Wildcats work on focus in road win
Cassville football team shows big-play potential
Despite leaving Anderson with a 42-14 win over McDonald County Friday, Cassville football Head Coach Lance Parnell was not 100 percent satisfied with the game.
Clinging to a 14-6 lead at halftime, Parnell said the Wildcats struggled to get going in the first two quarters of play.
"In the first half, we looked like walking zombies and did not play well at all," he said. "I hate that we were out of school on Friday, a game day, but the boys still need to be ready to play."
In the locker room at the break, Parnell said his players pulled themselves out of the rut, and the Wildcats went on to score 4 more touchdowns in the second half of play.
"We were definitely focused in the second half," Parnell said. "They are a prideful bunch and knew they didn't play well, and they took care of it themselves."
Of Cassville's 6 touchdowns, 4 were from 35 yards out or more, showing Cassville's big-play ability for the first time this season.
"With what [McDonald County was] doing on defense and what we do on offense, there was potential for those plays all game," Parnell said. "We finally got some blocks and made some
adjustments at halftime, and the offensive line played very well."
One of those big plays, one of only two first half scores, came at the hands of Allen Lambel, who after breaking up a pass into the end zone on fourth down and recovering a fumble in a later series, caught a pass from quarterback Leigh Cox and turned on his man to go 45 yards for the score.
"I felt him there and knew he would miss the tackle, so I knew I could turn and go," he said. "Leigh also threw me a perfect ball."
"Allen played really well," Parnell said. "It was good to see us throw and catch the football early and get that momentum."
Lambel said each of the Wildcats knew at halftime that they had to be better.
"We got our mind in the right spot at halftime, and River [Phelps] coming back helped," he said. "But, we all got our minds right and were ready to play some football."
Phelps, who sat out in the first half, ran wild on the Mustangs in the third quarter, leading the Wildcats on a 55-yard drive ending in a 16-yard rush for the score.
After a 67-yard Mustang score was called off for a block in the back, Phelps struck again with a 56-yard run for a 27-6 lead.
Other scores included 51-yard and 4-yard runs from Cox, and a 37-yard strike from Braden Strahan. A 51-yard touchdown reception from Dusty Huett was also called back for illegal motion.
The Wildcats hope the momentum from the win carries over to Friday, when Cassville wraps up a three-game road swing in Lamar.
"They are a good team and we'll have to come back on Monday and get it going," Lambel said.
Parnell said the key Friday will be on the line.
"We have to play well up front and stop their run," he said.