Wildcats seek to put an end to Cubs' season

Wednesday, October 29, 2014
River Phelps finds room to run during last week's win over Mt. Vernon. Chuck Nickle Special to the Cassville Democrat

Defense will be key for Cassville at Monett

It is still fresh on the mind of Cassville Coach Lance Parnell, a 38-0 thrashing defeat at the hands of rival Monett in Week 5.

Allen Lambell slips a would-be tackle to pick up more yardage during Friday's win. Chuck Nickle Special to the Cassville Democrat

Parnell also serves as the team's defensive coordinator, and defense is something the Wildcats pride themselves in. However, on that fateful night, the Cubs' offense slice through the vaunted Wildcats defenders like a hot knife through butter, rolling up 300 yards rushing, 80 through the air and returning a kickoff for a touchdown.

"We are going to have to play a lot better on defense if we are going to win Friday," Parnell said. "Monett has a good team, and we know that they will be ready to play."

The Wildcats have been on a roll lately and have found a one-two rushing punch with Leigh Cox and River Phelps.

Phelps has totaled 757 yards on the ground and scored 11 touchdowns. He is averaging 7.7 yards per carry.

Cox has also proved versatile with a 6.8 yards per carry average, and he has amassed 419 yards on the ground.

The Wildcats will need their full bags of tricks on Friday, as Monett has been a different animal at Burl Fowler Stadium, only allowing a total of 5 points at home this season.

"Coach [Jim] Genzler, [Monett defensive coordinator], does a tremendous job of getting those guys ready to play each week," Parnell said. "We are going to have to be ready for their pressure."

Although the Wildcats lost the Barry County Brawl trophy, they are playing for a nice consolation prize, a chance to end the Cubs' season.

Still fresh in the memory of the Wildcat seniors is the 2012 district championship, when the Cubs invaded Wildcat Stadium and took down Cassville, 10-6.

Now, it is Cassville who is the underdog with the chance to sour the Cubs' season.
"It doesn't matter if it is Week 5 or the district semifinal," Parnell said. "It's Monett and Cassville. Motivation won't be a problem."

Keys for Cassville

* Work the clock: The Wildcats will need to chew up yards on the ground and move the chains.

* Score first: Cassville needs to send a message that it is a different team than Week 5, and a lead would do just that.

* Attack the Cubs: Monett had its way the first time these teams met. Look for the Wildcats to up their physical play the second time around.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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