Lamar blanks Wildcats, 48-0
By Lee Stubblefield
On Nov. 5, 2004, the Seneca Indians ended Cassville's football season with a 48-21 loss. Almost nine years would pass before the Wildcats would surrender 48 points in another game.
Cassville won 30 consecutive Big 8 football contests going into Friday night's contest at Lamar, a string of victories that led to four consecutive Big 8 titles and back-to-back Class 3 championships.
The Lamar Tigers won back-to-back Class 2 championships in 2011-12, but the one accomplishment that had eluded Lamar's seniors in their career was a Big 8 title.
The Tigers mauled the Wildcats on Friday, Sept. 13 to the tune of 48-0, and moved into the driver's seat for the 2013 conference championship.
This was not a fluke win, not a game that got out of hand due to turnovers, penalties or injuries. Lamar beat Cassville at every phase of the game and proved that they are clearly the better team.
Lamar's spinner offense gashed the Cassville defense for 461 yards on the ground, led by Jared Beshore's 185 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Levi Petersen added 131 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
In contrast, the Cassville offense could never sustain any drives, and finished the game with only five first downs.
Even when the Tigers inadvertently touched a first-quarter punt and the Wildcats recovered inside the Lamar 30-yard line, Cassville could not gain a critical first down. The score at that time was only 10-0 in favor of Lamar. A Cassville score could have changed the complexion of the contest. But the Tigers owned the line of scrimmage, and the fourth-down stop was a harbinger of things to come.
Lamar took an early 3-0 lead, driving the field with the opening kickoff before settling for a Todd Morrow 31-yard field goal.
After a brief Cassville possession, Beshore jetted off right tackle and found a crease to the sideline for a 78-yard scoring run and a 10-0 Lamar lead.
Beshore scored again on the fourth play of the second quarter, cutting back through the Cassville secondary for a 19-yard touchdown. Petersen scored from 7 yards out with 7:45 on the clock, then found the end zone again at the 3:50 mark. Beshore raced into the end zone on the PAT for 2 points and a 32-0 Lamar lead.
Morrow drilled another 31-yard field goal just before half to give the Tigers a 35-0 lead.
River Phelps returned the second half kickoff for Cassville, reaching the 42-yard line. Gabe Kirk then led the Wildcats on a drive to the Lamar 39-yard line, but the massive Lamar defensive front held on fourth down.
Beshore capped a 60-yard drive with a 10-yard scoring burst late in the third period, and the Tigers led 41-0 after the PAT failed.
Reserves poured from both benched during the clock-shortened fourth quarter, and Lamar scored the game's final touchdown with 6:46 on the clock.
It was a tough loss for a proud Wildcat program, and a milestone for the Lamar Tigers. Scott Bailey, Lamar's state champion coach, who had lost all seven of his previous encounters with Cassville.
Lance Parnell was gracious in defeat.
"Lamar has a very good football team," Parnell said. "We've got to put this behind us."
Kickoff for Friday's game against Seneca is set for 7 p.m.
Big 8 recap
Lamar 48, Cassville 0
Monett 42, McDonald County 0
Seneca 49, Aurora 10
Carl Junction 52, East Newton 19
Pleasant Hill 42, Mt. Vernon 24