Everything seemed wrong last Friday when the Nevada Tigers came to town to play Cassville. The crowd was smaller than usual, the temperature had dropped into the 40's and the Cassville Wildcats seemed a little flat.
The Wildcats managed only six points in the first two frames of play but warmed up in the second half and set things right, handing Nevada a 26-0 loss.
Cassville's first score came in the second quarter. Dannon Rose's blocked punt set up Cassville with a short drive that led to Lane Stubblefield's 2-yard touchdown run. The Wildcats missed the extra point, leaving the score 6-0.
Coming out of the locker room at half, both teams still struggled. The Wildcats' first drive stalled and Nevada lost theirs on a fumble.
Cassville then took advantage of the opportunity, driving the ball 53 yards and punching it in with a 2-yard run by Danny Naugle.
The Wildcats' defense remained stingy in the second half, while the offense got hot.
Three minutes into the fourth quarter, Cassville scored again. Naugle bounced to the outside and scored from 6 yards out. Later, with 3:11 remaining in the game, the Wildcats put the icing on the cake with an 8-yard touchdown run by Laith Hayward that gave them their final score of 26-0.
The Wildcat defense was on top of its game, pitching their second shut-out of the year.
"Our defense played great all night," said Head Coach David Large.
As a unit, the defense sacked Nevada three times, recorded six tackles for a loss, forced three fumbles, intercepted one pass and blocked one kick.
|Rose had a great night for Cassville. The senior tallied 7.5 tackles, one sack, one tackle for a loss, one fumble recovery and a blocked kick.||"Dannon had one of his best games since he's been here,"?said Coach Large.|
Stubblefield also did well stepping in for the injured Ethan Couch. Stubblefield tallied nine tackles, one sack and one tackle for a loss.
Others who made plays on the defensive side of the ball included: Phillip Cooper, one interception; Nathan Riehn, one fumble recovery; Kenneth Taft, one fumble recovery and one tackle for a loss; Naugle, one sack; Ryan Rowley, seven tackles, one for a loss; and JR Woodruff, two tackles for a loss.
Offensively, the Wildcats had to adjust to the Nevada blitz package, but once they did, they really got going.
Cassville's running game attacked the Tigers in the second half. Naugle, Stubblefield and Hayward combined to score all four of Cassville's touchdowns and grind out 165 yards in the contest.
Quarterback Jake Nolan had a good accuracy night, completing five of seven passes for 35 yards. He also had 18 yards rushing.
Stubblefield and Cory Howard both had 16 yards receiving to lead Cassville's receiving core.
Coach Large also highlighted the play of Aaron Jamieson, Cassville's kicker and punter. Jamieson averaged 38.5 yards per punt and put four of his five kick-offs into the end-zone for touchbacks. The junior went two-for-three on extra points, but showed the coaches something new on his fourth attempt.
|Due to a bad snap, Jamieson ended up with the football in his hands, knowing that he could no longer kick the extra point, Jamieson cocked back and looked for a receiver. He almost pulled it off, throwing a good attempt to a shocked teammate. In the end, the ball dropped to the ground ending the play.|
The Wildcats play this week against the Monett Cubs. The game will start at 7 p.m. at Wildcat Stadium. Senior football players and managers, band members and cheerleaders will be honored at 6:30 p.m. for Senior Night.
Cassville will get two players back this week. Ethan Couch (LB) and Jeremy Archuleta (WR) should both get back on the playing field after sitting out last week with injuries.
On the long-term front Cassville got some disappointing news. Most likely Jon Haney (RB) and Brent Elkins (WR/DB) will be out for the rest of the season. Haney is continuing to recover from a broken ankle that he suffered in Cassville's first game of the year, while Elkins is out from a blow he took in the Mt. Vernon game, which tore ligaments in his elbow.