Heber Springs tops Lonoke in junior high action

Heber Springs’ Weston Warden looks to get up field after taking a screen pass from Liam Buffalo Thursday night in Lonoke. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

LONOKE – Heber Springs overcame a sluggish start to claim a 34-12 conference-opening victory over Lonoke Thursday night.

Liam Buffalo threw his first interception this season in more than 50 attempts, but that would be the only blemish for the ninth-grader on the night as he was 11 of 14 passing for 201 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 95 yards and three touchdowns on seven attempts.

Weston Warden caught five passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns including a 23-yarder with 7:34 to play in the first half to tie the game at 6-6, and an 85-yarder on a screen pass that he took the distance to give the Panthers (3-1, 1-0) a 12-6 lead with 1:13 left in the half – a lead the Panthers wouldn’t give up.

Lonoke (0-2, 0-1) struck first as Marquez Jackson took the opening kickoff 82 yards for a score to give the Jackrabbits an early 6-0 advantage.

The Panthers first drive was stalled thanks in part to a pair of 10-yard penalties and an interception by Lonoke’s Tanner Starks.

Lonoke appeared to be driving for another score reaching the Heber Springs 28, but on third-and-3, Jacob McMullin threw Lonoke quarterback J.T. Stuart for a seven-yard loss to end the Jackrabbit momentum as a fourth-down pass play came up short.

The Panthers would then drive 74 yards on 10 plays to tie things up on the Buffalo to Warden 23-yard scoring pass.

Heber Springs held Lonoke on their next possession thanks in part to tackles for loss by Luke Elliott and Buffalo.

After a 33-yard punt by Stuart, Buffalo connected with Warden, who did the rest for the 85-yard score.

McMullin, who recovered three onside kick attempts on the night, covered the onside attempt at the Panther 48. Buffalo would race 52 yards for the score with 7:11 left in the third quarter. Buffalo would connect with Logan Rutledge for the 2-point conversion to make it 20-6.

On the ensuing kickoff, Jackson would strike again return the kickoff for 74 yards to make it 20-12.

Heber Springs would use a seven-play, 57-yard drive to respond as Buffalo capped the drive with a 13-yard scoring run to make it 26-12.

The Panthers added a fourth-quarter touchdown on a 5-yard run by Buffalo and a 2-point conversion by Buffalo to set the final score.

Heber Springs returns to action Tuesday night at Panther Stadium against Stuttgart.

HEBER SPRINGS AT LONOKE
SEPTEMBER 23, 2021 
Heber Springs   0  12  14   6 - 32 
Lonoke          6   0   6   0 - 12 
FIRST QUARTER 
L - Marquez Jackson 82-yard kickoff return (run failed), 7:47
SECOND QUARTER 
HS - Liam Buffalo to Weston Warden 23-yard pass (pass failed), 7:34
HS - Buffalo to Warden 85-yard pass (run failed), 1:13
THIRD QUARTER 
HS - Buffalo 52-yard run (Buffalo to Logan Rutledge pass), 7:11
L - Jackson 74-yard kickoff return (run failed), 6:59
HS - Buffalo 13-yard run (run failed), 3:45
FOURTH QUARTER 
HS - Buffalo 5-yard run (Buffalo run), 7:14
TEAM STATISTICS 
FIRST DOWNS: HS 15, L 5
RUSHES-YARDS: HS 21/161, L 21/33
PASSING YARDS: HS 201, L 34
TOTAL OFFENSE: HS 362, L 67
COMP-ATT-INT: HS 11-14-1, L 4-11-1
FUMBLES: HS 0, L 0
PENALITIES-YARDS: HS 6/40, L 0/0
PUNTS-AVERAGE: HS 0, L 1/33
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS 
RUSHING: HS, Liam Buffalo 7/95, Lucas Garcia 6/49, Logan Rutledge 1/13, Carter Julian 1/7, Weston Warden 5/2, Team 1/(-5). Lonoke, D'Mar Eason 4/17, Marquez Jackson 5/14, J.T. Stuart 7/13, Will Payne 1/2, Alex Whiting 2/2, Dexter Rollason 1/(-4), Team 1/(-11).
PASSING: HS, Buffalo 11/14-201-2/1, Stuart 4/11-34-0/1
RECEVING: HS, Warden 5/124, Ty West 2/22, Julian 2/20, Seth Dudeck 1/27, Rutledge 1/8. L, Tanner Starks 1/22, Cameron Hooten 1/9, Jaden Mays 1/5, Payne 1/(-2).
KICKOFF RETURNS: L, Jackson 2/156, T.J. Terry 1/7.
PUNT RETURNS: None
INT RETURNS: HS, Caleb Carr 1/29. L, Starks 1/18
FUMBLE RETURNS: None
PUNTS: L, Stuart 1/33.

HEBER SPRINGS JUNIOR HIGH SCHEDULE

(All Games Start at 7 p.m.)

Aug. 26 – Heber Springs 32, Clinton 28

Sep. 09 – Harding Academy 36, Heber Springs 16

Sep. 16 – Heber Springs 26, Dover 12

Sep. 23 – Heber Springs 34, Lonoke 12 *

Sep. 28 – Stuttgart *

Oct. 07 – at Central Arkansas Christian *

Oct. 14 – Bald Knob *

Oct. 21 – at Southside Batesville *

Oct. 28 – at Clinton *

(* – Denotes Conference Contest)

Junior Panthers take care of Dover

Heber Springs’ Seth Dudeck attempts to avoid a Dover defender Thursday night at Panther Stadium. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Heber Springs’ Weston Warden finished with 126 all-purpose yards and a pair of touchdowns as the junior Panthers wrapped up nonconference play with a 26-12 victory over Dover Thursday night at Panther Stadium.

Ninth-grader Liam Buffalo rushed nine times for 102 yards and a 43-yard touchdown that opened the scoring with 5:24 to play in the first half.

Buffalo’s run came after the Panther defense forced a three-and-out on Dover’s first possession.

On the Pirates second possession, Dover picked up a pair of first downs and reached the Panther 43, but a Buffalo recovered a Pirate fumble at the 50-yard line.

Heber Springs was flagged eight times for 52 yards on the night, including three on the Panthers next drive that stalled on their own 46.

Dover pushed the ball out to midfield, but Heber Springs’ defense stiffened forcing a punt attempt, but a high snap sailed over the punters head and Jacob McMullin recovered the loose football at the Dover 26.

Four plays later, Buffalo connected with Carter Julian for a 4-yard touchdown and a 2-point conversion with 3:13 left in the half.

Dover responded with a seven-play, 55-yard drive to get on the board with 37.5 seconds left in the half.

Heber Springs came out of the half and scored on a 12-play, 69-yard drive that Warden capped off with a 2-yard touchdown reception from Buffalo to make it 20-6 with 4:20 left in the third quarter.

The score would remain that way until late in the contest when Warden picked off a Talvin Leavell pass attempt and raced 83 yards for a score with just under a minute to play.

On the ensuing kickoff, Masters would race 85-yards to set the final score at 26-12.

Heber Springs will open conference play next week at Lonoke.

DOVER AT HEBER SPRINGS
SEPTEMBER 16, 2021 
Dover           0   6   0   6 - 12 
Heber Springs   6   8   6   6 - 26 
FIRST QUARTER 
HS - Liam Buffalo 43-yard run (pass failed), 5:24 
SECOND QUARTER 
HS - Buffalo to Carter Julian 4-yard pass (Buffalo to Julian), 3:13
D - Drew Masters 2-yard run (run failed), 37.5
THIRD QUARTER 
HS - Buffalo to Weston Warden 14-yard pass (pass failed), 4:20
FOURTH QUARTER 
HS - Warden 83-yard interception return (pass failed), 57.6
D - Masters 85-yard kickoff return (run failed), 43.8
TEAM STATISTICS 
FIRST DOWNS: HS 9, D 13
RUSHES-YARDS: HS 14/108, D 33/116
PASSING YARDS: HS 72, D 31
COMP-ATT-INT: HS 9-16-0, D 4-8-1
FUMBLES: HS 1, D 2
PENALITIES-YARDS: HS 8-52, D 5-40
PUNTS-AVERAGE: HS 2-14.5, D 1-19
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS 
RUSHING: HS, Liam Buffalo 9/102, Weston Warden 4/20, Team 1/(-4). Dover, Drew Masters 21/86, Talvin Leavell 7/29, Ty George 3/36, Timmy Callans 1/(-7), Team 1/(-28)
PASSING: HS, Buffalo 9/16-72-2/0. D, Talvin Leavell 4/8-31-0/1
RECEVING: HS, Carter Julian 3/16, Warden 2/21, Seth Dudeck 2/15, Jackson Rutledge 2/20 
KICKOFF RETURNS: D, Masters 1/85, George 2/29, Chayner Owen 1/3 
PUNT RETURNS: None
INT RETURNS: HS, Warden 1/85
FUMBLE RETURNS: D, Team 1/8
PUNTS: HS, Buffalo 1/29, Team 1/0. D, Leavell 1/19

HEBER SPRINGS JUNIOR HIGH SCHEDULE

(All Games Start at 7 p.m.)

Aug. 26 – Heber Springs 32, Clinton 28

Sep. 09 – Harding Academy 36, Heber Springs 16

Sep. 16 – Heber Springs 26, Dover 12

Sep. 23 – at Lonoke *

Sep. 28 – Stuttgart *

Oct. 07 – at Central Arkansas Christian *

Oct. 14 – Bald Knob *

Oct. 21 – at Southside Batesville *

Oct. 28 – at Clinton *

(* – Denotes conference contest)

Junior Panthers open with win over Clinton

Heber Springs ninth-grader Liam Buffalo looks for an open receiver in the junior Panthers, 34-32, win over Clinton Thursday night. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

HEBER SPRINGS – Heber Springs Liam Buffalo rushed for 143 and a pair of touchdowns, and passed for another, as the junior Panthers opened their season with a 32-28 nonconference victory over Clinton.

The two teams will meet again on Oct. 28 in Clinton in a conference contest.

On Thursday, the Panthers were limited to eight offensive possessions and 23 plays from scrimmage, but made the most of them. Heber Springs scored four times, punted once, had a drive stall at midfield and had drives ended by the half and game.

On the Panthers first play from scrimmage, Weston Warden took a pitch from Buffalo and raced 68 yards to put Heber Springs on top with less than 15 seconds gone in the game. Buffalo ran in the 2-point conversion.

The two teams traded punts before the Panther defense forced another Yellowjacket punt as Warden returned the Brodie Dufrene punt 19 yards to the Clinton 33 with 1:41 left in the first quarter.

On the next play, Buffalo kept the ball and rambled 33 yards for the score. Buffalo connected with Carter Julian for the 2-point conversion and the Panthers led 16-0 with 1:31 to play in the quarter.

After another Clinton punt, Heber Springs took over on their own 39, but a penalty pushed the Panthers back 15 yards and killed the drive at the 41.

From there, Clinton moved the ball 41 yards on a six-play drive that Dufrene capped off with a 1-yard run. Dufrene connected Sam Standridge for the 2-point conversion with 4:24 to play in the half.

The Yellowjackets onside-kick failed and Heber Springs took over at the Clinton 49. After an 11-yard run by Buffalo, the ninth-grader connected with Julian for a 38-yard touchdown pass. Buffalo ran in the 2-point conversion and Heber Springs led 24-8 with 4:03 left in the half.

Clinton then killed all but 10 seconds of the second quarter with a 13-play, 60-yard drive that Rope Williams capped with a 1-yard touchdown run. The 2-point conversion failed as Heber Springs led 24-14 at the break.

The Yellowjackets took the second-half kickoff and then proceeded with an 18-play, 70-yard drive that ate all of the third-quarter clock and two minutes of the fourth quarter as Zack Hunt-Gonzalez scored from seven yards. Joshua Fultz scored the 2-point conversion on a pass from Dufrene.

Just over 30 seconds later, Heber Springs answered as Buffalo hit Seth Dudeck for a 42-yard completion and then ran the ball in from the 16 on the next play. Buffalo connected with Warden for the 2-point conversion and Heber Springs led 32-22 with 5:20 to play.

Clinton would not go quietly scoring another touchdown less than three minutes when Hunt-Gonzalez scored on a 2-yard run. The 2-point conversion failed.

Buffalo ran for 18 yards and connected with Warden for another 18 yards as the Panthers were able to kill the clock and earn the win.

Heber Springs finished the night with almost 300 yards of total offense despite missing several starters due to Covid protocols.

Heber Springs will return to action on Sept. 9 at Harding Academy in a nonconference contest.

HEBER SPRINGS/CLINTON GAME STATS

FIRST DOWNS: HS 10, C 15
PENALITIES: HS 3/35, C 5/25
RUSHING: HS 14/194/13.9, C 42/90/2.1
FUMBLES: HS 0, C 0
PASSING (C/A-YARDS) HS 4/9-98, C 9/15-87
INTERCEPTIONS: HS 0, C 0
SACKED-YARDS LOST: HS 0, C 1-8
TOTAL OFFENSE: HS 292, C 177
TURNOVERS: HS 0, C 0
ONSIDE KICKS: HS 0/0, C 0/3
2-PT CONVERSIONS: HS 4/4, C 2/4
PUNTS/AVG: HS 1/48, C 3/29.3

RUSHING (ATT/YARDS/TDS): HS, Liam Buffalo 8/143/2, Weston Warden 3/65/1, Logan Rutledge 1/(-2), Team 2/(-12). Clinton, Rope Williams 12/37/1, Rylan Jones 11/40, Zack Hunt-Gonzalez 10/45/2, Brodie Dufrene 5/3/1, Sam Standridge 3/4, Brayson Littell 1/1. 
PASSING (COMP/ATT-YARDS-TDS/INTS): HS, Buffalo 4/9-98-1/0. Clinton, Dufrene 9/14-87-0/0, Littell 0/1-0-0/0
RECEIVING: HS, Seth Dudeck 1/42, Carter Julian 1/38/1, Warden 1/12, Rutledge 1/10. Clinton, Standridge 3/29, Jones 3/20, Liam Hudson 2/25, Williams 1/13.

HEBER SPRINGS JUNIOR HIGH SCHEDULE

(All Games Start at 7 p.m.)

Aug. 26 – Heber Springs 32, Clinton 28

Sep. 09 – at Harding Academy

Sep. 16 – Dover

Sep. 23 – at Lonoke *

Sep. 28 – Stuttgart *

Oct. 07 – at Central Arkansas Christian *

Oct. 14 – Bald Knob *

Oct. 21 – at Southside Batesville *

Oct. 28 – at Clinton *

(* – Denotes conference contest)

HEBER SPRINGS JUNIOR HIGH ROSTER

(Alphabetical and listed with grade)

8TH- Eli Buffalo

9TH – Liam Buffalo

8TH- Caleb Carr

9TH – Axley Davis

8TH- Seth Dudeck

8TH- Jack Duvall

8TH- Emitt Dwyer

9TH- Tyler Dye

8TH- Nate Eaton

9TH – Luke Elliott

8TH – Nash Farmer

8TH- Lucas Garcia

8TH – Britt Grice

8TH- Cooper Holmes

8TH- Cade James

8TH- Tripp Johnston

8TH – Elijah Jones

9TH – Carter Julian

9TH – Jacob McMullin

9TH – Justin Newton

9TH – Braidyn Ogle

9TH – Gauge Owens

8TH – Casey Pearce

9TH – Crimson Pettigrew

9TH – Logan Rutledge

8TH- Jeremiah Sanders

8TH- Seth Smith

9TH – Damien Standridge

9TH- Weston Warden

9TH- Ty West

8TH – John Wilson

Heber Springs 7th-Graders top Bald Knob

Heber Springs’ Gavin Widner fights off the tackle attempt of Bald Knob’s Devin Quinn in seventh-grade football action Thursday night in Bald Knob. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

By PHILIP SEATON

BALD KNOB – The Heber Springs Panther Cubs improved to 4-2 on the season with a 28-14 victory over Bald Knob Thursday night.

Heber Springs struck first as Jacob Haskett scored on an 11-yard run with 14:42 left in the first half. The 2-point pass failed as the Panther Cubs led 6-0.

Heber Springs quarterback Emmett Dwyer.

Heber Springs would scored again to go up 14-0 with 3:55 left in the first half as Emmett Dwyer connected with Haskett for a short-pass completion with Haskett doing the rest racing past several Bulldog defenders for a 91-yard touchdown. Dwyer connected with Eli Buffalo for the 2-point conversion.

Bald Knob pulled to within a score early in the second half as Bulldog quarterback Dakota Shoebottom broke a pair of tackles and rambled 69 yards for a touchdown with 18:51 left in the half. The 2-point pass failed.

Heber Springs would go up 22-6 with 12:50 left as Dwyer found Cooper Holmes for a 60-yard touchdown pass. Dwyer would run in the 2-point conversion.

Heber Springs’ Jacob Haskett

Dyce Young recovered a Bald Knob fumble on the Bulldogs next possession, but the Panthers turned the ball over ending that scoring threat.

Heber Springs added another score on a 5-yard touchdown run by Eli Buffalo with 3:59 left. The 2-point conversion failed.

Bald Knob added a late score to settle the final score as Shoebottom scrambled for a 58-yard touchdown run with 1:18 left. Shoebottom connected with Kaden Posey for the 2-point conversion.

Heber Springs returns to action on Thursday when it hosts Southside Batesville.

Heber Springs’ Seth Dudeck looks to get past Bald Knob’s Kaden Posey. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO
Heber Springs’ Eli Buffalo (5) and Lowell Smith (78). PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Heber Springs 7th-grade team downs Stuttgart

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

By PHILIP SEATON

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

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

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

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

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

Panther seventh-graders top Dover for first win

Heber Springs’ Joel Atwood carries the ball as Dover’s Preston Shuffield gives chase in seventh-grade action. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Jacob Haskett scored four times and Emmett Dwyer threw a pair of touchdown passes as the Heber Springs seventh-grade team claim a 36-8 victory at Dover on Thursday.

The win improved the Panther Cubs to 1-1 on the year.

Heber Springs struck early. After a Dwyer intercepted a Dover pass attempt, Haskett would later score on a 31-yard run to make it 6-0 with 16:10 left in the first half. Dwyer connected with Seth Dudeck for the 2-point conversion.

Heber Spring’s Emmett Dwyer looks downfield as Dover’s Jonas Story purses him. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

The Panthers would score on their next possession as Haskett raced 39 yards for the score with 8:10 left in the half. Dwyer connected with Gavin Widner on the 2-point conversion to make it 16-0.

Heber Springs scored one more time in the first half to lead 22-0 at the break. After a Widner interception, Haskett would carry the ball from 37 yards out with 18 seconds left in the half.

The Panthers got the ball to start the second half and didn’t waste any time getting another score as Dwyer connected with Haskett on a 70-yard pass. Dwyer ran in the 2-point conversion with 19:25 to make it 30-0.

Heber Springs’ final tally came at the 11:55 mark when Dwyer connected with John Wilson for a 55-yard touchdown pass. The 2-point conversion failed.

Dover added a late score to avoid the shutout when Gavin Hampton intercepted a Panther pass attempt and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown. Keagan Hampton added the 2-point conversion at the 5:05 for the Pirates.

Heber Springs returns to action on Thursday when it hosts Lonoke at Panther Stadium beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Heber Springs’s Gavin Widner gets a block from teammate Nate Eaton (42) on Dover’s Chris Newman in seventh-grade action. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Panther 7th-Graders fall in opener

Heber Springs’ Dyce Young (56) breaks off a long run against Harding Academy Thursday night in seventh-grade football action. Heber Springs’ Grady Turley (24) and Emmett Dwyer (34) and Harding Academy’s Catcher Smith (2) and Cam Pryor (19) also pictured. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

By PHILIP SEATON

The Heber Springs Panthers dropped a 22-14 decision to Harding Academy on Thursday in the season opener for the seventh-grade squad at Panther Stadium.

Heber Springs (0-1) led 14-6 after Seth Dudeck returned a Wildcat fumble 26 yards for touchdown with 12:42 to play in the contest, but Harding Academy scored 16 straight to pull out the win.

The Panthers struck first as Jacob Haskett scored on a 10-yard run with 11:29 to play in the first half. Dyce Young plunged over for the 2-point conversion and Heber Springs led 8-0.

Harding Academy answered at the 6:53 mark of the first stanza with a 53-yard run by quarterback Cam Pryor to make it 8-6, after the Panthers stopped the 2-point conversion.

Heber Springs’ Jacob Haskett attempts to avoid the tackle of Harding Academy’s Cam Pryor in seventh-grade football action Thursday night at Panther Stadium. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Heber Springs moved the ball deep into Wildcat territory late in the first half as a 22-yard run by Young and a 41-yard pass play as Emmett Dwyer connected with Cooper Holmes, but the drive ended when Harding Academy’s Jack Roberts intercepted the Panthers pass attempt at the Wildcat 8 with 37 seconds left in the half.

Heber Springs’ first drive of the second half also got deep into Wildcat territory after a 28-yard run by Haskett and an 18-yard reception by Holmes, but another interception stopped the drive. A couple plays later, Dudeck picked up the loose Wildcat football and rushed in for what would be the Panthers final score.

Harding Academy would tie the game with 8:01 left to play on an 83-yard run by Roberts and the 2-point run by Pryor. 

The Wildcats would score the go-ahead touchdown with 1:55 to play on a 36-yard run by Pryor. Roberts added the 2-point run to set the final score. 

Heber Springs will return to action on Thursday when they travel to Dover.

Heber Springs’ Emmett Dwyer looks upfield against Harding Academy Thursday night at Panther Stadium. Heber Springs’ Gavin Widner (6) and Harding Academy’s Josiah Swindle (70), also pictured. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO