Wildcats advance to state play-off game

Thursday, November 6, 2008
Ethan Couch takes the ball in for the first of his two touchdowns in the Wildcats' 42-7 win over East Newton. On defense, Couch led the squad with 10 tackles. Action Sports Photos/Robert Hoppie

Last Friday, the Wildcats hosted the East Newton Patriots in a district game that would determine whether or not Cassville would advance to the state play-offs as district runners-up.

As fans looked on, the Wildcats commenced to play one of their most solid offensive games of the year as they executed some very quick drives for major yardage throughout the majority of the game and earned a 42-7 victory.

The Patriots started the game looking very good as they controlled the ball for over five minutes on the opening drive of the game, moving the ball down the field with great determination that resulted in a 38-yard touchdown run and extra point to put seven points on the board.

However, the Patriots were unable to match the success of their first drive again during the rest of the game as Cassville began a major comeback in the second quarter that carried over into the third quarter and raised them past East Newton for the victory.

In the second quarter, Trevor Tanner earned the first points for Cassville as he ran the ball in for a 16-yard touchdown. Aaron Jamieson followed with the extra point to tie the game at 7-7.

Shortly after that, Jon Haney made another 16-yard run, dragging two tacklers into the end zone with him to gain the lead. Jamieson again made the extra point, giving Cassville the 14-7 edge.

The Wildcats continued building momentum, and Ethan Couch was the next to score as he ran in for Cassville's third consecutive touchdown. The extra point was good again, raising the Cassville lead to 21-7.

The half was nearing its end when Haney ran the ball in for his second touchdown of the night with less than a minute left and the following kick left the Wildcats with a 28-7 lead going into half time.

As the third quarter began, East Newton kicked off and the Wildcat offense wasted no time in putting more points on the scoreboard as Joseph Gouvion carried the ball for 69 yards into the endzone for a touchdown. The extra point extended the lead to 35-7.

Cassville then went on to score again soon after, as Couch ran the ball in again for another six points. Jamieson cleared the uprights for the sixth time to give the Wildcats a 42-7 advantage that would later prove to be the final score as neither team found the endzone again during the fourth quarter.

Head Coach David Large had great things to say about his team's performance this past week.

"I was real pleased with how well our offensive line did all evening," said Coach Large. "They had by far their best game of the season and our runningbacks ran hard all night."

While Coach Large thought the offensive effort was excellent, he also felt that the defensive game was very strong against a dangerous opponent.

"Our defense played well, limiting the lead rusher in our conference to under 100 yards," said Coach Large.

The Wildcats' success for the night was evident as they finished the night with a total of 416 yards in offense compared to the Patriots' 144 yards total offense for the evening.

Quarterback Jake Nolan passed for 58 yards this week, while Gouvion led the game in receptions for a total of 46 yards. Jamieson was credited with the other 12 yards receiving for the night.

Gouvion also tallied the most yards on the ground with a total of 143 yards. Haney ran for 84 yards, Tanner had 51 yards rushing, Couch had 36 yards rushing, Nolan gained 27 yards on the run, Zach Vititoe carried for 14 yards, and Seth Myers accumulated eight yards on the night.

On defense, Couch led the game in tackles with a total of 10 while Nathan Riehn had seven and Matt Stockton and Trenton Tanner had five apiece. Other leading tacklers were: JR Woodruff with four tackles; Brent Elkins and Garrett Mahurin with three each; Josh Lewright, Jake Musser, Cody Pierson and Chris Smith, two tackles apiece; and Robbie Coberly, Michael Guzman, and Haney one tackle each.

Smith had the only interception for the Cassville defense during the game.

Jamieson punted for 99 yards and had 402 yards in kick-offs for the night, while Tanner had the only return for the game at 13 yards.

With this victory, the Wildcats ended regular season play with a 7-3 record. Coach Large hopes that the fans will continue to support the Wildcats as they head into the first round of state playoffs today (Wednesday).

"I want to thank the community for their support and invite them to all come out for our playoff game with Mt. Vernon," said Coach Large.

The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at Mt. Vernon.

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