The Cassville Wildcat football team continued to show that they're in the upper echelon of the Big 8 this week by shutting out Aurora (2-3, 1-3) 39-0.
Cassville's defense stymied the Houn' Dawg offense for the entire game while the Wildcat offense used the second half to put the game away.
The Wildcats weren't out of the woods at halftime, leading 13-0, but came out with a plan. Cassville drove the length of the field to start the third period, chewing up six minutes off the clock before Laith Hayward gave them the defining score from two yards out.
Cassville scored twice in the first half.
Danny Naugle took one in with 4:56 remaining in the first quarter. Brent Elkins scored the other on a five-yard pass from Jake Nolan. Aaron Jamieson hit one of the two extra-points.
The Wildcats had trouble with penalties and turnovers in the first half.
"We made some mistakes in the first half," said Head Coach David Large after his team turned the ball over three times in the period.
The 'Cats got it together in the second half, though, scoring 26 points.
After Hayward's score Nolan hit Cory Howard for a 28-yard pass to put Cassville up 26-0.
Lane Stubblefield then ripped off a 31-yard run on a misdirection play, setting up another Hayward score.
Joseph Gouvion scored Cassville's final points, whipping around the left side for 10 yards and then the endzone with nine minutes remaining in the contest.
The Houn's really had no offensive highlights as Cassville's defense shut them down.
"The defense had their best game all around," said Coach Large. The Wildcats allowed Aurora only 96 yards of total offense.
Cassville had another great game running the ball as they racked up 294 yards compared to Aurora's 16.
Leading this charge was Hayward. The senior had his first 100-yard rushing night as he finished the contest with 102 and two scores.
"Laith plays with a lot of heart and always seems to go 100 miles per hour," said Coach Large.
Nolan also helped out the offense, completing 11 of his 15 passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Nolan also had 41 yards on the ground.
Others who did well for Cassville included: Joseph Gouvion, 22 yards rushing and a touchdown; Naugle, 5 yards rushing and a score; Stubblefield, 76 yards on the ground; Elkins, 47 yards receiving, 45 yards rushing and a touchdown; and Howard, 37 yards receiving and a touchdown.
On the defensive side of the ball, Coach Large was really impressed with his linebackers.
"Our linebackers has a really good night," he said.
Ethan Couch led the core on the night, tallying nine tackles to bolster his team leading 35. Couch and his fellow backs ensured that no Aurora play gained 20 yards or more during the contest.
Jacob Gouvion, a former linebacker, also did well on the night. Gouvion finished with a tackle for a loss, a fumble recovery and 3.5 tackles.
Others who helped the strong defensive effort include: Phillip Cooper, two tackles, one for a loss; Quentin Farris, two tackles, one for a loss; Hayward, 3.5 tackles, two for a loss; Howard, 1.5 tackles and an interception; Nathan Riehn, 2.5 tackles, one for a loss; Dannon Rose, three tackles and a fumble recovery; Ryan Rowley, 5.5 tackles; and Stubblefield two tackles, one for a loss.
The Wildcats are now 5-0 on the season and 3-0 in the Big 8 Conference. They will play Mt. Vernon next week at home.