vernon-Enola defending in junior girls action at the Panther Den on Jan. 16. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

January 16, 2020

Sophia Stone finished with 15 points while Jaylea Hooten added 10 in a losing effort as Heber Springs fell to Mount Vernon-Enola, 38-33, in junior girls action at the Panther Den.

The two teams were tied at the half, 20-20, while the War Hawks led 29-26 at the end of the three quarters in the nonconference contest.

Heber Springs pulled to within one at 34-33 with 3:18 left after at Hooten basket but the Warhawks went 4-of-4 from the free-throw line down the stretch to seal the win.

The junior girls return to action on Thursday when they host Marshall.

The Panthers have dropped three out of four contests to start the new year.

On Jan. 14, Stone finished with 16 points as Heber Springs fell to Dardanelle, 32-29, in a 4A-4 contest at the Panther Den.

On Jan. 9 at Newport in nonconference play, it was Hooten who finished with 16 as the Panthers downed the Greyhounds, 40-21.

Stone (15) and Hooten (10) both finished in double figures in a 34-31 setback to Pottsville in the Panther Den on Jan. 7.

JANUARY 16 BOXSCORE
Mount Vernon-Enola  7  13  9  9 - 38
Heber Springs       6  14  6  6 - 33
MOUNT VERNON-ENOLA SCORING (38): Raby 14, A.J. Person 6, Wooley  6, Vaught 6, Kelley 3, Pruitt 2, Jobe 1
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (33): Sophia Stone 15, Jaylea Hooten 10, Rylee Harrod 4, Hope Turney 2, Savannah Stout 2

JANUARY 14 BOXSCORE
Dardanelle        7  8  8  9 - 32
Heber Springs    12  4  4  9 - 29
DARDANELLE SCORING (32): Kaylee Meredith 14, Bethani Walter 8, Pfiefer Flemming 3, Karlie Barber-Cursh 3, Rylea Manning 2, Jayden Vasquez 2
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (29): Sophia Stone 16, Madison Clemons 6, Jaylea Hooten 4, Riley Bailey 2, Hope Turney 1

JANUARY 9 BOXSCORE
Newport        4  5   4  8 - 21
Heber Springs  8  8  16  8 - 40 
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (40): Jaylea Hooten 16, Sophia Stone 8, Addison Hudspeth 6, Madison Clemons 3, Hope Turney 2, Riley Bailey 2, Cristina Garcia 2, Mary Evans 1

JANUARY 7 BOXSCORE
Pottsville    9  7  8  10 - 34
Heber Springs 6 10  4  11 - 31
POTTSVILLE SCORING (34): Garner 8, Pennington 8, Sweeden 8, Cunningham 6, Greathouse 2, Francis 2
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (31): Sophia Stone 15, Jaylea Hooten 10, Madison Clemons 4, Riley Bailey 2
HEBER SPRINGS JUNIOR GIRLS BASKETBALL
2019-2020 SCHEDULE/RESULTS
COACH: Jamey Riddle
OVERALL RECORD: 9-7
4A-4 RECORD: 1-3
November 9 - Heber Springs 27, Greenbrier 16 ^
November 12 - Heber Springs 33, Nemo Vista 27
November 14 - Dover 60, Heber Springs 49 ^
November 16 - Heber Springs 40, Marshall 25 ^
November 19 - Heber Springs 44, South Side Bee Branch 22
November 21 - Heber Springs 46, Riverview 13
November 23 - Heber Springs 62, Cabot South 8th 10 *
November 23 - Conway Blue 35, Heber Springs 29 *
November 26 - Clinton 48, Heber Springs 40
December 10 - Dover 43, Heber Springs 33 #
December 12 - Heber Springs 52, South Side Bee Branch 31
December 20 - Heber Springs 21, Ozark 7 #
January 7 - Pottsville 34, Heber Springs 31 #
January 9 - Heber Springs 40, Newport 21
January 14 - Dardanelle 32, Heber Springs 29 #
January 16 - Mount Vernon-Enola 38, Heber Springs 33
January 23 - Marshall
January 24 - Dover #
January 27 - at Mayflower
January 28 - at Pottsville #
January 31 - at Ozark #
February 3 - Quitman
February 4 - at Dardanelle #
February 10 - District Tournament at Ozark

(^ - Denotes Marshall Tournament)
(* - Denotes Heber Springs Tournament)
(# - Denotes 4A-4 Conference Game)

Lady Panthers topple Dardanelle

Heber Springs’ Ellie Riddle (left) drives past a Dardanelle defender during Tuesday action at the Panther Den. MICHELLE McCARTY PHOTO

January 14, 2020

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

It didn’t take long for the Heber Springs Lady Panthers to establish control against Dardanelle at the Panther Den Tuesday.

Libby Stutts and Ashley Spanel each made 3-pointers during the opening two minutes as the Lady Panthers coasted past Dardanelle 47-29 in a 4-4A Conference basketball game.

Heber Springs (3-1 in conference, 12-5 overall) built a 15-0 lead by the end of the first quarter.

Dardanelle (0-4 in conference, 2-16 overall) didn’t score until 5:21 remaining in the first half.

The Lady Panthers led 29-8 at halftime and took a 38-14 lead into the fourth quarter.

Stutts paced a balanced Heber Springs attack with 13 points. Jillian Herring scored nine points and Spanel had eight points.

Abby Apple led Dardanelle with eight points.

“Dardanelle is not having a good year, but it can play and make the game ugly,” Heber Springs coach Jamey Riddle said. “I’m glad we played with a lot of intensity to start the game. The players knew Dardenelle’s record, but they didn’t play that way against them. We made more shots than our last game. We did a good job of running our offenses.”

Riddle said the team improved in two areas from previous games.

“We did a better job of rebounding and played good defense by holding them scoreless in the first quarter and eight points for the first half,” he said. “We used different presses to speed the game up. We wanted to keep the ball from getting inside.”

Riddle said Spanel’s shooting was a pleasant surprise.

“We don’t rely on Ashley to score a lot of points, but she is capable of making shots,” he said. “It was good to see her do that.”

Heber Springs will face one of its toughest challenges this season by playing conference leader Clarksville (5-0 in conference, 9-9 overall) on the road at 6 p.m. Friday.

“We welcome the opportunity to  upset a team at the top  of the conference standings,” Riddle said. “We can do that if we will play with the same intensity against Dardanelle.”

HEBER SPRINGS 47, DARDANELLE 29
Dardanelle     0  8 6 15 - 29
Heber Springs 15 14 9  9 - 47
DARDANELLE SCORING (29): Abby Apple 8, Grace Eidson 5, Anette Navarrete 4, Elizabeth Flores 4, Brooklyn Tidwell 3, Whitley Catlett 3, Ellie Stokes 1.
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (47) Libby Stutts 13, Jillian Herring 9, Ashley Spanel 8, Mary Shearer 6, Ellie Riddle 4, Claudia Newberry 5, Lili Chaney 1, Brandy Meredith 1.

JANUARY 9 BOXSCORE
HEBER SPRINGS 70, NEWPORT 51
Heber Springs 25 12 15 18 - 70
Newport       11 12 16 12 - 51
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (70): Jillian Herring 16, Libby Stutts 13, Ashley Spanel 10, Claudia Newberry 9, Ellie Riddle 8, Mary Sherear 6, Kylie Carr 4, Olivia Norton 4
NEWPORT SCORING (51): Jerikah Balentine 10, Kianna Fite 9, Maci Cagle 8, Alicia Neal 7, Hilda Price 5, Taniya Keener 4, Jakayla Dixon 2, Lindsey Marlar 2, Lucy Hernandez 2, Jiniekqua Rackley 2 
4A-4 STANDINGS
                 Conference Season
Clarksville          5-0      9-9
Morrilton            4-1     11-5
Heber Springs        3-1     12-5
Pottsvile            2-2      8-6
Dover                1-3     10-7  
Dardanelle           0-4      2-16
Ozark                0-4     12-5
HEBER SPRINGS SENIOR GIRLS 
2019-2020 SCHEDULE/RESULTS
RECORD: 12-5
4A-4 RECORD: 3-1
November 12 - Heber Springs 55, Nemo Vista 31
November 19 - Heber Springs 70, South Side Bee Branch 45
November 21 - Heber Springs 67, Riverview 27
November 26 - Heber Springs 56, Clinton 54 (OT)
December 3 - Conway St. Joseph 47, Heber Springs 44 #
December 5 - Heber Springs 53, South Side Bee Branch 34 #
December 7 - Heber Springs 44, Wonderview 43 #
December 10 - Heber Springs 59, Dover 56 ^
December 13 - Marshall 70, Heber Springs 52
December 16 - Heber Springs 51, White County Central 31
December 20 - Heber Springs 55, Ozark 42 ^
December 26 - Heber Springs 70, DeWitt 34 *
December 27 - Pea Ridge 49, Heber Springs 44 *
December 28 - Mayflower 58, Heber Springs 37 *
January 7 - Pottsville 49, Heber Springs 45 ^
January 9 - Heber Springs 70, Newport 51
January 14 - Heber Springs 47, Dardanelle 29 ^
January 17 - at Clarksville ^
January 21 - Morrilton ^
January 24 - Dover ^
January 28 - at Pottsville ^
January 31 - at Ozark ^
February 4 - at Dardanelle ^
February 11 - at Morrilton ^
February 14 - Clarksville (Senior Night) ^
February 17 - 4A-4 District at Dardanelle

(# - Denotes Conway St. Joseph Tournament)
(^ - Denotes 4A-4 conference contest)
(* - Denotes Steve Landers' Cowboy Chevrolet Holiday Tournament at Heber Springs) 

Vilonia tops Heber Springs in Benefit Scrimmage

4A Panthers battle 5A Eagles; Heber Springs opens with Clinton

Heber Springs junior Matthew Cook fights for yardage as Vilonia’s Kyle Vines brings him to the ground during a scrimmage at Phillip D. Weaver Stadium in Vilonia on Tuesday. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

August 27, 2019

By Philip Seaton

VILONIA – Unofficially it was a 21-7 first-team loss to Vilonia in an Arkansas Activities Association benefit scrimmage on Tuesday at Phillip D. Weaver Stadium, but for Heber Springs coach Will Cox, he saw enough to come away happy with his teams performance.

“I thought there were some bright spots,” Cox said.  “We saw some guys step up and play.”

Heber Springs finished with 202 yards of total offense in an abbreviated first half of play that saw the teams start at the 30-yard line without any kickoffs or punts.

Panther senior quarterback Adam Martin was 14-of-24 passing for 155 yards including a 7-yard touchdown pass to junior Matthew Cook right before the half to put the Panthers on the board. Returning all-conference performer Tri Johnson was Martin’s favorite target with five receptions for 84 yards.

With all-state running back Blaze Nelson and his 2,000 yards plus rushing gone from last season, senior Landon Johnson took on the bulk of the load rushing eight times for 40 yards.

“You know what you are going to get with Landon,” Cox said. “The effort you get on game day is the same effort you get every day. He’s a guy that worked out twice every day during the offseason. You know what you are going to get with him. He’s really reliable and he showed everybody else what we know about him.”

While there were some bright spots, there were some things that Cox said his team needed to work on before they open their season against Clinton on Sept. 6 at home in the Battle of the Little Red.

Among those were some dropped passes that could have led to touchdowns and missed blocks on offense, and some missed tackles and bad angles on defense that lead to Vilonia pilling up 319 yards of total offense with the majority of those coming on a screen pass that turned into a 97-yard touchdown.

“It was a lot of first opponent mistakes, but that is stuff that we can clean up” Cox said. “I told the guys that this is going to be great film for us.We are going to learn a lot from this film. It was a great opportunity to learn tonight.”

Vilonia sophomore quarterback Austin Myers was 9-of-10 passing for 266 yards and three touchdowns.

“That’s a very good Vilonia team,” Cox said of the 5A Eagles. “They are deep. They are big. They are going to have a good season. Our guys competed against them.”

SECOND HALF: The two teams played a 10 minute second-half period with the second teams. Vilonia outscored Heber Springs, 20-0, over that stretch, but senior running back Levy Phillips did show some promise during that stretch. 

“(He) came in and got some good runs for us,” Cox said, “that shows that we have some depth at the running back position which is good.”

LET’S PLAY TWO: Cox said that is exciting to see that his team loves to love to play. “They can’t get enough,” he said. “ If I could let them play another game tonight, they would.”

BIG NUMBERS: While Heber Springs has 43 players on the roster, Vilonia had 83 dressed out Tuesday night and that will be the most any team dresses out against the Panthers this season. Heber Springs has the third most players out in the 4A-2 with Southside Batesville leading the way with 51 and Bald Knob with 44. Other opponents by the numbers: Clinton (37), Greenbrier (61), Harding Academy (46), Lonoke (37), Stuttgart (37), Central Arkansas Christian (40), Riverview (33) and Little Rock Mills (20).

NO CONTACT: Both quarterbacks were off limits in regards to being tackled and were downed by touch. Martin and second-team quarterback John McBroome wore a red no contact jersey.

EXTRA POINT: Jackson Harrod connected on the lone extra point for Heber Springs. The Panthers will be looking to replace the graduate Julian Cameron, who connected on a state record 100 extra points. Cameron is battling for a starting position at Arkansas Tech.

NEW COACH: Will Cox was named interim head coach over the summer after former head coach Darren Gowen left at the end of the school year in the spring to pursue other opportunities in northwest Arkansas. Gowen has since been named the offensive coordinator at Gravette. Cox was co-defensive coordinator last season with E.G. Dew.

NEW ASSISTANTS: Former Greenbrier Panther Chase Roberts is the new junior high coach and will assist on the senior high team. Roberts was the head coach of the eight-man team at Pattonsburg (Missouri) High School last season. Roberts led his team to a 10-2 record last season. Also joining the staff is Hunter Davis. Davis coached at Star City last season. He will also be the head senior girls track coach. 

NEXT YEAR: Heber Springs’ 2020 schedule has been set. Riverview is moving down to Class 3A while Clinton will be moving back up to 4A. The Yellowjackets will replace Riverview in week 9 in conference. The Panthers will open at home in 2020 against Newport followed by a road date at Harding Academy before wrapping up nonconference play at home against Dover. Heber Springs athletic director Brad Reese said he attempted to schedule Riverview for a nonconference date but the Searcy school opted for a game with Bauxite instead.

GLOWING REVIEW: Former Heber Springs coach Bill Buckner made an appearance on the sidelines on Tuesday night to catch some of the action. Buckner, who has since retired after years of coaching in the area with stops at Quitman, Greenbrier and Vilonia among others, was impressed with what he saw from the Panthers. “Tell the people of Heber Springs that they have a good football team,” he said.

Heber Springs senior quarterback Adam Martin looks to complete a pass against Vilonia in a Arkansas Activities Association benefit game at Phillip D. Weaver Stadium in Vilonia. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

PANTHER DRIVES

OPENING DRIVE: 10 plays, 36 yards. Highlights: Adam Martin 10-yard run, Landon Johnson 14- and 13-yard runs. Result: Turnover on downs.

SECOND DRIVE: 10 plays, 68 yards. Highlights: Adam Martin to Tri Johnson for 34-yard completion. Result: Stopped on fourth-and-goal at the 1.

THIRD DRIVE: 5 plays, 20 yards. Result: Fictional punt.

FOURTH DRIVE: 10 plays, 70 yards: Highlights: Adam Martin to Landon Johnson for 12- and 25-yard pass completions. Result: Touchdown.

INDIVIDUAL STATS (First-half only)

Rushing: Heber Springs, Landon Johnson 8-40; Julie Rubio 5-5; Adam Martin 5-2. Vilonia, Draven Smith 7-43; Seth Kick 1-5; Austin Myers 1-3; Tyler Moran 1-2.

Passing: Heber Springs, Adam Martin 14-24-155-1-0. Vilonia, Austin Myers 9-10-266-3-0.

Receiving: Heber Springs, Tri Johnson 5-84; Landon Johnson 3-45; Matthew Cook 3-13-1; Landon Barbee 1-8; Nathan McKee 1-6; Hunter Kent 1-(-1). Vilonia, Tyler Moran 4-127-1; Jamison Hinsley 2-40-1; Kannon Bartlett 1-45; Draven Smith 1-38; Corbin Watson 1-24-1.

TEAM (First-half only)

Rushing: Heber Springs 18-47; Vilonia 10-53

Passing: Heber Springs, 14-24-155-1-0; Vilonia 9-10-266-3-0

Total Yards: Heber Springs 202, Vilonia 319

First Downs: Heber Springs 11, Vilonia 8

Turnovers: Heber Springs 0, Vilonia 1

Penalties: Heber Springs 1-5; Vilonia 4-50