Cassville junior varsity and freshmen football update

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Football games aren't always going to be played in perfect weather. This was definitely the case Monday, Oct. 14, when the Cassville junior varsity welcomed the East Newton Patriots on a cold, windy, rainy night.

The game was very physical on both sides of the ball, going back and forth all night. After one overtime period, the game was called in a 20-20 tie.

Cassville opened the game on offense and drove down the field.

The initial drive ended the same way the next two drives did, with a turnover on downs inside the Patriots 25-yard line.

While Cassville's offense struggled to finish off drives, the Wildcats' defense kept shutting down the East Newton offense in the first period.

Cassville opened the second quarter by scoring on a touchdown pass from quarterback Leigh Cox to wide receiver Noah Hadlow. Cox then found tight end Dakota Townsend for the two-point conversion and an 8-0 lead.

The Patriots immediately answered with a kickoff return for a touchdown. East Newton's two-point conversion failed and left Cassville ahead 8-6 at halftime.

Neither team could score in the third period.

Cassville opened the scoring in the final quarter with another touchdown pass from Cox to Hadlow and a 14-6 lead.

After that score, East Newton found another gear and took control of the game. The Patriots scored with five minutes left in the game and were successful on the two-point conversion to tie the score at 14-14.

Neither team could score in the final five minutes, sending the game to an extra session.

The overtime period started with East Newton on offense. The Patriots picked up where they left off by control the line of scrimmage and running for a touchdown after only four plays.

The Cassville defense made a very important stop on the two-point conversion.

Then the Wildcats returned to the air. A pass from Cox to running back Isaiah Phenny moved the offense to the 10-yard line.

Cassville cashed in on the next play with yet another touchdown pass from Cox to Hadlow. The Wildcats tried to score the two-point conversion on the ground, but were stopped three inches shy, leaving the game tied at the end.

Freshmen

Cassville hosted Reeds Spring in the final freshman football contest of the season and earned a convincing 20-7 victory on Oct. 14.

The Wildcats jumped on the Wolves early as River Phelps outran coverage on the the opening kick and scoring down the sideline just seconds into the game. Phelps kicked the extra point to give Cassville a 7-0 lead.

The Wolves put together a lengthy drive on their first possession, but the Wildcat defense prevented them from putting any points on the board.

The second quarter belonged almost entirely to the home team.

After an interception by Troy Rose, the offense went to work with great field position. Solid blocking and a power running game eventually resulted in a touchdown blast by Kyle Ruark. Phelps' extra point gave the Wildcats a 14-0 advantage at halftime.

Cassville kicked to Reeds Spring to begin the third quarter, but a physical defensive effort quickly got the ball back in the hands of the offense.

The Wildcat offense continued to pound away at the Wolves with a hard-nosed running attack. R.J. Elliot burst through the right side for the Wildcats to conclude the quarter with a 20-0 score.

Reeds Spring's only points came on a touchdown run with less than one minute left in the game. Cassville sealed the victory by recovering an onside kick and taking a knee to run out the clock.

"I was happy to see us create turnovers, make big stops at key times and really play a physical style of football tonight," said defensive coordinator Robbie Artherton.

Head coach Jay Rogers was also pleased with the effort and execution in the final game.

"This may have been our best overall game of the year," said Rogers. "We made plays on special teams, forced turnovers on defense, protected the ball and scored a couple touchdowns on offense. It's nice to see these young men improve throughout the season and have a good showing in their final game."

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