Branson frosh earn comeback victory over Cassville, 26-21

Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Catch and score. Cassville freshman Trey Rose hauled in a deflected pass and raced 43 yards for a touchdown during the Wildcats' freshmen football game on Sept. 2.

It was not the Hunger Games on Monday night Sept. 2, but it was the Hunters that brought down the Cassville Wildcats.

Quarterback Hunter Werling and running back Hunter Weber came up with big second half performances to lead the visiting Branson Pirates past Cassville in a freshmen football contest, 26-21.

The Wildcats, wearing those shiny gold pants that never appear in varsity games, jumped out to an early 14-0 first-quarter lead. River Phelps took a toss from Cole York and swept around the left end for a 75-yard touchdown run with 7:54 on the clock.

Then in a painful déjà vu moment for Branson, Phelps threw long down the sideline for Troy Rose. In a near identical play to one in the varsity contest on Friday night, the Branson defender stabbed at the ball, and Rose caught the deflection and jetted into the end zone to complete a 43-yard scoring play.

Phelps added the PAT to give the Wildcats a 14-0 lead as the quarter ran down.

Branson cut the lead to 14-6, scoring on the first possession of the second quarter. Weber capped a five-play, 43-yard drive with a short off tackle burst to put the Pirates on the board. The two-point conversion failed, though, and Cassville led 14-6.

The Wildcats answered with a long drive of their own. Phelps finished a nineplay, 86-yard possession with a beautiful sweep and cutback for a 36-yard touchdown. His PAT upped the score to 21-6 in favor of Cassville.

That score held until halftime. But after intermission, the Pirates unfurled the mainsail. Weber was unstoppable, as his three touchdowns led the Pirates into the lead with 2:21 left in the contest.

The Wildcats were forced to the passing game as the clock slipped away. Phelps was intercepted by Roy Watson with just 1:34 to play. The Pirates ran out the clock and claimed the 26-21 victory.

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