From injury to incredible, Cassville's Cody Pierson has risen. The junior who was sidelined much of Cassville's first contest with a knee injury stepped up his game against Seneca.
Pierson made two key interceptions in a 14-13 victory. The first came in the second quarter, taking a Carl Junction pass back 52 yards for what would be Cassville's winning score.
Pierson's second interception came late in the game. With only one or two minutes remaining, and the Bulldogs threatening to score and take the lead, Pierson nabbed his second interception of the night, effectively ending CJ's bid to win.
With Pierson's heroics and a blocked extra point by Jacob Gouvion, the Wildcats were able to edge out Carl Junction 14-13.
Both teams struggled to move the ball in the contest. Cassville racked up just 227 yards and 14 points while Carl Junction had 251 yards and 13 points. Field conditions might have played into both teams' lack of production as conditions were sloppy with off and on rain.
The Wildcats scored first in the contest. Jake Nolan made a brillant pass to receiver Ryan Rowley who then rewarded his quarterback by running another 30 to 40 yards into the endzone. Aaron Jamieson hit the extra-point, and Cassville took a 7-0 lead.
Carl Junction would not stay down for long though as the Bulldogs unleashed their talented running back. Senior Zac Porath tore through Cassville's defense in the second quarter for a 65-yard score. CJ hit their extra point and tied the game at 7-7.
Cassville's only other score came on Pierson's interception return. Jamieson was again good for the extra point.
Neither team scored in the third quarter, and the field conditions got worse. The Wildcats only fumbled once in the game, but the visitors lost it twice.
In the fourth frame, Carl Junction made its biggest threat. The Bulldogs scored with a 39-yard Porath run, but the tying extra point was blocked by Gouvion. CJ had a successful drive going near the end of the quarter, but Pierson's pick off virtually ended the game.
Rowley led the offense in the game. The senior caught two passes for 73 yards and a touchdown. The receptions were Rowley's first two of the year.
Helping Rowley with his performance was Nolan who completed six of 11 passes for 105 yards and a score. Nolan is now 10 of 20 with 141 yards this year.
Others who did well were Laith Hayward who amassed 43 yards rushing, and Jamieson who kicked two pivotal extra points and punted well throughout the night.
Pierson led the defense this week. In addition to his interceptions, the junior also tallied one and a half tackles and a pass deflection that enabled a Cory Howard interception.
Dannon Rose also had a nice night with 7 and a half tackles including one for a loss. Rose now has 13 tackles for the season.
Other defensive contributors included: Gouvion, blocked kick, 4.5 tackles; Rowley, fumble recovery, 4.5 tackles; Naugle, fumble recovery, four tackles; and Woodruff, six tackles.
The Wildcats are now 2-0 and travel to play Lamar this Friday at 7 p.m.