5A Southside humbles Cats in nonconference tilt

Heber Springs defenders Zachary Parker (12), Jacob McMullin (25), Weston Warden (bottom of pile) and Jordan Tidwell (arm pictured) bring down Southside Batesville’s Gabe Witt. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

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SOUTHSIDE BATESVILLE – Heber Springs traveled to one of the favorites of the 5A-East conference and were handed a 49-10 setback by Southside Batesville in nonconference play.

The Southerners (3-0) led 28-3 at the half and held the Panthers (0-2) to 11 first-half yards of total offense and minus nine yards rushing.

“I told coach (Southside Batesville coach Kenny) Simpson that they have a good chance to win that conference,” Heber Springs coach Van Paschal, who coached at 5A-East member Wynne last season, said after the game. “They are a good football team. Ain’t no doubt about it.”

The Southerners dominated from the start.

Heber Springs took the opening kickoff on its own 29 and moved the ball for a first down on a fourth-and-2 play, but a penalty pushed the Panthers back forcing a punt.

Gideon Tate’s 42-yard punt switched the field for the Panthers, but Southside Batesville used their senior-laden line to march 74 yards in nine plays to take a 7-0 lead after Louis Calhoun ran 19 yards for the score. Joel Busby added the PAT kick at the 6:02 mark of the first quarter.

A sack stalled the Panthers on their next possession, and the Southerners struck quickly as Savion Hall connected with Seth Case for a 47-yard touchdown pass with 2:30 to play in the opening quarter. Busby’s PAT made it 14-0.

Heber Springs fumbled the ball five times on the night and lost three of them, including on its next possession as Brady Wood recovered the ball for Southside Batesville at the Panther 35.

Three plays later, Calhoun would score from the 1 to push the Southerner lead to 21-0 with 1:36 to play in the opening quarter.

The Panthers went backwards on their next possession. A 45-yard punt by Tate that pinned Southside Batesville inside their own 20-yard line, but the Southerners used a 12-play, 81-yard drive that used 4:39 of the second quarter to a 28-0 advantage. Gabe Witt scored from the 5-yard line with 7:08 left before the half.

Heber Springs put together its best drive on their next possession. Starting on the Southerner 48 after a failed onside-kick attempt, the Panthers marched to the Southside Batesville 8. Junior Weston Warden rushed for 33 yards on five carries and caught a 20-yard pass from junior Liam Buffalo to highlight the drive. The drive stalled after five-yard loss and senior Gideon Tate came on the field and kicked his first career field goal drilling the 30-yarder to make it 28-3 with 1:45 to play in the half.

Despite the good end to first half by the Panthers, Southside would dominate the third quarter using a 12-play drive to make it 35-3 after Isaac Wallis scored from the 4. A Heber Springs fumble gave the Southerners a short field to push the score to 42-3. Witt scored from the 4 for Southside Batesville.

Another Panther fumble with 1:44 left in the third quarter gave Southside Batesville the ball on the Panther 25 and Trey Allen connected with Tyler Myers on an 11-yard touchdown pass on the fourth quarter with a continuous running clock.

With the second-teamers on the field, Heber Springs used a 65-yard drive to set the final score. Nate Eaton (13 yards), Emmett Dwyer (12 yards), Elijah Jones (21 yards) and Bryce Siegrist (16 yards) each had first-down carrying runs to move the ball to the Southerner 3. Eaton would get the touchdown from there with 4:47 showing on third-quarter clock. Tate added the PAT to set the final score.

“Would have liked to have played better tonight,” Paschal said. “We have to watch film, fix things. I told the kids if we were 2-0 in nonconference that’s great, but really doesn’t affect the conference race so we are 0-2, and we have got to work.”

Heber Springs travels to Jonesboro Westside Friday night to close out nonconference action.

September 8, 2023
TIME OF POSSESSION: Heber Springs 21:19, Southside 26:41
TOTAL FIRST DOWNS: Heber Springs 7, Southside 23
BY RUSH: Heber Springs 6, Southside 18
BY PASS: Heber Springs 1, Southside 4
BY PENALTY: Heber Springs 0, Southside 1
TEAM RUSHING: Heber Springs 34/78/2.3, Southside 54/298/5.5
TEAM PASSING: Heber Springs 1/1-20-0/0, Southside 7/9-105-2/1
TOTAL OFFENSE: Heber Springs 35/98/2.8, Southside 63/403/6.4
3RD CONVERSION: Heber Springs 1/7, Southside 6/10
4TH CONVERSION: Heber Springs 1/1, Southside 3/3
RED-ZONE: Heber Springs 2/2, Southside 6/6
TURNOVERS: Heber Springs 3, Southside 1
POINTS OFF TURNOVERS: Heber Springs 0, Southside 21
FUMBLES/LOST: Heber Springs 5/3, Southside 2/0
PENALTIES: Heber Springs7/51, Southside 7/50
KICKOFF RETURNS: Heber Springs 6/37/6.2, Southside 2/32
PUNT RETURNS: Heber Springs 0, Southside 1/4
PUNTS: Heber Springs 3/120/40, Southside 0
PUNTS INSIDE 20: Heber Springs 1, Southside 0
SACKS: Heber Springs 0/0, Southside 2/15
TACKLES FOR LOSS: Heber Springs 3/7, Southside 11/47
RUSHING: Heber Springs, Liam Buffalo 8/(-10), Brodie Basford 7/8, Weston Warden 6/28, Nate Eaton 3/18/1, Parker Brown 3/(-12), Bryce Siegrist 2/24, Emmett Dwyer 2/10, Elijah Jones 1/21, Logan Rutledge 1/(-6), Team 1/(-3). Southside Batesville, Gabe Witt 11/53/2, Louis Calhoun 10/74/2, Seth Case 7/41, Savion Hall 9/78, Isaac Wallis 5/40/1, Braden Simpson 3/14, Nick Lopez 3/4, Zach Johnston 1/(-2), Trey Allen 1/(-4).
PASSING: Heber Springs, Liam Buffalo 1/1-20-0/0. Southside Batesville, Savion Hall 6/8-94-1/1, Trey Allen 1/1-11-1/0
RECEIVING: Heber Springs, Weston Warden 1/20. Southside Batesville, Jaylon Jennings 1/1, Braden Simpson 2/34, Seth Case 1/47/1, Louis Calhoun 1/1, Isaac Wallis 1/11, Tyler Myers 1/11/1.
KICKOFF RETURNS: Heber Springs, Logan Rutledge 3/28, Weston Warden 1/6, Bryce Siegrist 1/3
ALL-PURPOSE YARDS: Heber Springs, Weston Warden 54
PUNTING: Heber Springs, Gideon Tate 3/120/40.0/1. LONG: 45
PAT KICKS: Gideon Tate 1/1, Southside 7/7
FIELD GOALS: Gideon Tate 1/1. MADE: 30
POINTS: Nate Eaton 6, Gideon Tate 4
SACKS: Southside 2/15
PBU: Eli Buffalo
Carter Julian  5 5 0 10
Parker Brown   4 2 0 6
Logan Lozeau   1 0 0 1
Bryce Siegrist 3 2 1 5
Eli Buffalo    6 2 0 8
Weston Warden  2 3 0 5
Jacob McMullin 4 3 0 7
Luke Elliott   2 0 0 2
Zachary Parker 2 2 0 4
Nash Farmer    0 1 0 1
Jordan Tidwell 3 0 0 3
Logan Rutledge 1 0 0 1
Nate Eaton     2 1 2 3
Corbin Jones   1 1 0 2
Emmett Dwyer   1 0 0 1
Greg Williams  1 1 0 2
Elijah Jones   2 2 0 4
Gauge Owens    1 0 0 1

Wrong side of ‘mercy rule’ for Panthers

Heber Springs sophomore Gideon Tate picks up a couple of yards on a fourth-quarter rushing attempt. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO


Heber Springs held up against Southside Batesville’s physical and aggressive style of football early in the game, but a blocked punt late in the first quarter opened the door as the Southerners spoiled homecoming for the Panthers with a 35-7 win Friday.

The loss dropped Heber Springs (2-3 in 2-4A Conference, 3-4 overall) into a fifth-place tie with Little Rock Mills (2-3 in 2-4A Conference, 6-2 overall). Mills lost to conference-leading Stuttgart (5-0 in 2-4A Conference, 7-1 overall), 63-28.
Clinton (3-2 in 2-4A Conference, 4-4 overall) routed Bald Knob (0-5 in 2-4A Conference, 0-8 overall) and took sole possession of fourth place. Southside (4-1 in 2-4A Conference, 6-2 overall) remained tied for second place with Lonoke (4-1 in 2-4A Conference, 7-1 overall).

Heber Springs held the Southerners to four yards until the blocked punt late in the first quarter. Southside finished with 322 yards — 299 yards rushing and 23 yards passing.

Seth Case and Landen Haas provided the big plays in Southside’s running game. Case had 122 yards on eight carries, while Haas ran seven times for 103 yards.

“Southside is a very good football club,” Heber Springs coach Todd Wood said. “They are trained in what they do well and play physical. They beat you down over time, and that is what they have done every game.”

The Panthers had a promising start before making the game’s first mistake.

“Our defense played well in the beginning and moved the ball on offense with short passes,” Wood said. “We played toe-to-toe with them during the first quarter.”

Heber Springs quarterback Easton Cusick completed 17-of-32 passes for 149 yards and one touchdown. Gideon Tate led the Panthers in rushing — four carries for 11 yards. Jackson West led the receivers with five catches for 37 yards, while Austin Winchester had four receptions for 26 yards. Chris Edwards caught three passes for 44 yards and one touchdown.

Heber Springs was held to zero rushing yards for the game as a team.

“Southside’s job was to stop Parker Brown (the team’s leading rusher),” Wood said. “We moved him to different spots and tried to use him as a decoy. I was proud of the way Easton played. He is still learning and made some good throws.”

The Panthers lost the services of sophomore outside linebacker Hayden Johnson to an injury. Johnson, the team’s second-leading tackler, was injured during the second quarter.

Southside’s Alex Allen blocked Cusick’s punt and took possession at the Heber Springs 15-yard line. Three plays later, Nicky Risner scored on a 5-yard run with 11:26 left in the first half. Brandon Lopez kicked the extra point for the 7-0 lead.

Cusick’s 51-yard punt pinned the Southerners at its 5-yard line. Southside responded with a 9-play, 95 yard drive as Case ran 46 yards for a touchdown with 7:20 remaining until halftime. Lopez executed the kick for the conversion, increasing the lead to 14-0.

The Southerners struck quickly on their next possession Haas broke free on an 80-yard touchdown run with 4:33 left in the first half. Lopez kicked the extra point.

Southside scored again before halftime by driving 55 yards on seven plays. Blayne Warden caught a 10-yard scoring pass from Haas with two seconds to go. Lopez kicked the extra point for a 28-0 halftime lead.

Southside received the second half kickoff and needed four plays on a 52-yard drive. Bryson Duncan scored on a 2-yard dive with 10:15 to go in the third quarter. Lopez kicked the extra point.

Heber Springs finished the game with an efficient 87-yard drive on nine plays. Tate ran for one first down, while Cusick passed to Austin Winchester for another first-and-10. With the clock running down, Cusick connected on a 24-yard touchdown pass to Chris Edwards with 14 seconds to play. Tate kicked the extra point.

“That was a good drive and a good way to end the game,” Wood said. “Austin Winchester and Chandler Webber caught passes. Edwards made a good catch for the touchdown.”

Heber Springs will host Clinton in the sixth Battle of the Little Red on Friday.

“We need to learn from this game and move on,” Wood said. “Clinton is next, and we need to stay focus and build momentum.”

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October 15, 2021 
Heber Springs (3-4, 2-3)          0   0   0   7 -   7
Southside Batesville (6-2, 4-1)   0  28   7   0 -  35 
SS - Nicky Risner 5-yard run (Brandon Lopez kick), 11:26
SS - Bryson Duncan 46-yard run (Lopez kick), 7:20
SS - Landen Haas 80-yard run (Lopez kick), 4:33
SS - Haas to Blayne Warden 10-yard pass (Lopez kick), :28
SS - Duncan 2-yard run (Lopez kick), 10:15
HS - Easton Cusick to Chris Edwards 24-yard pass (Gideon Tate kick), :00
RUSHES-YARDS: HS 16/0, SS 33/299
COMP-ATT-INT: HS 17-32-1, SS 2-5-0
PUNTS-AVERAGE: HS 5/28.8, SS 3/46
RUSHING: HS, Gideon Tate 4/11, Parker Brown 4/2, Easton Cusick 7/(-2), Team 1/(-11). SS, Seth Case 8/122, Landen Haas 7/103, Nicky Risner 5/32, Bryson Duncan 4/15, Jacob Dunne 3/11, Steven Riggs 2/8, Kaleb West 1/7, Jacob Bunn 1/5, Colby Harris 1/4, Team 1/(-8).
PASSING: HS, Cusick 17/32-149-1/1. SS, Haas 2/5-23-1/0
RECEVING: HS, Jackson West 5/23, Austin Winchester 4/26, Chris Edwards 3/21, Dalton Yancey 3/27, Gus Hannah 1/11, Chandler Webber 1/5. SS, Dunne 1/13, Blayne Warden 1/10.
INTERCEPTION RETURNS: SS, Justin Vannattan 1/5 
PUNTS: HS, Cusick 4/144/36.0, Team 1/0/1 blk. SS, Warden 3/138/46

Panthers survive late Southerner charge

Heber Springs’ Parker Brown runs past the outreached arm of Southside Batesville’s Isaac Wallis during action at Panther Stadium Thursday night. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO


Parker Brown scored three times as Heber Springs held off Southside Batesville, 34-32, in junior high action Thursday night at Panther Stadium.

Heber Springs improved to 6-1 on the season with the win and will look claim the second spot in the conference standings when they host Clinton next Thursday night in the season finale.

Against Southside, Heber Springs was in control of the contest after Brown scored on a 44-yard run with 5:09 to play. Gideon Tate’s PAT kick made it 34-16.

But on the ensuing kick off, Southside’s Seth Case returned it 96 yards for a score to make it 34-24 after Kaleb West ran in the 2-point conversion with 4:47 to play.

Heber Springs managed a first down on its next possession as Weston Warden ran for 6 and Brown followed with a 7-yard carry. But the drive would stall and the Southerners would take over on their own 31 with 1:48 left.

Southside Batesville moved down the field on a 10-play, 69-yard drive as West scored on 2-yard run at the buzzer. West would run in the 2-point conversion to set the final score at 34-32.

The Southerners ground-oriented offense kept the ball away from the Panthers most of the night (52 offensive plays to 26 for Heber Springs), but when the Panthers got the ball they took advantage of it.

After the two teams traded possessions, Heber Springs would go up 7-0 with 2:20 left in the opening quarter after Liam Buffalo scored on a 2-yard quarterback keeper. The touchdown was set up after Buffalo, who was 13 of 15 passing on the night for 183 yards and two touchdowns, connected with Xander Lindley for a 68-yard pass completion to put the ball on the Southside 2.

The Southerners responded with a 63-yard drive that Case capped off with a 2-yard touchdown run. Case, who finished the night with 30 carries for 162 yards and two touchdowns, carried the ball into the end zone for the 2-point conversion to give Southside Batesville the 8-7 advantage with 6:17 left in the half.

Three plays later, Buffalo found Brown for a 39-yard touchdown pass and after Buffalo connected with Dalton Yancey for the 2-point conversion, Heber Springs led 15-8 with 5:19 left in the second quarter.

Southside Batesville was methodically marching the ball down the field again before Brown stepped in front of the first Southerner pass attempt of the night and returned it 62 yards for a score. The 2-point conversion failed and Heber Springs led 21-8 with 2:10 left in the half.

The halftime buzzer ended a Southside Batesville drive at the Panther 11 as Heber Springs led at the break, 21-8.

The Southerners took the opening kickoff of the second half and used a 12-play, 60-yard drive that took 5:26 off the clock to close the gap to 21-16. Case scored on a 1-yard run and West ran in the 2-point conversion.

Lindley caught four passes for 93 yards on the night for Heber Springs including a 10-yard scoring strike from Buffalo with 7:50 left in the game to make it 27-16. The 2-point conversion attempt failed. The scoring play finished off an eight-play, 55-yard drive for Heber Springs as Buffalo was 6 for 7 on the drive for 55 yards hitting four different receivers (Warden, Lindley, Yancey and Brown).

Brown finished with 173 all-purpose yards for Heber Springs while Case had 278 for the Southerners.

In total offense, Southside had 272 yards to the Panthers 264, but the Heber Springs averaged 10.2 yards per play to the Southerners 5.2.

Southside Batesville at Heber Springs Junior High Stats

Junior High Football
October 22, 2020
at Panther Stadium

Southside Batesville  0   8   8  16 - 32
Heber Springs         7  14   0  13 - 34

Heber Springs, Liam Buffalo 2-yard run (Gideon Tate kick), 2:20
Southside Batesville, Seth Case 2-yard run (Case run), 6:17
Heber Springs, Buffalo to Parker Brown 39-yard pass (Buffalo to Dalton Yancey pass), 5:19
Heber Springs, Brown 62-yard interception return (run failed), 2:10
Southside Batesville, Case 1-yard run (Kaleb West run), 2:34
Heber Springs, Buffalo to Xander Lindley 10-yard pass (pass failed), 7:58
Heber Springs, Brown 44-yard run (Tate kick), 5:09
Southside Batesville, Case 96-yard kickoff return (West run), 4:47
Southside Batesville, West 2-yard run (West run), :00

First Downs by Rush: Heber Springs 3, Southside 15
First Downs by Pass: Heber Springs 7, Southside 0
First Downs by Penalty: Heber Springs 0, Southside 2
Total First Downs: Heber Springs 10, Southside 17
Penalties: Heber Springs 4/30, Southside 5/25
3rd-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 2/4, Southside 4/8
4th-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 0/2, Southside 2/2
Fumbles/Lost: Heber Springs 0/0, Southside 0/0
Sacks/Yards Lost: Heber Springs 0/0, Southside 0/0
Rush/Yards/Avg: Heber Springs 11/81/7.4, Southside 48/272/5.7
Passing (A/C-Yards-TD/Int): Heber Springs 13/15-183-2/0, Southside 0/4-0-0/1
Total Offense: Heber Springs 264, Southside 272
Punts: Heber Springs 0/0, Southside 2/60/30
Rushing: Heber Springs, Parker Brown 2/51/1, Weston Warden 7/20, Liam Buffalo 2/9/1. Southside Batesville, Seth Case 30/182/2, Kaleb West 13/72/1, Tyson Trucks 3/18, Savion Hall 1/2, Cameron Foree 1/(-2).
Passing: Heber Springs, Liam Buffalo 13/15-183-2/0. Southside Batesville, Savion Hall 0/2-0-0/0, Cameron Foree 0/1-0-0/1, Kaleb West 0/1-0-0/0
Receiving: Heber Springs, Parker Brown 5/60/1, Xander Lindley 4/93/1, Dalton Yancey 3/13, Weston Warden 1/17. Southside Batesville, none.
Kickoff Returns: Heber Springs, Corbin Jones 2/4, Jude Bray 1/0, Chris Roberts 1/0. Southside Batesville, Seth Case 1/96/1, Savion Hall 1/5, Louis Calhoun 2/4, Kaleb West 1/(-10).
Interceptions: Heber Springs, Parker Brown 1/62/1
Total Offense: Heber Springs, Liam Buffalo 192, Parker Brown 51, Weston Warden 20. Southside Batesville, Seth Case 182, Kaleb West 72, Tyson Tucks 18, Savion Hall 2, Cameron Foree (-2).
All-Purpose Yards: Heber Springs, Parker Brown 173, Xander Lindley 93, Weston Warden 37, Dalton Yancey 13, Liam Buffalo 9, Corbin Jones 4. Southside Batesville, Seth Case 278, Kaleb West 62, Tyson Trucks 18, Savion Hall 7, Louis Calhoun 4, Cameron Foree (-2). 
PUNTS: Southside Batesville, Jaylon Jennings 2/60/30
INTERCEPTIONS: Heber Springs, Parker Brown
KICKING: Heber Springs, Gideon Tate (2/2 XP)