Wildcats say practice makes perfect

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Junior Zane Everett (No. 45) and sophomore River Phelps look to bring down a Lamar runner during the Wildcats' home loss to the Tigers. Chuck Nickle Special to the Cassville Democrat

Cassville aims to work harder, improve on field

Following Cassville's 49-0 home loss to Lamar on Friday, the Wildcats knew one thing -- they were not where they wanted to be.

Leaving its first conference loss and first loss to Lamar at home since 2004 behind, the Wildcats are now turning to the Barry County Brawl on Friday and turning up the heat at practices.

Lance Parnell, Wildcats head coach, said practices have to be more intense for the Wildcats to play on the level it takes to beat a team like Lamar.

"We've got to get ready or Monett," he said. "We've got to practice harder, and we've got to become a more physical football team. We are not where we want to be yet."

Lamar's size and strength proved itself on both sides of the ball Friday, as the Tigers totaled 406 yards of offense in the game, all on the ground, while holding Cassville to 29 total yards and only two first downs.

Lamar racked up 15 first downs in the contest and averaged 7.25 yards per carry. The Tigers also forced and recovered two fumbles, and picked off on pass attempt.

It was a rough night for senior quarterback Gabe Kirk, who finished with negative-2 yards on the ground and 0-of-3 through the air. Senior running back Isiah Phinney led the Wildcats on the turf with 16 yards. Cody Olson and River Phelps led Cassville in tackles, with 15 and 14, respectively.

Much of Lamar's yardage came from misdirection plays on the ground, something Parnell said is not a new tactic.

"I've seen them do that for years," he said. "They're bought to defend and we just didn't do a good job of it."

Jordan Fisher, senior cornerback for Cassville, said it was tough, but something that can be corrected.

"We just have to trust our reads," he said. "We also have to come out and be more physical. That's what we really lacked tonight was physicality."

Fisher said the Wildcats have to regroup this week and just be ready for the Cubs.

"We have to regroup and get back to practicing hard, then come together and get ready for Monett," he said. "We need to turn up the intensity. We have to get everyone going hard and everyone focused on every practice."

Cassville faces Monett on the road at 7 p.m. Friday.

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