The Wildcats look good as they move into district play, mowing over an overmatched Patriot team on Friday. The Patriots came into the contest 0-6.
Despite East Newton's struggles, the Patriots had played well in some of those games but they just didn't go their way. Cassville of course came into the contest 5-0 and looking to get ready for district play.
Cassville would receive the ball first and try to go to work. However, the Wildcats would make their first of very few mistakes on the night, coughing the ball up on the second play of the drive and letting East Newton take over deep in Wildcat territory.
The Patriots seemed stymied by the Cassville defense, but a great pass from East Newton's quarterback would give them a first down at the 1-yard line. East Newton would run it in and the extra point would miss, giving East Newton a 6-0 lead.
Cassville would come back on its next drive and convert a couple of key third downs and then finally give it to Brian Elkins around the right side for a 21-yard scoot to tie the game at 6-6 with 6:24 remaining in the first quarter.
East Newton's next drive revealed why the Cassville defense is rated so highly with Phillip Cooper coming up with the team's 12th interception of the season.
The Wildcats would then drive it down, helped by a run of 28 yards by Elkins, and score again. The big senior ran it into the end zone from the 1, and quarterback Tim Orrell would complete the two-point conversion to make it East Newton-6 Cassville-14.
In the second quarter, the Patriots would continue to drive the ball, but the Wildcat secondary would s tep up again, as Cooper intercepted his second pass of the night and gave Cassville the ball back. On Cassville's drive they would push deep into East Newton territory, but then it was the Patriots turn to step up, as they would pick off a pass from Orrell.
East Newton would take over on their own 1-yard line and would be able to gain some, but not enough, as they would end up punting it out of their own end zone.
With their next possession, Cassville would not falter as they started the drive with a nice 30-yard pass from Orrell to Michael Baker and rounding it out with a sweep with Jon Haney around the left for a 7-yard touchdown run. Aaron Jamieson would put up the extra point to make it East Newton-6 Cassville-21 with 3:58 remaining in the half.
East Newton would again get stuffed on their next drive and be forced to punt. This would leave Cassville starting their next drive with 2:01 remaining in the first half. Cassville would use a two-minute drill and execute well with many pass plays to end up at the Patriot 22 with 26 seconds remaining, unfortunately it was also fourth down with 5 yards to go.
Cassville would convert and quickly afterward throw the ball into the end zone to Ryan Rowley. Jamieson would again kick the extra point and with just five seconds left in the half Cassville would be on top 28-6.
The Patriots would come out in the second half looking for a spark but would find none, as they would punt on their first drive. The Wildcats, on their first drive of the half, would take the ball down the field and let Haney run it in from 27 yards out, giving Cassville the 35-6 lead.
East Newton would punt their next possession as the Wildcats began putting in many of their second string players. This second team showed its potential, driving deep into East Newton country before Cassville was unable to convert a fourth down, giving it back to the Patriots. East Newton would try to mix it up on this drive, but quickly Brent Elkins made an interception and gave the Wildcat offense the ball. Cassville would then give it to Laith Hayward who would charge a good 20 yards before being taken down. The third quarter would end with Cassville once again dominating the Patriots.
Cassville would end its next drive with a 7-yard touchdown run by Lane Stubblefield. Matthew Angel would kick the extra point to make it East Newton-6 Cassville-42.
The next couple of drives would end with two East Newton punts, one Cassville fumble and a Cassville drive that would end with the final buzzer.
The only downside to this game was an injury to Brian Elkins late in the second quarter. Preliminary reports show the senior will be back and ready to play soon.
Despite only playing two quarters, Brian Elkins led the offense with 103 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Orrell was 11 for 16 in passing for a total of 148 yards. Rowley was credited with two receptions for 28 yards and a touchdown and Baker had three catches for 53 yards. Defensively the Wildcats spread the wealth. As a total defense they held the Patriots to just 79 yards of offense. Those helping with that feat were: Cooper, two interceptions and one tackle; Shelby Hollingsworth, six total tackles; Dannon Rose, seven combined tackles; Kenneth Taft with five total tackles; and Josh Rambo with three tackles and one sack.
As Cassville heads into district play, these are the team leaders so far.
On offense, Brian Elkins has 137 carries for 967 yards rushing, five pass receptions for 27 yards and 13 combined touchdowns. Orrell is 35 of 64 on passing with 422 yards as well as 253 yards rushing on 41 attempts with seven touchdowns.
Baker has tallied 13 receptions for 269 yards and 22 carries for 127 yards on the ground. The senior has also collected four touchdowns. Haney has a total of 230 yards rushing on 32 carries, including three touchdowns.
Defensively, Rose leads the team with a combined 39 tackles (unassisted and assisted), one interception and one fumble recovery. Rowley has 21 combined tackles with four interceptions and two fumble recoveries, and Brian Elkins has totaled 22 tackles, two interceptions and one defensive touchdown.
Cassville now looks pumped and ready for district play. The team has developed a second dimension this season with an improved passing game, which the Wildcats will need to compete in the state play-offs. Cassville will face its first district opponent this Friday night at Nevada, a team that just moved down to Class 3 this year. Kick-off will be at 7 p.m.