Wildcats to face air attack Friday

Wednesday, September 7, 2016
A trio of Wildcats gang tackle an East Newton runner during the Wildcats' 42-16 win over the Patriots on Friday. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Pressure on Cassville secondary against McDonald County

After two-straight home win for the Cassville football team, the Wildcats (2-1, 1-1) are ready to venture on the road to Anderson in a tilt with McDonald County (0-3, 0-1).

Lance Parnell, Cassville coach made sure he got the attention of his Wildcats as he began to break down the Mustangs on tape.

"Their record doesn't reflect how well they are starting to play," Parnell said. "They like to spread the field and chuck the ball all over the place. The have a quarterback with a strong arm and three guys that can catch it. We can't view this game as a walk in the park."

Cassville is 17-6 all-time against the Mustangs in a series that dates back to 1976. The Wildcats have won the last five games in the series, including a 42-14 win last year.
The Mustangs are under first-year coach John Diehl, who coached in Florida last season. Parnell said that he believes that McDonald County is trending up.

"You can see a team on tape that is still figuring out what their coach wants them to learn," he said. "But you also see growth in the Mustangs that will make them scary when they are running the system that Diehl brought with him."

For the Wildcats, the pressure will be on their linebacking core and secondary.

"We have got to cover their receivers and make the tackles to stop a small gain from turning into a big gain," Parnell said. "You can't let them get on a roll. It will be a tough game."

The Wildcats showed a balanced attack in a week three win over East Newton, Parnell said he was pleased with the overall effort and now the job becomes maintaining the level of output.

"I think our offense has made great strides in improving," Parnell said. "We want to keep adding to that consistency week after week. We won't change who we are, but we just want to be better at what we do."

Keys for Cassville

* Pressure cooker --
Look for Cassville to be aggressive on defense on Friday with blitzes. Parnell will not want to leave guys in coverage mode to be picked a part.

* Ground and pound
-- Cassville always wants to control the clock and run the ball. Nothing really new with the approach, but look for more backs to get some carries to lighten the load on River Phelps.

* Special teams impact -- Field position plays a huge roll in the types of plays that the Mustangs can run. Cassville must win the battle of field position and not give McDonald County short fields.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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