Cassville routs Mt. Vernon, 49-8
The Cassville Wildcats racked up 42 points before halftime and rolled to a 49-8 Big 8 Conference victory at Mt. Vernon on Friday night.
The parade of old Pontiacs ferrying the Mountaineers' homecoming royalty was almost as impressive as the Cassville team. Ricky Nichols looked even faster than the featured GTO convertible, running for three touchdowns and completing all seven of his passes -- one of them a 12-yard touchdown strike to Cole Beagle.
The defense of the Wildcats controlled field position and the game. Mt. Vernon seemingly played uphill nearly all night and was also plagued by turnovers against the ball-hawking Cassville secondary. Ty Craig intercepted a tipped pass and rambled 27 yards for a score in the opening quarter of play.
The Mountaineers scored on a gift safety late in the first half when punter Stone Phelps saw an errant snap sail over his head and out of the end zone to make the score 42-2. Alex Hausman then arched a Hail Mary into the end zone on the final play of the half, and Shane Williams came down with the jump ball for the only touchdown of the night for the hosts.
The Wildcats finished the night with 273 yards of total offense.
* Nichols had four carries for 54 yards and three touchdowns. Nichols was also seven for seven in passing with 91 yards and one TD.
* Kyle Brattin had 11 carries for 87 yards and one TD.
* Kreg Myers had six carries for 32 yards.
Chris Dunker had five carries for 19 yards and a TD.
Besides limiting Mt. Vernon to just 169 total yards, the Cassville defense intercepted Hausman four times and kept the Mountaineers pinned on their side of the 50-yard line most of the game. The special teams turned in another solid effort, with Garrett Kirk blocking a punt to set up Cassville's second score.
Garrett Barnes was on the field a lot, kicking seven PATs and drilling three of his nine kickoffs for touchbacks. One of those was after the safety and not even Barnes could reach the end zone from that distance.
"Great job of execution tonight," David Large told his players but warned them of the next step on the schedule.
"Lamar is a very, very good football team," said Large. "They will test you in ways you have not been tested. We always want a big game in the middle of the season to find out where we are. You'll get one next week."
Large was of course referring to the long-awaited matchup between Cassville and Lamar, the consensus picks as the top teams in the Big 8 this season. Both teams are undefeated and state ranked; Cassville in Class 3 and Lamar in Class 2. The winner takes the lead in the Big 8 Conference standings and has the inside track to the conference title.
Add the excitement of homecoming at Wildcat Stadium and you have the recipe for a special night of high school football. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. on Friday night.
CHS Athletic Director Coy Dalton reminds fan that Friday night's game will be a "black out" for homecoming. Fans attending the game are encourage to wear black shirts.