Barry County Brawl: Third edition

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The football rivalry between Cassville and Monett plays second fiddle to no other.

It is as an intense a rivalry that can be found in not just southwest Missouri, but in the entire state.

"The thing that really heats up the rivalry is the fact that the parents from both schools work together at many of the area factories," said David Large, former Cassville coach. "One set of those parents is going to have bragging rights for an entire year."

After assuming many different names, some unsuitable for print, each school decided to name the game the "Barry County Brawl" and created a traveling trophy that is housed by the winning school.

The trophy, in its first two years of existence, has spent a year at each school. Cassville won the first meeting, 27-0, in a game where the score did not reflect just how dominate the Wildcats truly were in the contest.

Cassville scored on its first offensive play, and was on cruise control the remainder of the game. The Cubs never seriously threatened the Wildcats.

That game, according to Coach Lance Parnell, turned the season around for Cassville, and the Wildcats narrowly lost to a Seneca team in the playoffs that went on to take second in the state.

Last year, Monett returned the favor with a convincing 38-0 rout of Cassville on the turf at Burl Fowler Stadium.

The Cubs returned the opening kickoff 75-yards for a touchdown and sent an already electric Monett fan base into euphoria. The Cubs scored on five of their first six drives of the game en route to the win.

"You don't have to say or do anything extra to pump the kids up for this game," said Derrek Uhl, Monett coach. "They know what's up. They know it's Cassville."

This year, the stakes are even higher. Cassville is 2-2 overall and 1-2 in Big 8 Conference play. Monett is 3-1 overall and 3-1 in the conference.

Neither team can afford to lose this game and keep their faint conference title hopes alive. Furthermore, the winning squad will hold the coveted tie-breaker in the district playoff bracket and could steal an extra home playoff game.

Following are numbers and stats surrounding the Barry County Brawl:

* 0-2: The record of roads teams in the Brawl games.

* 0: The number of combined points the road team has scored in the last two regular season meetings.

* 1-1: Cassville coach Lance Parnell's record in the Brawl.

* 8-6: Cassville's record against Monett in the last 14 meetings (11 seasons).

* 3: Games won by less than seven points during the last 14 meetings (2012, 2009, 2007).

"This is the game our players and fans circle on their calendar when the season schedule is released," Parnell said. "If you're not excited and ready for this game, you don't have a pulse."

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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