Burl Fowler Stadium was packed as fans came to watch what proved to be a very intense battle between two talented Big 8 rivals as the Monett Cubs hosted the Cassville Wildcats last Friday night. The hosts came out on top in a very close 13-7 battle.
The competition was fierce from the opening kick off until the final second of the game. The Cubs were able to put points on the board early in the first quarter as they moved the ball in for a touchdown and extra point to gain a 7-0 lead.
Cassville did not manage to score at all in the first half but was able to prevent Monett from scoring again before half time, despite a very untimely interception in the second quarter that resulted in a touchback.
The Cubs kicked off to start the second half and Cassville was unable to score. The Wildcats punted the ball and Monett took advantage of good field position to gain another touchdown. The extra point was no good, which placed the score at 13-0 in favor of the Cubs.
The Wildcats continued fighting, and late in the third quarter, their efforts finally paid off as Jon Haney ran the ball in for a touchdown, and Aaron Jamieson followed it up with the extra point to make it 13-7.
That would prove to be the final points of the game as both teams made excellent defensive plays in a number of critical situations throughout the remainder of the game.
Although it was a loss for Cassville, Coach David Large was very pleased with the effort of his players.
"I was very proud of how hard our kids played all night," said Coach Large. "I felt our defense did very well all night long. Monett was a very good football team and very deserving of their number one ranking. They had a lot of speed and were very physical defensively."
Offensively, Cassville managed to gain 107 yards rushing. Quarterback Jake Nolan led the game with 39 yards rushing, while Haney was second for the night with 27 yards rushing. Gouvion accumulated 17 yards rushing, Trevor Tanner carried for 10 yards, Travis Northern tallied eight yards, Brent Elkins gained five yards, and Cody Pierson managed one yard for the night.
The Wildcat offense was also able to accumulate a total of 133 yards in passing against the tough Cub defense.
Nolan passed for a total of 124 yards. Elkins was able to make a tricky nine-yard pass that successfully moved the ball down the field for the Wildcats.
Tanner led the night in pass receiving, tallying 107 yards. Haney received for nine yards, Northern managed six yards, and Elkins had two yards for the night.
Statistically, Cassville did a better job defensively, limiting the Cubs to a total of 171 yards of offense as compared to the Wildcats' 193 yards.
On defense, senior Ethan Couch had the most tackles with a total of nine. Pierson had five tackles, Robbie Coberly, Elkins, Matt Stockton and J.R. Woodruff each had four tackles, Josh Lewright, Nathan Riehn and Chris Smith had three apiece, Trenton Tanner had two, and Garret Mahurin was credited with one tackle in the game.
Jamieson finished the night with 113 yards on kick-offs and 242 yards on punts.
Trevor Tanner had 20 yards in kick-off returns and 10 yards in punt returns, while Gouvion had a total of 19 yards in kick-off returns on the night.
This coming Friday, Oct. 24 the Wildcats return home with hopes of adding another win to their record as they prepare to face the Seneca Indians in their ninth game of the season.