Wildcats wake up in second half and tear Tigers apartBy George Ulmer

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

For awhile Friday night it appeared the Cassville Wildcats had slept on their way to John O'Sullivan Stadium in Lamar. Cassville didn't seem to fully wake up until the second half of the football game.

The Wildcats scored twice in the first quarter. The first set up by a kick return to Lamar's 37-yard line by Ryan Rowley. Jake Nolan then hooked up with Cory Howard for Cassville's first score. Cassville's next score came after a Lamar fumble at the Wildcats 33-yard line. From there, Nolan threw a 41-yard pass and Lane Stubblefield found the endzone on a 25-yard run, giving Cassville a 14-0 lead.

The 'Cats then seemed to fall asleep in the second period. Lamar took advantage of many Cassville miscues and bobbles. An interception gave Lamar the ball at Cassville's 43-yard line. The Tigers' quarterback Blake Howarth threw a 25-yard strike to Parker Garfield to cut the Wildcats' lead in half.

Cassville gave the Tigers one more chance after losing a fumble at their own 11-yard line, but a quick three and out and a bobbled snap on an attempted field goal allowed the Wildcats to keep Lamar from scoring again.

The last four plays of the first half seemed to set the tone for the Wildcats in the remaining part of the game. The Wildcats came out tough and did not allow the home team to score another point.

Nolan began the second half scoring for Cassville by running the ball into the endzone from 12 yards out. Cassville's second score of the half was set up by a 36-yard interception return by Cory Howard. Brent Elkins ran the ball in from two yards away and sealed the game for Cassville.

The Wildcats scored twice more in the contest, on a 17-yard run by Stubblefield and on a five-yard run by Elkins. Cassville eliminated their mistakes and powered through Lamar to earn a 42-7 victory.

Offensively, Cassville had a very good night. The Wildcats out-rushed Lamar (233-75) and out-passed them as well (107-74). The Wildcats had a 70 percent completion percentage on passes. They averaged 48 yards a kick and only committed three penalties.

Stubblefield had a break-out game for the Wildcats in the rushing department. The starting fullback became Cassville's leading rusher after his outstanding two-touchdown 141-yard game. "Lane does a great job running the ball," said head coach David Large.

Elkins and Nolan also did well rushing. Elkins gained 27 yards and two touchdowns and Nolan had 19 yards with one touchdown.

Cassville also did well passing the ball.

"We work on our passing game a little more each week," said Large who indicated that this was due to Cassville's great receivers.

Nolan had a good night passing the ball, hitting seven of 10 attempts and garnering his second 100-yard passing outing. The junior also threw a touchdown and an interception.

"Jake is getting better each week," said Large.

Howard led the receiving front for the Wildcats, hauling in three receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown.

Danny Naugle continued to excel on Cassville's defensive line. Naugle had 7.5 tackles in last week's contest, including one sack and one tackle for a loss.

Dannon Rose and Ethan Couch also did well, tallying 11 tackles between the two with four of those going for losses. Rose also recovered a fumble for the 'Cats.

On special teams, Cassville continued its dominance. Aaron Jamieson hit four extra points and averaged 49 yards per kick-off. Matt Angel also had a chance to kick and went two-for-two on extra points.

Rowley had two big returns in the contest, a kick-off return for 42 yards and a punt return for 21 yards.

Cassville now moves to the top of the conference after Carl Junction knocked off Mt. Vernon this week.

The Wildcats' record is 3-0 (2-0). They will play Miller Career Academy at home this Friday at 7 p.m.

Injury Report

The Wildcats right now have a various assortment of small injuries, bumps and bruises but have only two major ones.

Jon Haney, one of Cassville's starting running backs, has a broken ankle, and starting center Dylan Yarnall suffered a torn MCL before the Carl Junction game and is likely out for the remainder of the year.

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