Wildcats lose battle of Barry County

Thursday, November 1, 2007

At 10 p.m. last Friday night, dark clouds covered the sky, but none were darker than the one covering Wildcat stadium.

Cassville hosted the Monett Cubs on Friday in the annual battle of Barry County but came up short, losing 21-20 in overtime.
Everything looked good for Cassville after rallying to tie the Cubs in the fourth quarter and forcing the game to overtime.

Danny Naugle plunged into the endzone on the Wildcats' first overtime possession, giving Cassville the lead. Aaron Jamieson hit the extra point seemingly giving the Wildcats a secure 20-13 advantage.

However on Monett's possession, the Cubs converted on a key third down and then found the endzone. With the score 20-19, the Cubs elected to go for two and got it, pitching it to the running back who got in on the left side.
Although the two-point play ended the ball game, Cassville might have lost the game early on.

After only 12 minutes of play, Cassville trailed 13-0. On Monett's first play from scrimmage, Kellen Bounous busted through the middle of the line and rumbled 39 yards for a touchdown. Then after an interception by Fatmir Osmani, Bounous hit again, giving Monett their 13-0 lead.

After experiencing little success on offense in the first quarter, Cassville made a switch. The Wildcats shifted into their wishbone package, adjusting to a two-tight end set with three hard runners set in the backfield.
"We really had a lot of problems with their speed," said Coach Large about the Monett defense. "The wishbone gave us a chance."

Cassville then used its strength and technique to neutralize the Cubs' quickness.

It worked. The Wildcats scored touchdowns in the second and fourth quarters to tie the contest. Naugle hit on both scores from two yards out on each.

The Wildcats also missed two opportunities. After a successful third quarter drive, Cassville turned the ball over on downs at the Monett two yard line. Also the squad had a chance to take the lead but missed the extra-point after the second score.

The game proved to be a tough loss for the 'Cats, eliminating them from playoff contention for the second year in a row.

The Wildcats actually out-gained Monett 270 to 198 in total yardage but just couldn't match them on the scoreboard.
Naugle had a career night, carrying the ball 25 times to pick up 99 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
Quarterback Jake Nolan also had a good night, rushing for 90 yards.

Cory Howard and Laith Hayward were the only two Cassville receivers to catch a pass, both were three-yard receptions.

On defense, the Wildcats were solid as usual. Nathan Riehn and Ryan Rowley led the way for the 'Cats from different positions.

Riehn, a defensive linemen, finished with five tackles and one for a loss. Rowley, a Cassville safety, ended with 6.5 tackles. Dannon Rose finished with 5.5 tackles and Phillip Cooper had five.
Howard made an interception in the game, and Jacob Gouvion and JR Woodruff both had tackles for a loss.
The Wildcats look now to Seneca for their next contest, which will be held this Thursday night. The Wildcats, despite being eliminated from playoff contention, can still lay claim to a share of the Big 8 crown with a win on Thursday.
The game begins at 7 p.m. at Seneca.
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