Victory sends 'Cats to state semi-finals
The Cassville Wildcats are one win away from the Dome after beating the Logan-Rogersville Wildcats 26-14 last Saturday in a state quarterfinal game. Enthusiastic fans from both schools braved extremely cold temperatures to watch what proved to be one of the most exciting games of the year.
Rogersville kicked off to start the game and quickly forced Cassville to punt the ball away. On the following drive, Rogersville was able to score after 11 plays as they ran the ball into the endzone and then gained an extra point to take the lead at 7-0.
The Wildcats' second possession was unsuccessful, but things turned in their favor on Rogersville's next drive as Cody Pierson intercepted a pass at the end of the first quarter.
Cassville quickly put points up on the board as Jon Haney ran the ball in for the score. Aaron Jamieson then kicked the extra point and tied the game at 7-7.
The following drive stalled for Rogersville and Cassville began a 75 yard-long drive that resulted in another touchdown for Cassville as Haney jumped over a pile of players into the endzone. Rogersville blocked the extra point attempt, leaving the score at 13-7.
The rest of the half was scoreless as both teams played excellent defense with very little time to play before half time was called.
In the third quarter, Cassville kicked off and Rogersville had to punt soon after.
Cassville moved the ball close to the endzone and struggled to score until quarterback Jake Nolan finally ran the ball in for a touchdown. The team tried for a two-point conversion, but Rogersville was able to stop them and the score stood at 19-7.
In the fourth quarter things began to heat up again, as Rogersville put more points on the board with an amazing touchdown pass during its first possession of the quarter. They made the extra point to narrow Cassville's lead to 19-14.
On the next drive, however, Cassville would come back and answer with another touchdown as Haney rambled down the field for the 69-yard touchdown run, which halted Rogersville's momentum. Jamieson kicked the extra point and it was a 26-14 game.
The final minutes of the game were scoreless, but no less intense, with two Cassville defenders coming away with plays that helped to seal the victory for Cassville.
Cody Pierson intercepted a pass just after Cassville's final touchdown, and then on Rogersville's last drive of the game, Chris Smith intercepted a long pass that could have resulted in a Rogersville touchdown in the final seconds of the game.
Cassville took advantage of Smith's interception to run the clock out and move another step closer to a chance at the championship game.
Head Coach David Large had great things to say about his team's historic win.
"I was very proud of the community turnout and atmosphere we had Saturday," said Coach Large. "Our kids did a great job against a very good team, not getting too down or too up with momentum swings."
This week the Wildcats' offensive team did a good job of moving the ball up the field behind the strength of the ever-improving offensive line.
Nolan was able to throw for 38 yards total, and rush for 16 yards, scoring one touchdown in the game.
Haney was the leader in not only rushing, but scoring as well this week, with three touchdowns and a total of 151 yards in rushing.
"Jon Haney did an incredible job for us, and I was proud for him after missing his junior year," said Coach Large.
Joseph Gouvion accumulated the second most yards in rushing with a total of 78, Trevor Tanner gained 31 yards on the run, J.R. Woodruff carried for four yards and Ethan Couch ran for one yard.
Jamieson led the game in receiving with 20 yards this week.
While the special teams had no returns this week, Jamieson did a great job kicking on a very windy day with five kick-offs, totaling 272 yards in all, and three punts with a total of 131 yards on the game.
The Wildcat defense played a very aggressive game, making major stops and forcing turnovers that gave their team the opportunities they needed to take control of the game and put points up for Cassville.
Woodruff led the game with a total of eight tackles, and two sacks for the afternoon. Couch and Elkins accumulated six tackles each, Josh Lewright achieved five tackles, Smith had four including one sack, Garrett Mahurin, Matt Stockton and Trenton Tanner had three tackles apiece, Nathan Riehn tallied two tackles, and Robbie Coberly and Pierson each had one tackle.
The Wildcats will host the Chillicothe Hornets in state semi-final play this coming Saturday as they hope to move forward for a chance at the state championship.
The game against Chillicothe begins at 1:30 p.m. The stadium will open to fans at 11:30 a.m.. and no reserved seating will be allowed. With a win this Saturday, the Wildcats will advance to the state championship game at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis at 4:15 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 28. They would play the winner of the Cardinal Ritter-Sullivan match up.