Wildcats Welcome Back football season
Aurora, Cassville to renew rivalry to open new football season
On Friday, a nine-month, two-week and three-day football drought ends for Wildcat Nation as Cassville and Aurora set to kick off the season in the historic Wildcat Stadium.
Despite being the first of the season, the game is huge for each team for numerous reasons.
First, both teams want to start the season off with a victory to set the tone for their season. The winner also gets a leg up in the conference and important district standings.
The loser goes back to the drawing board and looks to pick up the pieces and regroup for an even bigger Week 2.
For Cassville, there are still question marks in their secondary and linebacking cores. At times, the Wildcats looked dominant in the Springfield Parkview jamboree, but they still had mental mistakes.
"I was a little disappointed on our defensive intensity at the jamboree," said Lance Parnell, Cassville coach. "I didn't feel like we attacked the ball with much enthusiasm at times and struggled to wrap up and make plays."
"Aurora is big and fast and if we fail to do that Friday, we'll mess around and lose a football game."
Parnell did think his offensive line looked good at the jamboree.
"We opened some holes for our back and did some good things," he said. "I feel like the offense may be a head of where I thought they would be in their development. The thing about week one games is you are still finding out about
yourself while trying to play the game."
Aurora comes into the game with much to prove. The Houn' Dawgs are still reeling from last year's defeat, a game they felt they should have won.
The Houn' Dawgs return the biggest line in the conference, including 18 starters, and have speed all over the field.
However, fate dealt them a blow with the resignation of Head Coach Rick Scholten just prior to the start of fall practices.
After a furious search, the school named Kale Kilgo, first-year assistant coach, as its skipper.
"Everything has just been a blur," Kilgo said. "After meeting with the other coaches on our team, we have agreed the best thing for this team is to keep everything the same as the previous coach."
Kilgo said they are not focused on what Cassville is going to do as much as they are their own execution.
"We want teams to be forced to stop us," Kilgo said. "We don't want to aid in that. Our focus is on our execution. Cassville has some good kids up front that can cause us some problems."
Aurora keys to the game:
* Get big. Aurora wants to use its size to control both sides of the line.
* Start fast. The Houn' Dawgs need positive gains early to help calm nerves.
* Force Cassville to the air. The Wildcats lost every game last season when forced to throw the ball 15 or more times.
Cassville keys to the game:
* Four is the goal. The Wildcats want to average four yards per play. If they do that, they win.
* Light the fire. Parnell is a defensive minded coach. He will not allow his defense to play without enthusiasm.
* Win the line. Whoever controls the line, wins the game.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.