Wildcats fall in defensive struggle
Cassville loses road game to No. 5 Mountain Grove, 15-6
In what was largely a battle of defenses, Cassville came up just short, falling to No. 5 Mountain Grove Friday by a 15-6 score.
Cassville elected to defer after winning the toss, and Mountain Grove made the Wildcats pay early, breaking for a 63-yard touchdown run with 10:55 still left to play in the opening quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff, Cassville played for a short kick and wound up pinned inside their own 10-yard line
Offense was tough to come by, as Mountain Grove proved its defensive strength by limiting the option and keeping quarterback Leigh Cox contained.
The Wildcat defense also showed its strength, stopping multiple Panther fourth down attempts, including one fourth and goal from the 7-yard line.
River Phelps, kept busy with punting duties, had one blocked, but he chased the Mountain Grove recoverer and caused a fumble at the 16-yard line, saving a touchdown.
Devin Messbarger also came up big in the secondary, picking a Panther pass with under two minutes left in the half.
After three first downs to start the third quarter, Phelps broke outside the right tackle for a 45-yard touchdown run. However, the point-after was fumbled, leaving the Wildcats down 7-6 with about a minute left in the third quarter.
The Panthers took exception to the score, using a reverse to return the kickoff into Wildcat territory. Mountain Grove made good on the return, scoring on a 28-yard run, then faking the point-after attempt and running a double-reverse for 2 and a 15-6 lead.