Slow start dooms 'Cats on the road

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Senior running back Isiah Phinney breaks free from a Monett tackler during varsity action. Chuck Nickle Special to the Cassville Democrat

Coaches want team to start with more focus as they prepare to face the Bulldogs

Great special teams play and chunk yardage offensive plays have been staples of Wildcats teams for the last several years, but neither was a friend to the Wildcats Friday.

A Monett kickoff return for a touchdown to start the game knocked the wind of the Wildcats' sail and the Cubs used plays of 70 and 40 yards for touchdowns to break the will of Cassville in a 38-0 defeat.

After the game, Head Coach Lance Parnell spoke in a low and calmed tone to his squad, but he didn't blunt his message.

"Boys we have got to take to heart the things that these eight coaches have been teaching the last two weeks," Parnell said. "I like how you came out and battled in the second half and

showed some pride, we have to play the entire game with that passion."

The Wildcats were frustrated by a faster Cubs team and never got their offense on track. Cassville managed just seven first downs, five of which came in the second half."

"The only way to correct it is to have our seniors step up," Parnell said. "We have got to be more disciplined."

Cassville was dealt an offensive blow earlier this week we it was revealed that starting tail back Chase Jackson was lost for the season with and MCL and ACL tear.

Parnell said he and his wouldn't hide behind injuries as an excuse.

"We know that the loss of Chase leaves a big hole for us to fill," said senior running back Isiah Phinney. "Every one of us has to step up. I have to be a leader, we can't get down as a team."

Monett outgained Cassville 388 to 170 and racked up 307 yards on the ground.

"We have a difficult game this Friday at Carl Junction," Parnell said. "We are going to put this one behind us and keep moving forward."

Cassville's defense also suffered another setback over the weekend, when the team's leading tackler, Cody Olsen suffered an emergency that required serious medical care to one of his eyes.

The Wildcats travel to face the Bulldogs Friday, and kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.

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