HEBER SPRINGS — What a difference one week can make. Instead of cornfields and mosquitoes, it was the shadow of pine tree line mountain and a perfect Friday night for football.
The celebration of a 100 years of playing football in Heber Springs did not include Harding Academy scoring 42 points before halftime.
Harding Academy felt no ill effects from losing last week as the Wildcats defeated Heber Springs, 42-7, in the shadow of the Ozark Mountains, at home inside Panther Stadium.
The offense, led by running back Andrew Miller and quarterback Kade Smith, led the Wildcats to 265 yards of offense including Miller running for 135 yard, including a touchdown run for 85 yards.
Harding Academy coach Neil Evans was pleased with the Wildcats effort and showed no effects from last week's heartbreaking lost at Valley View.
“I was very impressed with Kade,” Evans said. “He did a phenomenal job, the defense played well overall and we responded well.”
Going into the second half leading 42-0,the Wildcats were rewarded with the running of the clock that allowed Evans to play a lot of players off the bench and they were able to gained the game experience.
Heber Springs coach Todd Wood said that he was proud of the effort from his quarterback Xander Lindley and running back Parker Brown.
“I challenged them before the game and told them that I have to have fight from them,” Heber Springs coach Todd Wodd said. “I have to give credit to Lindley it is his first game at quarterback since the eighth grade. To vine out and face the two-time state champions and very good defense you are going to be under done adversity.”
The best weapon of the night against the Panthers and that was to make them run their offense on a long field, thanks to Harding Academy’s placekicker Kyle Ferrie.
Ferrie kicked off six times and six times he forced the Panthers to start from the 20-yard line.
“He is a huge weapon,” Evans said. “He is one of the best kickers in the country. In the first quarter, he put three out of the end zone with the end. In the second he put three more out against the end. He is a special talent.”
Harding Academy will see unfamiliar ground next week as they play their first home game of the season.
Harding Academy will host Camden Harmony Grove at First Security Stadium this Friday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.