The Wildcats took care of East Newton in businesslike fashion on Friday night. The Patriots saw their first possession end with Colby Thomas' punt blocked by Garrett Kirk and then returned for a touchdown by Chris Dunker. The PAT failed, but Cassville led 6-0 after a minute and a half.
East Newton's next possession lasted three plays and ended with Ty Craig returning an interception to the Cassville 46-yard line. That led to an eight-play drive capped by a 12-yard touchdown pass from Ricky Nichols to Josh Sexton. The Barnes PAT gave the Wildcats a 13-0 lead at the 8:57 mark of the first quarter.
On East Newton's 10th snap of the ball game, Trey Rose intercepted Rocky Liveoak's deep pass attempt inside the Cassville 35-yard line. That led to a 13-play scoring drive for the Wildcats, with Dunker blasting into the end zone from 16 yards out. Cassville led 20-0 in the first quarter with the successful PAT.
The second quarter was marked by more action:
* Kyle Brattin scored out of the wishbone from two yards out to give Cassville a 27-0 lead.
* Nichols scored on an 18-yard run to finish a short-field drive and give Cassville a 34-0 lead.
* Rose hauled in a bomb from Nichols for a 32-yard TD reception in the final minute of the half to give Cassville a 41-0 lead.
The only score of the second half came on the first possession of the third quarter. Marcus Weatherman directed a 50-yard drive from the Cassville 47-yard line inside the East Newton five-yard stripe. Barnes drilled a 20-yard field goal to produce the eventual 44-0 finale.
Lance Parnell's defense recorded the first shutout of the year while limiting the Patriots to less than 80 yards of total offense.
Defensively, Hayden Prater led the Wildcats with six unassisted tackles while Dunker added five. Drew Henbest and Stanton Stringer recorded sacks while Rose, Criag and Walker each tallied an interception.
The victory pushed Cassville's record to 9-0 with a 6-0 Big 8 Conference record. It also was the second Class 3, District 11 victory for the Wildcats, who control their own playoff destiny from now on. Only Seneca, a surprising 33-21 loser to Monett on Friday night, can derail Cassville's path to a perfect regular season and a third-consecutive district title.
The Class 3, District 11 winner will host a regional game on Wednesday, Nov. 2. The district runner-up will go on the road to face the District 12 champion. Pleasant Hill is in the driver's seat for that title, with wins over both Nevada and Holden coupled with a Clinton loss to Nevada.