No. 5 Panthers too much for 'Cats

Friday, August 29, 2014
Junior defensive back Leigh Cox (No. 2) and Junior linebacker Zane Everett (No. 45) chase the Mountain Grove quarterback during the Wildcats' 30-19 loss at home on Friday. Kyle Troutman/

Cassville falls 30-19 in home opener

Senior wide receiver Cade Pendergraft jukes left and past a Mountain Grove defender during a 50-yard catch that set up a Wildcats touchdown. Kyle Troutman/

The Wildcats' football team met a strong foe at its home opener, falling to No. 5 Mountain Grove in week two, 30-19.

Cassville started slow on defense, leaving a Mountain Grove receiver wide open in the middle for a touchdown pass and an 8-0 lead.

Cassville answered the score quickly when senior quarterback Gabe Kirk ran 54 yards in three plays for a score.

Kirk then found senior wide receiver Cade Pendergraft for a 50-yard reception, which set up a 1-yard leap into the end zone by senior running back Chase Jackson for a 13-8 Wildcats lead.

Senior quarterback Gabe Kirk (No. 6) looks back at a would-be tackler after scoring the Wildcats' first touchdown of the game against Mountain Grove on Friday. Junior Zac Boley, right, is celebrating the score. Kyle Troutman/

Cassville forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, but turned the ball over on downs at the Panthers' 40 yard line. Mountain Grove then broke for a 60-yard touchdown run.

With just more than a minute left in the half, a bad snap on a Wildcats' punt forced a safety, giving the Panthers an 18-13 lead.

Cassville came out hot in the third, with Jackson slicing to the sideline for a 60-yard touchdown run and a 19-18 lead, but Mountain Grove took over from there.

The Panthers scored on 38-yard and 20-yard passes to widen the score to 30-19.

Senior defensive back Jordan Fisher, left, and senior defensive end Justin Dunivant celebrate after the Wildcats forced and recovered a fumble during Friday's game against Mountain Grove. Kyle Troutman/

Cassville (1-1) plays host to McDonald County on Friday at 7 p.m.

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