Wildcats devour Wolves on homecoming

Wednesday, October 5, 2005
Defensive pressure: Dakota Russell, #73, and Ryan Newman, #69, eye the Reeds Spring's quarterback while a pack of Wildcat defenders close in on the action. The Cassville defense limited the Wolves to one touchdown and 161 yards on the ground. Democrat Photo

Last Friday, the Cassville Wildcats (5-0) took on Reeds Spring (1-4) on Homecoming night and devoured the Wolves 45-7.

With all the hoopla surrounding a homecoming football game, Coach David Large was pleased with how his team was able to put aside the distractions.

"I felt the kids were really focused," said Coach Large. "I was pretty concerned at the beginning of the week with how Reeds Spring does some things offensively, but the kids did a great job. We still have a few things to work on. Offensively, I know this will sound crazy, but we didn't play too well, and defensively, we did some good things, but we bent some."

On offense, Cassville scored 38 points in the first half to Reeds Spring's 7. The Wildcats also picked up 256 yards rushing while Reeds Spring tallied 161 on the ground. The Wolves had more passing yards than the Wildcats with 181 yard to Cassville's 121.

On Reeds Spring's first drive, the Wolves went three and out, and within minutes, junior Brian Elkins ran for a one-yard touchdown and after an extra point by senior Nick Schlicht-man, The 'Cats were up 7-0 with 6:21 left in the first quarter.

On Cassville's next possession, in two plays, they scored again. Elkins ran for a 56-yard touchdown and with a Schlichtman extra point, they were up 14-0.

Cassville's defense once again caused the Reeds Spring's offense to go three and out and with 34.7 left to go in the quarter, junior Tim Orrell passed to senior Clay Craig for a 27-yard touchdown. At the end of the first quarter, Reeds Spring had the ball and were trailing 21-0.

Eleven seconds into the second quarter, sophomore Ryan Rowley intercepted a pass by Reeds Spring's quarterback Jon Manlove and returned it for two yards. Next, Orrell connected with junior Michael Baker for a 10-yard touchdown pass, putting Cassville up 28-0.

Cassville's defense forced Reeds Spring to punt for a third time, which led to a one-yard touchdown run by Elkins to give the Wildcats a 35-0 lead.

Cassville's shut out hopes were crushed on Reeds Spring's first snap, when Manlove ran for an 80-yard touchdown to put the Wolves on the board 35-7. Cassville would answer back, with a seven-play drive that ended with a 44-yard field goal by senior Jason Bromley. The score remained 38-7 going into the half-time locker room.

Cassville came out for the third quarter and scored in 35 seconds. It came off a 20-yard touchdown pass from Orrell to Baker. Schlichtman kicked the extra point, his sixth of the night, to put Cassville ahead 45-7.

Although the fourth quarter was scoreless for the 'Cats, juniors Jared Bouzek and Kirk Myers both had interceptions for Cassville.

On the offensive side of the ball, Elkins wrecked havoc on the Reeds Spring's defense. He had 23 carries for 173 yards and three touchdowns. Orrell also did his part by completing five of eight passes for 102 yards and three touchdowns. He completed one pass with Craig for a 27-yard touchdown, one pass with junior Scott Prisk for 19 yards, one pass with Bouzek for five yards and three passes with Baker for a total of 70 yards and two touchdowns.

Other notables were sophomore Michael Baker, who went one for one on passing for 19 yards, Bouzek with four carries for 53 yards, and freshman Jon Haney with one 34-yard carry.

Defensively, senior D.J. Meadows ruled the roost with seven tackles. Senior Justin Burden followed close behind with six tackles, including one sack and one fumble recovery. Seniors Dustin Libertus and Craig were credited with five tackles each, and junior Josh Rambo had four tackles, including one sack.

Junior Shelby Hollings-worth tallied four tackles, senior Cody Ricklefs with three tackles, Rowley with one tackle and one interception, Bouzek had two tackles and one interception and Myers had one tackle and one interception.

Special teams also did their job as Bromley had eight kickoffs for 460 yards, an average of 57.5 yards per kick, two punts for 77 yards and one 44-yard field goals. Schlichtman was six-for-six on extra points.

On Monday, when asked how it felt being 5-0, Meadows said, "Well, personally, I am very glad that we are (undefeated), because I've never really done it as a team. It's really fun."

"The win was really good, because we stepped up as a team and had a good week of practice," said Ricklefs. "We got prepared mentally to do what we had to do to stop them so we could get the win."

This Friday, Cassville hopes to continue their winning streak at Lamar (1-4/0-3). Last week, Lamar lost a heartbreaker against

Stockton 21-20. They look to rebound with a conference win over Cassville.

"Well, Lamar is a tough place to play. It's a long bus trip, and we have to be prepared mentally and physically," said Coach Large.

"We just need to get over there and get the job done," said Craig.

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