September 9, 2009 Edition

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Mustangs fall to Heber Springs

Nathan Hibbard
Staff Writer

The Hoxie Mustangs took to the road to open the 2009 football season against the 4A Heber Springs Panthers. Missed opportunities proved to be costly for the Mustangs, as the Panthers recorded a 22-0 victory over their visitors.

"I thought we moved the ball effectively in the first half," said Hoxie head coach Tom Sears. "On our first drive, we took the ball from our own 10-yard line to their 40 before we fumbled the snap. We had three more opportunities inside Heber's 20 in the first half and didn't get any points. If we could have got the ball into the end zone it would have changed the whole complexion of the game."

Heber Springs' first points came on an eight-yard run by University of Arkansas commit Braylon Mitchell late in the first quarter. Mitchell ran in the two-point conversion to give the Panthers an 8-0 lead, which they would carry into halftime.

"I thought our defense stepped up after Heber's first drive and played real well in the first half," said Sears.

The Panthers stretched the lead 14-0 on their opening drive of the second half, which ended with a 13-yard scoring run by Mitchell. The conversion attempt was no good.

Heber Springs scored again late in the third quarter, on a 17-yard run by quarterback Wes McMullen. McMullen ran in the two-point conversion for the Panthers' final points.

"They have a very good and experienced football team and are well coached. Playing against a team like Heber Springs will definitely help us down the road," said Sears. "We have to rebound quickly for our home opener on Friday," he added.

Hoxie hosts Mountain View at Crider Field. Game time is 7 p.m. Friday night is also Peewee Night. Sixth, fifth and fourth grade football players will be introduced at half time.

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