Wildcats fall to Cubs in 10-6 heartbreaker

Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Three points Chuck Nickle Photography Cassville place kicker Stone Phelps connected on two field goals of 33 and 35 yards and accounted for all the Cassville points against Monett during the Nov. 5 district title game.

The Cassville Wildcats saw their perfect season come to an end with a shocking 10-6 loss to Monett on Monday night in the Class 3, District 4 championship.

Although Cassville held a 6-3 halftime lead on two Stone Phelps field goals, Monett found a way to control the tempo of the game. The Wildcats used almost five minutes on the opening possession before a fumble gave the ball to the Cubs at the Monett 12-yard line.

The Cubs ate up the rest of the first quarter clock with a 10-minute, 16-play drive that ended with a fumble. Cassville's Hayden Prater recovered the ball and returned it 52 yards to the Monett 20-yard line. A penalty moved the ball half the distance to the goal, but the Wildcats could not cross the goal line and settled for a 33-yard field goal from Phelps.

Going low Chuck Nickle Photography Cody Frana, at left, and Ty Craig converge to stop Monett running back Matt Murphy during the Nov. 5 district title game.

Trailing 3-0, the Cubs recovered another Cassville fumble and tied the game with a 22-yard field goal by Aaron Aldrich.

Cassville's Brent Thompson broke loose for a 35-yard run with just four seconds left in the half to set up a 35-yard field goal attempt for Phelps, and his true kick gave the Wildcats a 6-3 halftime lead.

On the first snap from scrimmage in the third quarter, Monett's Kurran Blamey exploded down the sideline for a 55-yard run to set up first and goal. Aaron Hall scored on a 5-yard run on second down to give the Cubs a 10-6 lead.

Under pressure Chuck Nickle Photography Cassville quarterback Gabe Kirk had very little time to throw against an aggressive Monett defense during the district title game. Kirk completed six of his 18 attempts.

For the remainder of the second half, the Cubs played stellar defense and kept the Wildcats pinned deep with Cameron Witt's punting.

Cassville seemed destined for a comeback late in the fourth quarter when Gabe Kirk found Prater down the middle for a 34-yard completion to the Monett 10-yard line.

Monett's defense stopped Kirk for no gain on first down, and then the Cubs took over after three straight incompletions.

The Wildcats exhausted their timeouts and had one last chance when Witt shanked a punt that reached only to the Monett 32-yard line with 74 seconds to play. But after three plays netted only two yards, Kirk's fourth-down pass fell incomplete. Monett quarterback Kyle Woods took a knee to run out the clock, and the Cassville Wildcats saw their state playoff hopes end.

Cassville could not seem to get its running game untracked. Brent Thompson rushed for 88 yards on 13 carries, and Kirk managed 21 yards on 15 rushing attempts for a total of 105 yards on the ground.

Kirk completed six of his 18 passes for 75 yards to give Cassville 180 yards of total offense.

The Cubs rushed for 218 yards on 53 carries, with Blamey gaining 94 yards on 15 runs. Hall gained 83 yards on 25 carries, and Matt Murphy ran for 39 yards on seven carries.

Woods completed four of seven attempts for 36 yards as the Cubs racked up 254 yards of total offense.

The Wildcats ended its season with an 11-1 record. Monett improved to 9-3.

The Cubs will host Eldon on Saturday afternoon at Burl Fowler Stadium in Monett in a Class 3 quarterfinal game.

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