Cassville falls in wild 23-16 contest
Late Mountaineer score dooms Wildcats
MT. VERNON -- Cassville's football team went back and forth with Mt. Vernon Friday, coming out with a 23-16 loss after a late Mountaineer score.
River Phelps opened the scoring with a 6-yard run for the 7-0 lead.
Mt. Vernon answered with a 67-yard run to paydirt, but was stuffed by the Cassville defensive line on the 2-point try.
On the ensuing possession, Cassville drove inside the Mt. Vernon 10-yard line, but fumbled at the 2-yard line. Before the snap on that play, a running back took a couple steps forward, leading to a controversial illegal motion call and the Mountaineers keeping the ball on the turnover.
Cassville made good on the position, forcing a safety for a 9-6 lead.
Mt. Vernon tied the game with a 32-yard field goal, then on its next possession, scored on a 22-yard floater to the corner of the end zone to take a 16-9 lead into halftime.
Freshman quarterback Shannon Haney made his varsity debut in the game, getting a 13-yard run and completing a 14-yard pass, both on non-scoring drives.
That would change in the second half, when Haney led Cassville on an 85-yard drive, capped off by a 1-yard leap over the pile by Phelps, tying the game at 16-16.
Cassville was forced to punt on its next drive, and after two big Mountaineer completions, forced a fumble.
Three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties later, Cassville's drive stalled at the 20 and a Phelps' field goal try clanged off the pipe.
Mt. Vernon then drove 80 yards and connected on a 23-yard pass to take the game, 23-16.