Freshmen 'Cats edge out the Houn' Dawgs 21-14

Wednesday, September 21, 2011
No room to run Chuck Nickle Photography Cassville's Andrew Whitham and Chase Jackson combine to stop an Aurora runner during Monday's night 20-14 Wildcat victory over the Houn' Dawgs.

The Cassville Wildcats freshman football team took on a conference foe Monday night as they battled the Aurora freshmen in their fourth game of the season.

Last week, the freshmen 'Cats rolled over Reeds Spring with a resounding 48-16 win. Aurora, however, proved to be a much tougher challenge for the Cassville freshman (3 -1) as they escaped with a 20-14 win.

The Wildcats opened the game on defense and immediately forced an Aurora punt. Unfortunately for Cassville, the punt was muffed and the Houn' Dawgs regained possession deep inside Wildcat territory.

This time, the Cassville defense would not be able stop the Aurora drive, and the Houn's scored the first touchdown of the game and punched in a two-point conversion to make the score 8-0 in their favor at the end of the first quarter.

The freshmen Wildcat defense held strong in the second quarter, stopping Aurora after quarterback Gabe Kirk threw an interception, giving Aurora the ball on the Wildcat 30-yard line. The score would remain 8-0 through the first half as Cassville struggled to move the ball in the first two quarters.

The second half was a different story. Cassville received the opening kickoff of the second half and immediately led a scoring drive featuring some power runs by running backs Lane Madison and Chase Jackson and a long touchdown run by Kirk. After a failed pass attempt to tight end Chase Brattin, the 'Cats edged closer to the Houn' Dawgs, trailing only 8-6.

After another stop by the relentless Wildcat defense, the offense began steamrolling its way toward another scoring drive. The Cassville backs mounted another impressive scoring drive, running the ball behind linemen Dalton Jet, Erick Medina, Andrew Shepard, Andrew Whithman and Justin Dunivant.

This scoring drive was capped off by a two-yard quarterback sneak by Gabe Kirk, and Chase Jackson ran around the end to add the two-point conversion to give the Wildcats a 14-8 lead.

On this Monday night, Aurora refused to give up. They mounted an impressive scoring drive of their own to make the knot the score at 14-14. The Cassville defense made a big defensive stop to prevent the two-point conversion and keep the game tied going into the fourth quarter.

On the ensuing kickoff, Kirk returned the kick 60 yards for his third touchdown of the game. The freshmen 'Cats did not convert on the two conversion, making the score 20-14. This lead proved to be all Cassville needed as the defense stymied two more Aurora drives before the offense ran out the clock to take the win.

"We got off to a very slow start," said Coach Danny Powers. "We may not have gotten off the bus as mentally prepared as we should have been, and it cost us in the first half. Fortunately, we came out with a much better attitude in the second half, and it was reflected by the final score."

Coach Robbie Artherton added, "Our kids continue to battle week in and week out. It was good for us to pull out a tough win against a tough conference opponent."

The Cassville freshman will resume action next Monday, Sept. 26.

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