By PHILIP SEATON
SEARCY – Heber Springs opened 2-4A conference play with a 22-14 victory over Riverview in junior high action at Raider Stadium.
Heber Springs (2-2) rushed for 202 yards while holding Riverview to 16 yards rushing and 39 total yards of offense.
However, the Raiders did have some success in the return game taking three kickoffs back for 119 yards, including a 58-yard return by R.J. Pruitt on the opening kick of the game.
Pruitt’s return set the Raiders up at the Panther 11 and two plays later, Riverview had the lead after Zayshawn Greer scored from 2. Heber Springs stopped the 2-point conversion attempt with 6:20 showing on the first-quarter clock.
It the Panthers less than 35 seconds to respond. Taking over after a failed onside-kick attempt at the Raider 48, Josiah Riggs ran for a first down to the 30-yard line then on the next play, Aiden Isom raced 30 yards for the score. The 2-point conversion failed, and the score was tied at 6-all with 5:48 remaining in the first quarter.
The score would remain that way until the second quarter. Heber Springs’s defense had stopped the Raiders at the Panther 16 with 7:13 left in the half. Heber Springs then used a 15-play drive to chew up most of the second-quarter clock as quarterback Lachlan Tubbs kept for a three-yard score. While Tubbs got the touchdown, Landon Brown did most of the work on the drive carrying the ball nine times for 36 yards. The 2-point conversion failed with :51 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
It didn’t take long for the Raiders to respond after Tyeler Hart returned the kickoff 41 yards to put the ball at the Panther 26. After a three-yard run, Braxton Hobbs connected with Brody Hawkins for the game-tying touchdown. Hobbs’ 2-point conversion gave the Raiders a 14-12 lead with 25 seconds left in the half.
Heber Springs was not finished striking just as quick. A three-yard run by Isom moved the ball to the Panther 40, then Tubbs connected with Riggs, who ran 60 yards for a score. Brown ran in the 2-point conversion to give the Panthers a 20-14 advantage at the break.
There would be no touchdowns in the second half, but a long Heber Springs drive did eventually result in points.
With 1:02 remaining in the third quarter, the Panthers took over on the Raider 42. Heber Springs then used a 13-play drive that moved the ball 40 yards, but more importantly took 6:27 off the game clock.
After Brown was stopped short on a fourth-and-goal from Raider 2, the Heber Springs defense stopped Hobbs in the end zone for the safety.
The Panthers failed to move on the ball after ensuing the free kick, but Rhett Herring picked off a Hobbs pass attempt and returned it to the Raider 15 as the game ended.
HEBER SPRINGS AT RIVERVIEW JUNIOR HIGH September 14, 2023 TEAM STATS TIME OF POSSESSION: Heber Springs 22:01, Riverview 9:59 TOTAL FIRST DOWNS: Heber Springs 12, Riverview 2 BY RUSH: Heber Springs 8, Riverview 1 BY PASS: Heber Springs 2, Riverview 1 BY PENALTY: Heber Springs 2, Riverview 0 TEAM RUSHING: Heber Springs 43/202/4.7/2, Riverview 18/26/1.4/1 TEAM PASSING: Heber Springs 3/4-98-1/0, Riverview 1/3-23-1/1 TOTAL OFFENSE: Heber Springs 47/300/6.4, Riverview 21/49/2.3 3RD CONVERSION: Heber Springs 3/8, Riverview 1/5 4TH CONVERSION: Heber Springs 1/5, Riverview 0/1 TURNOVERS: Heber Springs 1, Riverview 1 FUMBLES/LOST: Heber Springs 3/1, Riverview 0/0 PENALTIES: Heber Springs 12/73, Riverview 5/45 RETURNS: Heber Springs 2/26, Riverview 3/119 PUNTS: Heber Springs 0/0, Riverview 2/22 SACKS: Heber Springs 1/20, Riverview 1/3 TACKLES FOR LOSS: Heber Springs 4/27, Riverview 4/12 INDIVIDUAL STATS RUSHING: Heber Springs, Landon Brown 18/60/3.3, Aiden Isom 14/98/7.0/1, Lachlan Tubbs 7/9/1.3/1, Josiah Riggs 4/35. Riverview, Braxton Hobbs 7/(-2), Zayshawn Greer 3/3, Ryan Lamb 2/3, R.J. Pruitt 1/0, Brody Hawkins 5/12 PASSING: Heber Springs, Lachlan Tubbs 3/4-98-1/0. Riverview, Braxton Hobbs 1/3-23-1/1 RECEIVING: Heber Springs, Josiah Riggs 2/73/1, Aiden Isom 1/25. Riverview, Brody Hawkins 1/23/1 KICKOFF RETURNS: Riverview, 3/119/39.7, R.J. Pruitt 1/58, Tyeler Hart 1/41, Brody Hawkins 1/20 PUNT RETURNS: Heber Springs, Aiden Isom 1/1 INTERCEPTION RETURNS: Heber Springs, Rhett Herring 1/25 ALL-PURPOSE YARDS: Heber Springs, Aiden Isom 124, Josiah Riggs 108