Panthers wrap up spring practice, head into summer

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Panthers thump Hillbillies in regular season finale

Heber Springs pitcher J.T. Spears delivers a first-inning pitch to an Ozark batter on Friday at Panther Field. The Panthers won the 4A-4 contest 10-1. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

Heber Springs came out swinging and celebrated senior night with one of its best performances of the season at the Heber Springs Sports Complex on Friday.

Kenan Sneed, Garrett Hudspeth and Matthew Cook each hit three singles as the Panthers whipped Ozark 10-1 in a 4-4A Conference baseball game. Sneed led the offense with three RBIs while Hudspeth had two RBIs.

Heber Springs and Ozark will meet again at 4:30 p.m. Monday, also at the Heber Springs Sports Complex, in a play-in game at the conference tournament. The winner will advance to play Clarksville at Dardanelle on Tuesday.

“We played a complete baseball game,” Panther coach Monterio May said. “I was happy to get all of the seniors in the game on senior night. We are starting to put everything together and excited to see what this team will do going forward.”

Heber Springs (4-8 in conference, 5-13 overall) fell from a No. 4 to a No. 6 seed because of a forfeit of an earlier win against Subiaco Academy. The forfeiture occurred because a pitcher exceeded the pitch count limit during that game.

The Panthers had 13 hits, all singles, against three Ozark pitchers.

“We got the bats rolling,” he said. “We quit swinging at bad pitches.”

J.T. Spears limited Ozark to three hits with two strikeouts in six innings. Matthew Cook pitched the seventh inning.

“J.T. competes every day and embodies everything we want to do as a team,” May said. “He brings  intensity and consistency. He usually throws around 70 percent strikes. I told him we need him to throw at least 60 percent to win. He does it with five different pitches.”

Heber Springs scored one run in the first and second innings.

Hudspeth and Cook hit singles to start the bottom of the first inning. Sneed’s fly ball to the outfield allowed Hudspeth to tag and advanced to third base.

Hudspeth scored on a wild pitch for the 1-0 lead.

In the second inning, Corbin Jones reached on an error and Conner Riddle had a single. Jones scored on Hudspeth’s base hit.

After Ozark scored in the top of the fourth, the Panthers responded with three runs during the bottom of the inning and increased their lead.

Hudspeth walked and advanced to third base on Cook’s single. Sneed followed with an RBI base hit, scoring Hudspeth. Cole Payton walked to load the bases. Xander Lindley also walked, bringing in Cook from third base. Sneed scored on an error as the Panthers held a 5-1 lead.

Heber Springs put the game away in the fifth by scoring five runs. Riddle hit a single and later scored on Hudspeth’s base hit. After Cook’s single, Sneed lined a 2-run single into center field. The final two runs came on an error and a fielder’s choice.

May said the win gives momentum to the team for Monday’s game.

“We will be ready to play,” he said.

Ozark 000 100 0- 1 3 3
Heber Springs` 110 350 x- 10 13 2
Ozark hitters — Sebastian Ross single; Dylan Herriage single; Rylee Griffin single; Tyler Sanders 1 stolen base.
Ozark pitchers — Kayden McAnally (L) 7 hits, 5 runs, 3 earned runs, 4 walks in 3.1 innings; Dax Shaffer 3 hits, 3 earned runs, 2 walks in .2 inning; Dylan Herriage 3 hits, 2 runs, 5 strikeouts in 2 innings.
Heber Springs hitters — Kenan Sneed 3 singles, 3 RBIs; Garrett Hudspeth 3 singles, 2 RBIs, 2 stolen bases; Matthew Cook 3 singles, 1 stolen base; Conner Riddle 2 singles, 1 stolen base; Xander Lindley single, 1 RBI; Corbin Jones single; J.T. Spears 1 RBI; Easton Cusick 1 stolen base.
Heber Springs pitchers — J.T. Spears (W) 3 hits, 1 run, 2 strikeouts, 3 walks in 6 innings; Mathew Cook 0 hits, 0 runs in 1 inning.

Heber Springs rally comes up short against Clarksville

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

Clarksville scored five runs during the first two innings and hang on for an 8-5 win against the Heber Springs Panthers in a 4-4A Conference baseball game at the Heber Springs Sports Complex Monday.

The defeat and Tuesday’s 8-7 loss at Dardanelle dropped the Panthers (3-7 in conference, 4-12 overall) to fifth place in the conference standings.

“We let up during the first inning,” Heber Springs coach Monterio May said following the loss to Clarksville. “We picked it up before the end of the inning, but it was too little, too late. We have been trying to instill in the players that the game is not over until it’s over. We need to come out and play with more intensity early in the game.”

Righthander J.T Spears, who was the losing pitcher, allowed seven hits, eight runs and had four strikeouts and one walk in 5.1 innings. Corbin Jones relieved Spears and permitted one hit and struck out one batter in 1.2 inning.

“Spears did what was expected and gave us a chance at winning,” May said. “He is turning into a diamond in the rough and he’s only a sophomore. J.T. throws all of his pitches for strikes, and he has a chance to become an even better pitcher in the future.”

John-Foster Case, Landon Leeds and Dakota Palsey hit RBI singles during the top of the first inning. Leeds scored later on Cole Chrisman’s sacrifice fly.

Heber Springs scored one run in the bottom of the inning.

Garrett Hudspeth was hit by a pitch and moved into scoring position by stealing second base. Hudspeth later scored on an infield out.

After Clarksville scored one run in the top of the second for a 5-1 lead, the Panthers kept close in the bottom of the inning. Xander Lindley reached on an error, Spears hit a single and the runners advanced on a passed ball. Lindley came home on an infield out. Spears scored on Hudspeth’s double and reduced Clarksville lead to 5-3.

Clarksville scored one run in the top of the fifth, but the Panthers matched it during the bottom half of the inning.

Kenan Sneed reached on a fielder’s choice and then he scored on Cole Payton’s RBI triple.

Clarksville added two runs during the sixth inning and increased its lead to 8-4.
Heber Springs’ final run came in the bottom of the seventh on a bases-loaded walk to Lindley.

The Panthers are scheduled to host Bald Knob in a non-conference game at 4:30 p.m. Thursday and play a conference game at Subiaco Academy on Friday.

Clarksville 410 012 0–8 12 2
Heber Springs 120 010 1–5 5  2
Clarksville hitters — Alex Snow 4 singles, 1 stolen base; John-Foster Case single, double, 2 RBIs; Landon Leeds 2 singles, 2 RBIs, 1 stolen base; Easton Burkett single, 1 1 RBI, 1 stolen base; Dakota Pasley single, 1 RBI; Cole Chrisman single, 1 RBI; Gabe Kremers single, 1 stolen base.
Clarksville  pitchers — Dakota Pasley (W) 2 hits, 4 runs, 1 earned run, 3 strikeouts, 3 walks in 4.2 innings; John-Foster Case 2 hits, 1 run, 5 strikeouts, 1 walk in 2.1 innings.
Heber Springs hitters — Garrett Hudspeth single, double, 1 RBI, 1 stolen base; Cole Payton triple, 2 RBIs; J.T. Spears single, 1 RBI; Kenan Sneed single; Xander Lindley 1 RBI; Corbin Jones 1 RBI.
Heber Springs pitchers — J.T Spears (L) 7 hits, 8 runs, 7 earned runs, 4 strikeouts, 1 walk in 5.1 innings; Corbin Jones 1 hit, 1 strikeout in 1.2 inning.
 

Panthers fall to Bulldogs in nonconference action

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

Monday’s nonconference baseball match with Conway St. Joseph turned into one of those kind of days that the Heber Springs Panthers will try and forget quickly.

Playing for the first time in 10 days, the Panthers resumed the schedule and lost to St. Joseph 15-1 at the Heber Springs Sports Complex.

The game ended on the 10-run rule after five innings.

“It turned into one of those days when the wheels completely fell off,” Heber Springs coach Monterio May said. “We practiced for the past four days, but we have a lot of rust to get rid of.”

St. Joseph scored one run during the first inning and two more runs in the second. The Bulldogs broke the game open  by scoring 11 runs during the third and added one run in the fifth.

The Panthers avoided a shutout in the bottom of the fifth.

Cole Payton was hit by a pitch and Conner Riddle walked.  St. Joseph turned a double play as Payton reached third base. Kenan Sneed followed with an RBI single, scoring Payton from third base.

The Panthers (2-3 in 4-4A Conference, 3-5 overall) were scheduled to play at Ozark on Tuesday and at Morrilton on Thursday. Heber Springs will play Woodlawn and Rose Bud at Rose Bud on Saturday.

St. Joseph 13(11) 01–15 9 2
Heber Springs 000 01–1  4 4
St. Joseph hitters — Nicholas French single, double, 2 RBIs; Collin Coney 2 singles; Luke Pope single, 3 RBIs; Max Longing single, 2 RBIs; Caleb Mallett single, 1 RBI; Jared Sanders single, 1 RBI; Gabriel Stobaugh single; Luke Brigger 1 RBI; Cole Garner 1 RBI.
St. Joseph pitchers — Cole Garner (W) 4 hits, 1 earned run, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts in 5 innings.
Heber Springs hitters — Kenan Sneed 2 singles, 1 RBI; Matthew Cook single; Garrett Hudspeth single.
Heber Springs pitchers — Xander Lindley (L, 0-2) 6 hits, 6 runs, 5 earned runs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts in 2 innings; Mathew Cook 1 hit, 3 earned runs, 2 walks in 0 innings; Gage Buford 2 hits, 5 runs, 4 earned runs, 2 walks in .1 inning; Corbin Jones 0 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 1 strikeout in 2.2 innings.

Panthers, May claim first win

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

Monteri0 May will never forget his first win as head baseball coach at Heber Springs High School.

Garrett Hudspeth pitched the final two innings and hit a bloop single to drive home the winning run in the bottom of the eighth as the Panthers defeated Pottsville 8-7 in a 4-4A Conference game at the Heber Springs Sports Complex.

Hudspeth struck out five batters with one walk in relief of starter J.T. Spears.

Heber Springs picked up its first win in three games. The Panthers lost to conference foe Morrilton in the season opener and to Clinton in non-conference play.

Heber Springs loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the eighth. Kenan Sneed hit a groundball against a drawn-in infield and Matthew Cook, who started the inning with a single, was thrown out at the plate for the second out.

Hudspeth hit a blooper behind second base that Pottsville shortstop Matthew Moore failed to catch as Xander Lindley scored from third base.

“We will take it anyway we can,” May said. “I told the players before the game we were going to fight every pitch, win every inning and let the outcome play out. I’m proud of how these guys completed with dedication every day. It paid off in this game.”

Heber Springs struggled at the plate during Thursday’s game at Clinton, and May challenged his team to reverse that trend.

“We want to swing through every pitch and try and stay away from check swings,” May said. “We wanted to put the ball in play. We struck out too much against Clinton and wanted to reduce that.”

Spears allowed seven hits and seven runs (one earned run) and struck out six batters in six innings.

“J.T. first met me in January and told said he had been working on pitching for the last year,” May said. “He said that he was going to be one of our best pitchers. He showed that in this game. I told him if he could throw strikes, he could become a good pitcher. We didn’t play great defense behind him, but he kept battling.”

May hoped to get five or six innings from Spears and then give the ball to Hudspeth.

“I told Garrett earlier in the day he will close out the game and be the leader that his teammates think he is,” May said.

Pottsville built a 4-1 lead by scoring one run in the top of the first inning and three runs in the second.

Heber Springs responded with three runs in its half of the second inning. The Panthers loaded the bases with one out as Cook scored from third base on an error. Spears then came home on an infield out. Lindley scored on Sneed’s RBI single to left field.

Pottsville increased its lead to 5-3 in the third inning.

Heber Springs led for the first time by scoring four runs in the bottom of the fourth. Conner Riddle scored on a bases-loaded walk to Cole Payton. Cook hit a 2-run single, scoring Sneed and Hudspeth, as the Panthers led, 6-5. Payton later came home on an error.

Pottsville tied the game at 7-7 in the fifth.

“This was a good win,” May said. “The field was wet and more rain was starting to come down. We hope to build on this and keep rolling along.”

Heber Springs (1-1 conference, 1-2 overall) is scheduled to play at Clarksville on Tuesday and return home to host Dardanelle on Friday in conference games.    

Pottsville 131 020 00–7 7 5
Heber Springs 030 400 01–8 9 4
Pottsville hitters — Aiden Owens single, double 1 RBI; Zach Gray single, double; Cade Linker double, 2 RBIs; Easton Stevens single 1 stolen base.
Pottsville pitchers — Matthew Moore 5 hits, 7 earned runs, 4 strikeouts, 5 walks in 4.2 innings; Jacob McCurry 2 hits, 0 runs, 3 strikeouts, 1 walk in 1 inning; Caden Caruthers 2 hits, 1 earned run, 2 strikeouts, 1 walk in 1.2 inning.
Heber Springs hitters — Matthew Cook 2 singles, 2 RBIs, 1 stolen base; Garrett Hudspeth single, 1 RBI; Kenan Sneed single, 1 RBI; Conner Riddle single, 1 RBI; John McBroome single; Gage Buford single; J.T. Spears single; Xander Lindley single; Cole Payton 1 RBI.
Heber Springs pitchers — J.T. Spears 7 hits, 7 runs, 1 earned run, 6 strikeouts in 6 innings; Garrett Hudspeth (W, 1-0) 0 hits, 0 runs, 5 strikeouts, 1 walk in 2 innings.

Final Heber Springs Junior High Stats

SCORING BY QUARTERS
Heber Springs    56   92  38  61 - 247 (30.9 ppg)
Opponent         12   56  34  52 - 154 (19.3 ppg)

TEAM STATS  
First Downs by Rush: Heber Springs 35, Opponent 60
First Downs by Pass: Heber Springs 71, Opponent 12 
First Downs by Penalty: Heber Springs 3, Opponent 9 
Total First Downs: Heber Springs 109, Opponent 81 
Penalties: Heber Springs 38/315, Opponent 39/257 
3rd-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 20/52, Opponent 20/59
4th-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 15/27, Opponent 11/22 
Fumbles/Lost: Heber Springs 8/2, Opponent 10/6 
Sacks/Yards Lost: Heber Springs 6/62, Opponent 0/0 
Rush/Yards/Avg: Heber Springs 104/641/6.2, Opponent 230/1026/4.5
Rushing Yards Per Game: Heber Springs 80.1, Opponent 128.3
Passing (A/C-Yards-TD/Int): Heber Springs 125/203-1870-23/6, Opponent 33/78-487-6/7
Passing Yards Per Game: Heber Springs 233.8, Opponent 60.9 
Total Offense: Heber Springs 2511, Opponent 1513 
Total Offense Per Game: Heber Springs 313.9, Opponent 189.1  
Punts: Heber Springs 2/43/21.5, Opponent 14/460/32.9

INDIVIDUAL STATS  
OFFENSE  
Rushing: Liam Buffalo 21/147/2, Gideon Tate 26/137/1, Weston Warden 23/115/1, Parker Brown 11/112/2, Dalton Yancey 6/61/1, Xander Lindley 4/51/1, Hayden Johnson 5/25, Hud Haggard 1/9, Jacob Golden 1/5, Ladd Choate 2/5, Bryce Seigrist 1/(-6), Team 3/(-22). 
Passing: Liam Buffalo 122/199-1787-22/6, Zachary Parker 3/3-83-1/0, Parker Brown 0/1-0-0/0 
Receiving: Parker Brown 32/602/7, Dalton Yancey 26/419/6, Xander Lindley 27/557/6, Weston Warden 15/156/2, Hud Haggard 15/115/2, Ty West 5/21, Chris Roberts 1/28, Gideon Tate 1/0
Kickoff Returns: Heber Springs, Parker Brown 5/155/1, Corbin Jones 4/4, Hud Haggard 3/0, Xander Lindley 3/95/1, Chris Roberts 2/0, Zachary Parker 1/0, Jude Bray 1/0, Dalton Yancey 1/0 
Punt Returns: Xander Lindley 1/13
Interception Returns: Parker Brown 3/108/2, Liam Buffalo 2/0, Logan Rutledge 1/0, Dalton Yancey 1/0.
Total Offense: Liam Buffalo 1934, Gideon Tate 137, Weston Warden 115, Parker Brown 112, Zachary Parker 83, Dalton Yancey 61, Xander Lindley 51, Hayden Johnson 25, Hud Haggard 9, Jacob Golden 5, Ladd Choate 5, Bryce Seigrist (-6).
All-Purpose Yards: Parker Brown 977, Xander Lindley 716,  Dalton Yancey 480, Weston Warden 271, Liam Buffalo 147,  Gideon Tate 137, Hud Haggard 124, Chris Roberts 28, Hayden Johnson 25, Ty West 21, Jacob Golden 5, Ladd Choate 5, Corbin Jones 4, Bryce Seigrist (-6).
DEFENSE  
Sacks/Yards lost:  Parker Brown 4/41, Hud Haggard 1/11, Chris Roberts 1/10
Interceptions: Liam Buffalo 2, Parker Brown 3, Dalton Yancey 1, Logan Rutledge 1,  
Fumble Recoveries: Ladd Choate, Xander Lindley, Dalton Yancey, Axley Davis, Hayden Johnson, Team  
Punts: Liam Buffalo 2/43/21.5 
SCORING
Parker Brown 84, Xander Lindley 54, Dalton Yancey 48, Gideon Tate 29 (20/21 XP, 1/1 FG. MADE: 25), Weston Warden 18, Hud Haggard 12, Liam Buffalo 12

Junior Panthers fall to Clinton, finish 6-2

Heber Springs’ Xander Lindley leaps for more yards against Clinton on Thursday. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

By PHILIP SEATON

Clinton scored 26 unanswered second-half points as Heber Springs fell to the Yellowjackets, 40-28, in the season finale for both teams at Panther Stadium on Thursday.

Heber Springs (6-2) led 21-14 at the half, and had appeared to stop Clinton (7-1) on a fourth-and-12 play from the Panther 38 on the Yellowjackets first possession of the second half, but a pass interference call went against the Panthers giving Clinton a fresh set of downs at the 23. Three plays later, Billy Standlee plunged in for a 2-yard score to make it 21-20 (the 2-point conversion was no good) with 4:10 left in the third quarter.

The Panthers were posed to respond with a score of their own after Liam Buffalo connected with Parker Brown on a 30-yard strike to move the ball to the Clinton 16. After a 13-yard run by Buffalo, the Panthers reached the Clinton 3 before two lost-yardage running plays and an incomplete pass forced a fourth-down play from the 8. Clinton’s Zane Widener stepped in front of the Buffalo pass in the end zone and raced 101 yards to put Clinton up 26-21 with 1:51 to play in the third.

On the Panthers next possession, Widener again picked off Buffalo this time racing 65 yards for the score to make it 34-21 with 7:43 to play.

Buffalo, who passed for 1,787 yards and 22 touchdowns on the season, had another pass intercepted on Heber Springs’ next possession by Standlee. Six plays later, Payton Sellers scored on a 23-yard run to push the Yellowjacket to 40-21.

On the ensuing kickoff, Brown — who has scored touchdowns by receiving, rush and interception return this season — added a kickoff return for a score when he raced 82 yards for the games final score.

Brown finished with 212 all-purpose yards while Widener had 277 all-purpose yards.

Buffalo was 21 of 34 passing for 239 yards and three touchdowns, all coming in the first half.

Buffalo’s first strike to Weston Warden covered 14 yards and put Heber Springs up 7-0 with 4:48 remaining in the first quarter after Gideon Tate converted the PAT kick.

Heber Springs went up 13-6 when Buffalo connected with Dalton Yancey for 25-yard scoring strike with 6:05 left in the half.

Lindley’s 18-yard scoring reception and Yancey’s 2-point run put the Junior Panthers up 21-14 at the break.

CLINTON AT HEBER SPRINGS
Junior High Football
October 29, 2020
at Panther Stadium

Clinton          6   8  12  14 - 40
Heber Springs    7  14   0   7 - 28

FIRST QUARTER
Heber Springs, Liam Buffalo to Weston Warden 14-yard pass (Gideon Tate kick), 4:48
Clinton, Zane Widener 1-yard run (run failed), 40.9
SECOND QUARTER
Heber Springs, Buffalo to Dalton Yancey 25-yard pass (pass failed), 6:05
Clinton, Payton Sellers 3-yard run (Widener run), 2:29
Heber Springs, Buffalo to Xander Lindley 18-yard pass (Yancey run), 2:29
THIRD QUARTER
Clinton, Billy Standlee 2-yard run (run failed), 4:10
Clinton, Widener 101-yard interception return (run failed), 1:51
FOURTH QUARTER
Clinton, Widener 65-yard interception return (Widener run), 7:43
Clinton, Payton Sellers 23-yard run (pass failed), 3:25
Heber Springs, Parker Brown 82-yard kickoff return (Tate kick), 3:10

TEAM STATS
First Downs by Rush: Heber Springs 7, Clinton 11
First Downs by Pass: Heber Springs 11, Clinton 0
First Downs by Penalty: Heber Springs 1, Clinton 1
Total First Downs: Heber Springs 19, Clinton 12
Penalties: Heber Springs 8/70, Clinton 4/35
3rd-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 1/7, Clinton 6/9
4th-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 3/5, Clinton 2/2
Fumbles/Lost: Heber Springs 1/0, Clinton 1/0
Sacks/Yards Lost: Heber Springs 0/0, Clinton 0/0
Rush/Yards/Avg: Heber Springs 13/81/6.2, Clinton 38/222/5.8
Passing (A/C-Yards-TD/Int): Heber Springs 21/34-239-3/3, Clinton 2/2-20-0/0
Total Offense: Heber Springs 320, Clinton 242
Punts: Heber Springs 0/0, Clinton 1/26
INDIVIDUAL STATS
OFFENSE
Rushing: Heber Springs, Liam Buffalo 10/82, Xander Lindley 1/15, Weston Warden 1/(-5), Team 1/(-11). Clinton, Zane Widener 19/111/1, Payton Sellers 15/94/2, Billy Standlee 3/19/1, Dawson Maynard 1/(-2).
Passing: Heber Springs, Liam Buffalo 21/34-239-3/3. Clinton, Zane Widener 2/2-20-0/0.
Receiving: Heber Springs, Parker Brown 8/97, Xander Lindley 6/65/1, Weston Warden 3/36/1, Dalton Yancey 2/31/1, Hud Haggard 2/10. Clinton, Billy Standlee 2/20.
Kickoff Returns: Heber Springs, Parker Brown 3/115/1, Xander Lindley 1/14, Dalton Yancey 1/0, Chris Roberts 1/0. Clinton, Payton Sellers 1/0, Bryson Littell 1/0, Zayden Brainard 1/0.
Interceptions: Clinton, Zane Widener 2/166/2, Billy Standlee 1/0.
Total Offense: Heber Springs, Liam Buffalo 321, Xander Lindley 15, Weston Warden (-5), Team (-11). Clinton, Zane Widener 131, Payton Sellers 94, Billy Standlee 19, Dawson Maynard (-2).
All-Purpose Yards: Heber Springs, Parker Brown 212, Xander Lindley 94, Liam Buffalo 82, Weston Warden 31, Dalton Yancey 31, Hud Haggard 10. Clinton, Zane Widener 277, Payton Sellers 94, Billy Standlee 39, Dawson Maynard (-2).
DEFENSE
SACKS/YARDS LOST: None
PUNTS: Clinton, Zane Widener 1/26
INTERCEPTIONS: Clinton, Zane Widener 2, Billy Standlee 1
KICKING: Heber Springs, Gideon Tate (2/2 XP)

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

By PHILIP SEATON

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

SOUTHSIDE BATESVILLE AT HEBER SPRINGS
Junior High Football
October 22, 2020
at Panther Stadium

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

FIRST QUARTER
Heber Springs, Liam Buffalo 2-yard run (Gideon Tate kick), 2:20
SECOND QUARTER
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
THIRD QUARTER
Southside Batesville, Case 1-yard run (Kaleb West run), 2:34
FOURTH QUARTER
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

TEAM STATS
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
INDIVIDUAL STATS
OFFENSE
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). 
DEFENSE
SACKS/YARDS LOST: None
PUNTS: Southside Batesville, Jaylon Jennings 2/60/30
INTERCEPTIONS: Heber Springs, Parker Brown
KICKING: Heber Springs, Gideon Tate (2/2 XP)

Heber Springs Junior High Season Stats: Through 6 Games

SCORING BY QUARTERS
Heber Springs    42   64  38  41 - 185 (30.8 ppg)
Opponent          6   40  14  22 -  82 (13.7 ppg)

TEAM STATS  
First Downs by Rush: Heber Springs 25, Opponent 34
First Downs by Pass: Heber Springs 53, Opponent 12 
First Downs by Penalty: Heber Springs 2, Opponent 6 
Total First Downs: Heber Springs 80, Opponent 52 
Penalties: Heber Springs 26/215, Opponent 30/197 
3rd-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 17/41, Opponent 10/42
4th-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 12/20, Opponent 7/18 
Fumbles/Lost: Heber Springs 7/2, Opponent 9/6 
Sacks/Yards Lost: Heber Springs 6/62, Opponent 0/0 
Rush/Yards/Avg: Heber Springs 80/479/6, Opponent 144/532/3.7
Rushing Yards Per Game: Heber Springs 79.8, Opponent 88.7 
Passing (A/C-Yards-TD/Int): Heber Springs 91/154-1448-18/3, Opponent 31/72-467-6/6
Passing Yards Per Game: Heber Springs 241.3, Opponent 77.8 
Total Offense: Heber Springs 1927, Opponent 999
Total Offense Per Game: Heber Springs 321.2, Opponent 166.5  
Punts: Heber Springs 2/43/21.5, Opponent 11/374/34 

INDIVIDUAL STATS  
OFFENSE  
Rushing: Gideon Tate 26/137/1, Weston Warden 15/100/1, Dalton Yancey 6/61/1, Parker Brown 9/61/1, Liam Buffalo 9/56/1, Xander Lindley 3/36/1,  Hayden Johnson 5/25, Hud Haggard 1/9, Jacob Golden 1/5, Ladd Choate 2/5, Bryce Seigrist 1/(-6), Team 2/(-11). 
Passing: Liam Buffalo 88/150-1365-17/3, Zachary Parker 3/3-83-1/0, Parker Brown 0/1-0-0/0 
Receiving:  Dalton Yancey 21/385/5, Parker Brown 19/445/6, Xander Lindley 17/399/4, Hud Haggard 13/105/2, Weston Warden 11/103/1, Ty West 5/21, Chris Roberts 1/28, Gideon Tate 1/0
Kickoff Returns: Heber Springs, Hud Haggard 3/0, Corbin Jones 2/0, Xander Lindley 2/81/1, Parker Brown 2/40, Zachary Parker 1/0.  
Punt Returns: Xander Lindley 1/13
Interception Returns: Parker Brown 2/46/1, Liam Buffalo 2/0, Logan Rutledge 1/0, Dalton Yancey 1/0.
Total Offense: Liam Buffalo 1421, Gideon Tate 137, Weston Warden 100, Zachary Parker 83, Dalton Yancey 61, Parker Brown 61, Xander Lindley 36, Hayden Johnson 25, Hud Haggard 9, Jacob Golden 5, Ladd Choate 5, Bryce Seigrist (-6).
All-Purpose Yards: Parker Brown 592, Xander Lindley 529,  Dalton Yancey 446, Weston Warden 203, Gideon Tate 137, Hud Haggard 114, Liam Buffalo 56, Chris Roberts 28, Hayden Johnson 25, Ty West 21, Jacob Golden 5, Ladd Choate 5,  Bryce Seigrist (-6).
DEFENSE  
Sacks/Yards lost:  Parker Brown 4/41, Hud Haggard 1/11, Chris Roberts 1/10
Interceptions: Liam Buffalo 2, Parker Brown 2, Dalton Yancey 1, Logan Rutledge 1,  
Fumble Recoveries: Ladd Choate, Xander Lindley, Dalton Yancey, Axley Davis, Hayden Johnson, Team  
Punts: Liam Buffalo 2/43/21.5 
SCORING
Parker Brown 60, Xander Lindley 42, Dalton Yancey 38, Gideon Tate 25 (16/17 XP, 1/1 FG. MADE: 25), Weston Warden 12, Hud Haggard 12, Liam Buffalo 6