Cassville JV and freshmen notch wins

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Cassville Wildcat junior varsity football team traveled to Seneca Sept. 23 and earned a 19-8 win over the Indians.

It was a perfect early fall night for football, but the Wildcats came out sluggish in the first half. The 'Cats had several offensive penalties and took the ball inside the 5-yard line on two different occasions without scoring.

The Cassville defense played well for most of the first, but gave up a score on a screen pass to build an 8-0 lead.

Cassville's offense would overcome more mistakes and answer the Seneca scoring drive. Josh Brown barreled into the end zone from a few yards out on the Wildcats' next drive to cut the advantage to 8-6 before the intermission.

A completely different team emerged from the Cassville locker room for the start of the second half. The Wildcats returned invigorated and lively.

Chase Jackson started the momentum change when he refused to be brought down on a base run play. The play, which is usually good for a four or five yard gain, became a 45 yard touchdown run because of Jackson's tough running. The extra point by Pafou Vang was good. The Wildcats took the lead 13-8 and would not give it back.

Later in the fourth quarter, the Cassville running game scored on a perfectly blocked sweep to the left side.

Receiver Zach Rabourn put the defensive corner on his back. Fullback Josh Brown threw a devastating block, and all the big lineman inside did their job, allowing running back Isiah Phinney to easily scamper into the end zone.

The junior varsity Wildcats improved to 2-2 on the season.

After the game, the coaches talked of a tale of two halves. Coach Kyle Wood implored the team, "to put together a complete game instead of just good half, because when that happens, we will be very tough to beat."

Freshmen

The Bolivar Liberators made the long bus trip to Cassville in hopes of taking a victory back home with them on Sept. 23. Unfortunately for them, the Liberators ran into a Wildcat team that played its most complete game of the season. Cassville picked up a solid 39-16 win.

Cassville's ground game gashed the Liberator defense from start to finish. Behind solid blocking from the offensive line, the 'Cats found the end zone six times, all via the running game.

River Phelps accounted for three rushing touchdowns, Kyle Ruark added two and Gilbert Medina closed out the scoring with a long fourth quarter dash.

Defensively, Cassville had its hands full with an impressive air assault by Bolivar. The combination of an accurate quarterback and a tall, sure-handed receiver gave the Wildcats fits.

However, Cassville won the battle at the line of scrimmage and ultimately made big plays in the passing game to minimize Bolivar's scoring opportunities.

An interception by Troy Rose ended one scoring threat, and solid tackling kept the Liberators from scoring until the fourth quarter.

"I've never seen a quarterback and receiver combination quite like what Bolivar had," said coach Robbie Artherton. "That kid had a ton of catches, but for the most part we were able to keep him in front of us and make tackles when he did catch it. Also, I was proud of the effort of our defensive line and linebackers shutting down their running game."

Cassville coach Jay Rogers stated that this was by far his best effort of the season.

"It was good to see kids being aggressive, playing hard, and executing better," Rogers said. "Hopefully, Cassville will build on this game and continue to improve."

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