Cassville falls to rival Monett in 21-20 nailbiter

Friday, September 23, 2016

MONETT -- They Barry County Brawl lived up to its hype in the fourth installment, even though Cassville fell to Monett, 21-20 on Friday.

The Wildcats (3-2, 2-2) gambled their defense could stop Monett (5-1, 3-1) by punting the ball back to Monett with 3:00 left in the game. The Cubs picked up two first downs and ran out the clock.

Cassville dominated the game and led 20-7 with 8:44 left in the third when Shannon Haney scored from a yard out.
Monett countered with a 10-yard touchdown catch by Brian Parra-Navarro and a fourth down touchdown catch by Brody Crawford to take a 21-20 edge with 8:22 left in the contest.

Cassville senior wide receiver Collin Pearman congratulates senior running back Kyle Ruark scored a rushing touchdown in the first quarter of the Wildcats' 21-20 loss to Monett Friday. Jacob Brower jbrower@cassville-democrat.com

The Wildcats moved the ball on the ensuing kickoff from the 17 to the Monett 45 and faced a fourth and 12 before deciding to punt the ball back to Monett.

The start couldn't be any better for the Wildcats, stopping the Cubs' offense then lighting up the scoreboard.

On a simple dive play, senior Kyle Ruark rumbled 87 yards and stiff-armed a Monett defender at the 5-yard line to reach pay dirt. The point-after-touchdown failed, but the 'Cats led 6-0.

The Wildcats' defense forced Monett to punt on its next series, but the Cubs' punter Onis Howard elected to run for the first. He was stopped 2 yards short of the marker and Cassville took over in great field position at the Cubs' 26.

Grinding away, Lance Parnell's squad needed four plays and two Monett penalties before Ruark punched the scoring ticket in the form of a 3-yard run. With 5:16 left in the first quarter, Cassville held a 13-0 advantage.

Monett would not fade and marched 80 yards in 13 plays and cashed in with a 33-yard touchdown pass to Brody Crawford on fourth down.

Cassville's defense stepped up right before the end of the first half and ended a Cubs' drive at the 18 with a fumble recovery.

The Wildcats return home on Friday to Cassville to face Seneca. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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