The defending 2-4A conference champion Heber Springs Panthers wrapped up spring practice with a fast-paced 77-play scrimmage on Wednesday afternoon at Panther Stadium.

The defending 2-4A conference champion Heber Springs Panthers wrapped up spring practice with a fast-paced 77-play scrimmage on Wednesday afternoon at Panther Stadium.
Heber worked on several different game-type situations, including red zone, goal-line, coming out of own end zone and concluded the scrimmage with a two-minute drill.
Tailback Ethan Bly rushed for three touchdowns (2, 20, 1), while quarterback Michael Kramer ran for one (1) and tossed three more (8, 6, 21) ¬ two caught by slot receiver Clint Ligon (8, 6).
Panthers Coach Steve Janski found a lot of positives.
“I thought we looked really good on both offense and defense. I thought the guys moved around well. I saw some good collisions going on and I thought our offensive line did a good job. We got a lot out of it.”
Bly, who carried 14 times for 126 yards with a long of 45 yards, seemed to get stronger as the scrimmage wore on. “Ethan Bly started to get into a little more of a rhythm, he has never played that ‘A’ back, that true force position so I think he is getting used to that. I am really impressed with Michael Kramer and of course Clint Ligon, anytime he touches the ball good things are going to happen,” added Janski. Ligon finished with approximately 100 yards on eight touches.
The Panthers first team offense opened the scrimmage with an 11-play scoring drive which included a 12-yard run from Bly, 12-yard catch and run by receiver Brooks Morgan and an 18-yard catch and run by running back Harley Hooten, who bowled over two would be tacklers.
Following a 16-yard gain on a Ligon jet sweep, Bly pounded out four yards on consecutive carries with the second going for a 2-yard touchdown behind center.
Although Janski saw a lot of positives, he said the Panthers have some things to iron out entering summer workouts and fall camp. “Offensively we are missing some of our holes in our running game. I think we are pulling off some blocks with our linemen. We are getting good push initially but we are falling off. So, I think we have got to go back this summer and really work on sustaining our blocks and our running backs have got to learn how to read whether he is kicking out or logging him.
“Our backs bounced a lot of things to the outside and the hole was inside. Markeyvus [Mays] was a two-year starter and Geoffrey Anderson ran the ball a lot for us so they are used to that. Ethan is not that guy yet, but he is getting ready to be. And, I think Chandler Marquardt is going to jump in there and help us out,” said Janski. Marquardt contributed a 1-yard rushing touchdown and 8-yard receiving touchdown off a screen pass from Kramer.
Defensive ends Zach Rasmussen and Harley Hooten caused havoc in the backfield most of the scrimmage, both recording multiple sacks. “When Zach Rasmussen puts on a good speed rush I don’t know if we can block him,” said Janski. “I thought Nate [Hills] and Ethan [Lee] did the best they could but he’s just got such long arms, he can scratch his ankles. He is very athletic and I thought he showed out the most on the defensive line. But, that’s without film,” cautioned Janski. “Our newcomer Josh Hudson had the hardest hit of the night with his hit on Taylor Holland. He did a great job there and I thought our secondary for the most part did a good job covering. Our wide receivers made some plays, but I thought our coverages were there.”
Holland rushed for a 5-yard touchdown and tailback Wesley McClain found pay dirt from 20 yards out, while quarterback Judson Smith hit Hooten out of the backfield for an 8-yard touchdown. Receiver Dillion Moore broke a tackle and dodged two more, setting up Bly’s third score with a 19-yard catch and run off a slant from Kramer.
On the scrimmage’s final session, the first team offense took the field at its own 30 with 2:30 remaining. Hooten backed the offense up with a 5-yard sack and two incomplete passes left the offense with a fourth and long.
On fourth and 15, Kramer connected with Morgan over the middle for 16 yards and a new set of downs. Kramer then lobbed right side for Ligon, who made a smooth adjustment to the under thrown pass for a 36-yard reception.
Two procedure penalties set the offense back as the clock wound under a minute. After scrambling for seven yards, Kramer lofted a pass over right side for Micah Dew, who made the catch inside the 3-yard line and spun out of Moore’s grasp for a 21-yard touchdown, which concluded the Red/White spring game.
“We’ve got a long way to go and have a lot of things to work on,” Janski said. “But, I really think we have a lot of guys that can play and we can move them in and out on offense and defense.”