The Clinton Junior Yellowjackets swept Heber Springs on a cold windy night at Panther Stadium in Heber Springs on Thursday. The Jackets and Panthers went back and forth scoring touchdowns until midway through the third quarter until Zane Widner picked off two passes returning them for touchdowns breaking the game open for the Jackets and leading Clinton to a 40-22 win. It was the third straight victory for the Junior Jackets over Heber Springs. In the 7th grade game Heber Scored on their first possession of the game but after that it was all Clinton as the Jackets scored 30 straight points in a 30-12 victory.
In the Junior game Heber scored first to take a 7-0 lead but Clinton answered driving 65 yards and scoring on a 1-yard run by Zane Widner. The 2-point conversion was no good and the Panthers led 7-6. The Panthers scored on their second possession, but the extra point failed making the score 13-6 Heber. The Jackets came right back to score on their next possession on a 3-yard Peyton Sellers touchdown run. Winder’s 2-point conversion gave Clinton its first lead of the game 14-13 with 2:29 left in the first half.
Heber scored on its first possession of the 2nd half to retake the lead 21-14. Clinton answered the Panther touchdown with one of their own with the big play being a 17-yard catch on 3rd and 12 by Billy Standlee keeping the drive alive. Widner eventually scored on a 2-yard run but the 2-point conversion was no good leaving the Jackets trailing 21-20. The Clinton defense then took over the game. Heber drove the length of the field looking to add to their lead when Widner picked off a Panther pass and returned it 103 yards on a brilliant run back that started in the left side of the Heber endzone and he wove his way thru a number of would be tacklers as he ran away from the Panthers. Two minutes later Widner picked off another Heber pass returning it 65-yards for a touchdown and his 2-point conversion gave Clinton a 34-21 lead. Dawson Maynard picked up the 3rd interception of the game for the Jackets setting up another Clinton touchdown. A 31-yard run by Widner set up a Sellers 25-yard touchdown run and giving the Jackets a 40-21 lead. Heber returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown for the final score of the game. Widner had a spectacular game on both offense and defense scoring four touchdowns including returning two interceptions for touchdowns and scoring two 2-point conversions.
In the 7th grade game Heber took the ball right down the field on their first possession to take a 6-0 lead. Clinton answered the Panther touchdown with one of their own on a 56-yard run by Rylan Jones. A Rope Williams catch from Brodie Dufrene on the 2-point conversion gave the Jackets an 8-6 lead. The Jackets executed a perfect half-back pass on the last play of the first half. Dufrene handed off to Jones who pulled up and fired a pass to Williams who caught it over a Panther defender and raced into the endzone for a 60-yard touchdown. Dufrene passed to Jones for the 2-point conversion and Clinton took a 16-6 lead into the half.
The Jackets recovered a Heber fumble at the 28 early in the 2nd half setting up a Clinton touchdown. The Jackets kept it on the ground with Zachary Hunt-Gonzales scoring on an 8-yard run. The 2-point conversion was no good making the score 22-6 Clinton. Each team added a touchdown late in the game the Jackets score coming on a run by Williams and a 2-point conversion by Adrian Yates making the final score Clinton 30 Heber Springs 12.
The Junior Jackets are now 6-2 on the season and 4-1 in conference play and are in sole possession of second place in the conference behind Stuttgart. The 7th grade Jackets are now 6-1-1 on the season and 4-0-1 in conference play. Clinton travels to Lonoke Thursday night for the final games of the season. A win and a loss by Stuttgart would give the Jr. Jackets a co-conference championship. A win by the 7th grade would give the Jackets a conference championship.