Wildcats prep for Wolves' ground game

Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Cassville quarterback Shannon Haney rolls out and looks for a pass during the Wildcats' loss to Lamar on Friday. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Coach wants team to remember, forget Week 1

Each week, Cassville Coach Lance Parnell puts together a scouting report and game plan for his Wildcats.

On Monday, when Parnell passed out his report, he attached a "not" to the team.

"I told them that week one is over and we needed to put our focus just on Reeds Spring," Parnell said. "I also told the players not to forget how that loss made them feel, and that we are going to work so that it doesn't happen again."

The young Wildcats were no match for the speed and physicality of the Tigers in the 50-0 loss.

Lamar racked up 407 yards of offense including 207 yards rushing.

Luke Hardman rushed for 137 yards on just four carries and two touchdowns.

"You can't start a game in a 14-0 hole in the first three minutes and then pick up your pace of play," Parnell said. "I didn't think we matched Lamar's physicality. That is the main thing we are going to work on in practice this week, that and tackling."

With the Tigers out of the way, the Wildcats can turn their attention to a Wolves squad that racked up 647 yards of rushing against Mt. Vernon on Friday.

The Wolves' rushing attack was led by Korey Robinette who rushed for 281 on just 16 carries and scored three touchdowns.

"Reeds Spring runs an option attack, and they are very good at it," Parnell said. "In order to stop the option, you have to take away the progression, starting with the dive. It takes discipline to be successful."

Parnell said he wants his team to be quicker in the way that they respond to opposing offensives.

"At times last week we tried to step in and make a play," Parnell said. "You can't sit and wait for the action to come to you. We have to have all 11 guys on the defensive side of the ball moving to make the play."

While the Wolves put up video game like numbers against Mt. Vernon, the Reeds Spring's defense was anything but stout.

The Mountaineers threw the ball for 459 yards.

"Offensively, we have to execute on the ground and when we go to the air," Parnell said. "Our line has got to get a push up front and let our back attack the gaps. The big thing for us is to stay positive and get to a place were we play at a high level."

Keys for Cassville

* Score first

After being blanked, the Wildcats could use the boost that comes from scoring first. It might just be what the team needs to settle down and play.

* Plug and pop

After rushing for more than 600 yards, the Wolves know that they can run the ball. The key for Cassville will be to plug that gap and pop the ball carrier once he comes into view.

* Become unpredictable

In a playoff loss to the Wolves last season, the Wildcats' inability to throw the ball proved costly. Look for Cassville to mix their play calling up early in the game to keep Reeds Spring from loading the box.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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