Wildcats overpower Monett in 35-6 victory
This past Friday was a game to watch. It pitted conference rivals, Monett (6-2/4-1) against Cassville.
|The Wildcats (8-0/5-0) were able to jump on Monett early and stifle the Cubs' momentum with strong defensive play. Cassville had 209 rushing yards on 39 carries to Monett's 120 rushing yards on 36 carries. The 'Cats also dominated the passing game with 178 yards to Monett's 75.||"I was probably the most proud of the kids than I've ever been," said Coach David Large. "They came out really focused and really ready to play. Monett has a really good team and has really good players. I felt like our team did a really good job coming out ready to play from the opening kick-off and taking control of the game early."|
Monett's first drive was a quick one as they went three and out, punting the ball away. Cassville's first play from scrimmage was a good one as junior Tim Orrell connected with junior Jared Bouzek for a touchdown pass, but it was brought back to the Monett 15-yard line due to a penalty.
|On the very next play, Orrell dropped back, scanned the field and connected with junior Michael Baker for a 15-yard touchdown pass, and after an extra point kick by senior Jason Bromley, the 'Cats were up 7-0.||Monett was forced to punt again after nine plays, and on Cassville's next possession, Orrell ran for a five-yard touchdown.|
Monett's first drive in the second quarter was a repeat of their first drive in the first quarter, going three and out. After Cassville got the ball back, the Wildcats were faced with a fourth and yardage situation. Cassville went to a fake punt with a direct snap to the tailback who ran for a first down.
Four plays later, junior Brian Elkins ran for a three-yard touchdown, putting the Wildcats up 21-0.
Monett's luck looked to have changed as they visited the end zone for a first time in the second quarter with a long touchdown pass from half-back Will Medlin to Tyler Rickard, Monett's very talented receiver. After a missed extra point, the Cubs trailed 21-6.
The 'Cats' next drive went three plays before Orrell connecting with Elkins for a 56-yard touchdown pass. At the half, Cassville was up 28-6.
In the third quarter, senior Cody Ricklefs intercepted a pass by Daniel Holt, Monett's quarterback, which led to a score for Cassville. It would be from Elkins running into the end zone from six yards out. Bromley kicked his fifth extra point of the night to give the Wildcats the 35-6 advantage.
Before the game would end,
Ricklefs picked off the Monett quarterback for a second time, sealing the deal for a Wildcat victory.
|Offensively, it was the line that shined. They helped both Elkins and Orrell get the job done. Elkins rushed for 120 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns. The junior's yardage against Monett puts him at 1,051 yards on the season.||Orrell completed seven-of-11 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns. He completed four passes with Baker for 64 yards and one touchdown, one pass with Elkins for 56 yards and one touchdown, one pass with Jared Bouzek for 40 yards, and one pass with senior Scott Fitzpatrick for 18 yards.|
Defensively, it was junior Nick Pianalto who paved the way as he was credited with 11 tackles, two being for a loss. He was followed by Elkins, who had eight tackles, one being for a loss and seniors Justin Burden and Clay Craig, who both tallied seven tackles.
Other notables were: senior Dustin Libertus, five tackles; Ricklefs, three tackles and two interceptions; and sophomore Dannon Rose, who was credited with six tackles.
On special teams, Bromley kicked off six times for 346 yards, an average of 57.7 yards. He had two punts for 70 yards, an average of 35 yards, and he went 0-for-2 in field goals and five-for-five in extra points.
When asked about the game senior Dakota Russell commented, "I thought everyone played their best game of the year. We got to keep getting better and better and not overlook Aurora's record of 4-4 and go out and play like we've been playing all year."
Nick Pianalto said team work was the key to last Friday's win.
"I think we did really well last week," said Pianalto. "We played like a team, one unit. We came out there, everyone was fired up, and we just couldn't control ourselves. We just need to go out there and prepare for Aurora this week."
In the second week of district play, Aurora comes to Cassville with a 4-4 overall record and a 3-2 mark in the Big 8. This past Friday, Aurora suffered a huge loss to Seneca, 42-6.
"We need to work hard in practice and get ready for the game," said Orrell.
With two games left, Cassville has a chance to finish the year with an undefeated season, although Coach Large doesn't like to look that far ahead.
"One game at a time," said Large. "We have got to take each week one at a time and not take the other teams for granted. We don't need to worry about next week's game, just worry about the one this week. We'll worry about the next week's game, Saturday morning."
Kick-off for Aurora at Cassville is at 7 p.m. The game will also be celebrated as Senior Night. At half-time, senior members of the football team, cross country team, cheerleading squad and marching band will be recognized, along with their parents.