Wildcats advance to state quarterfinals

Thursday, November 17, 2005
Staying in: Michael Baker catches a pass from Tim Orrell during Monday night's game against Harrisonville. Baker, #7, caught two passes for 21 yards. Democrat Photo

Cassville defeats Bolivar in sectionals and then falls to powerful Harrisonville squad

By Joey Nosler

The Cassville Wildcats have accomplished something no other Cassville football team has achieved in the history of the program. The 2005 squad, under the direction of Coach David Large and his coaching staff, advanced to the state quarterfinals after capturing the Big 8 Conference and district championships with a win over Seneca on Nov. 3 and beating Bolivar in sectional play last Wednesday.

On Monday, the Wildcats' dream season came to an end with a 41-14 loss to Harrisonville at home. Cassville ended its season with a 10-1 record, while the visitors head to semi-final action against Platte County.

Harrisonville opened the game by winning the toss but chose to kick off. The kick was an onside kick and Harrisonville recovered. Ten plays later, with 9:38 left in the first quarter, Harrisonville would cross the goal line, putting them up 7-0. On the kick-off, senior D.J. Meadows returned it to the 25. From there, the Wildcats drove down to Harrisonville's 14. On fourth and one, quarterback Tim Orrell handed the ball off to Brian Elkins, who got the first down, and on the next play, Elkins ran into the end zone. Senior Nick Schlichtman came in and kicked the extra point to tie the game at 7-7.

After an interception by senior Cody Ricklefs, the team and the fans were excited, hoping to take the lead, but the Harrisonville defense forced a punt by senior Jason Bromley.

Harrisonville scored their second touchdowns, 11 plays into the second quarter. After the

kick-off, the Wildcats fumbled the ball and Harrisonville recovered. Four plays later, the score was 21-7.

Cassville threatened to score near the end of the second quarter, but on fourth and goal, an incomplete pass gave Harrisonville the ball, and the score going into the half-time locker room would remain 21-7.

Harrisonville came out in the second half and scored another touchdown to put them up 28-7. From there, Harrisonville would take the score to 41 before Orrell completed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Meadows for the Wildcats' last score of the night.

Harrisonville was able to limit Elkins to 95 yards rushing on 18 carries and one touchdown. Jared Bouzek rushed for 30 yards on three carries. Orrell led the way on offense as he completed 11 of 23 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown. He completed three passes to Scott Fitzpatrick for 39 yards, two passes with Michael Baker for 21 yards, two passes with senior Tony Sizemore for 15 yards, and one pass with Meadows for 25 yards and a touchdown.

Sophomore Kelby Haynes completed two of his three passes for 15 yards.

Defensively, Meadows was the leader as he collected 13 tackles. Senior Justin Burden followed closely with 12 tackles. Seniors Clay Craig and Dakota Russell and sophomore Dannon Rose were credited with five tackles each, and Elkins had six. Senior Cody Ricklefs had an interception.

Action at Bolivar

The game against Bolivar seemed evenly matched at the start with Cassvile entering the half-time locker room with a 6-7 deficit. All changed in the second half as the Wildcats scored 25 points and Bolivar was held scoreless. The final score was 31-7.

On the night, the Wildcats' offense was nothing but rushing. Cassville had a total of 367 yards rushing to 9 yards passing for a total offense of 376. Bolivar had 162 yards rushing and 95 yards passing, a total of 257 yards. The Wildcats also had three takeaways to Bolivar's one.

Orrell went one-for-three for nine yards passing and rushed for 130 yards and one touchdown on six carries. Elkins also had a night to remember as he rushed for 176 yards and one touchdown on 15 carries. Bouzek had 52 yards rushing on nine carries and two touchdowns, and he had one reception for nine yards. To round off the offensive production, Baker had four carries for nine yards and one touchdown.

Meadows was the game's defensive leader with 14 tackles and one fumble recovery. Burden was credited with 12 tackles and one sack while junior Nick Pianalto had 10 tackles, two sacks and two tackles for a loss. Craig was credited with eight tackles and one tackle for a loss,

and Ricklefs tallied seven tackles and one interception.

Other notables were Rose with seven tackles, sophomore Ryan Rowley with five and Elkins with one fumble recovery.

Senior Jason Bromley kicked off five times for 254 yards, an average of 50.8 yards, and punted six times for 187 yards, an average of 31.2 yards.

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