GRAVETTE -- Jacob Bremmon's special teams play was extra-special Friday night for Heber Springs.
The senior returned three kickoffs for touchdowns -- including a 90-yard run with 1 minutes, 57 seconds remaining -- as the Panthers knocked off Gravette, 49-46, in a first-round Class 4A state playoff game at Lion Stadium.
Heber Springs 49, Gravette 46
Heber — Bremmon 69 pass from Martin (Cameron kick), 6:17.
Heber — Nelson 36 run (Cameron kick), 1:40.
Grav — White 2 run (Childress kick), 10:46.
Heber — Bremmon 85 kickoff return (Cameron kick), 10:30.
Heber — Hart 39 interception return (Cameron kick), 8:22.
Grav — White 3 run (kick fail), 6:05.
Grav — White 1 run (pass fail), 1:21.
Heber — Bremmon 68 kickoff return (Cameron kick), 1:02.
Grav — O’Brien 16 run (White pass to Grimes), :13.9.
Grav — O’Brien 20 run (run fail), 10:07.
Grav — O’Brien 1 run (pass fail), 11:59.
Heber — Nelson 2 run (Cameron kick), 5:10.
Grav — O’Brien 50 run (Childress kick), 2:13.
Heber — Bremmon 90 kickoff return (Cameron kick), 1:57.
Gravette (6-5) had taken a 46-42 lead when Austin O'Brien raced 50 yards for a touchdown -- his fourth of the game -- with 2:13 left to play, then the Lions tried to put the ball in the middle of the field -- a spot where they had stopped Bremmon on their last kickoff. Bremmon, however, found a crease in Gravette's coverage and bolted down the left sideline for the score.
"It was just me being able to run," Bremmon said. "I saw they were playing on the right side really hard because I had run that way every time. I just cut back to the left for a few moments and let them overload it, then I cut back outside. There was nothing but grass from there."
Bremmon's ability to break tackles was big for Heber Springs (8-3), which advances to a second-round game next week against Gosnell. He had a 69-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, then had kickoff returns of 85 and 69 yards for touchdowns in the second quarter that negated Gravette scores.
He also had a 51-yard punt return that led to a Blaze Nelson's 2-yard touchdown after Gravette had taken its first lead when O'Brien -- who finished with 339 yards on 43 carries -- scored on a 1-yard run to start the fourth quarter.
"Time after time after time, it was disappointing," Gravette coach Bill Harrelson said. "I coach kickoffs, and what happened was totally my fault. I hate it for these kids because they deserve better.
"I thought we dominated offense and defense, but we didn't dominate the kicking game. That's for sure. That's what it came down to in the end."
Gravette still had time for one last drive and was helped when Heber Springs kicked the ball out of bounds on the Lions 43. Gravette moved the ball to the Panthers 40 before the drive stalled, and a screen pass that was batted down at the line of scrimmage left the Lions with a fourth-down play.
That's when Brennon struck one last time as he leaped over Derek Cravens and intercepted the pass in the end zone. It was his 13th of the season, and Heber Springs coaches said he entered the game ranked third nationally in interceptions.
"We just never did got the rhythm we needed," Harrelson said. "We had a screen pass set up, and I thought it was open."
O'Brien finishes the season with 2,291 yards and 25 touchdowns rushing. Gravette quarterback Tajae White also ran for three touchdowns in the second quarter, with two of them coming after Heber Springs jumped out to an early 28-7 lead.
Sports on 11/11/2017
Print Headline: Bremmon's 'special' plays doom Gravette