Cassville's season ends at Monett, 35-21
Wildcats stymied in district semifinal
MONETT -- Cassville fell behind early and never recovered in a 35-21 loss to Monett in the district semifinal on Friday.
In was not the ending the Wildcats (8-3) had envisioned, especially with the steady improvement this season and entering the game averaging more than 300 yards rushing per game.
Sending a message early, Monett (10-1) took the opening kickoff, drove 84 yards in 12 plays and 4:09 to take a 7-0 lead on an Ian Meyer 1-yard keeper.
The key play on the drive was a fourth and 2 reception by Brody Crawford that covered 27 yards.
Cassville punted on its initial possession and allowed the Cubs to take over at the 14.
Monett set to work and ground 86 yards in 10 plays. Michael Branch barreled into the end zone from 9 yards out on the next play to elevate the advantage to 14-0 with 10:52 left in the second period.
Cassville countered with a methodical 92-yard drive that took 13 plays and resulted in a Shannon Haney 11-yard quarterback keeper to slice the advantage in half to 14-7 with 4:23 left in the half.
Onis Howard answered quickly for the Cubs with a 65-yard kickoff return to set Monett up at the Cassville 35. Monett needed just five plays to allow Branch to score again on a 3-yard plunge with 2:00 minutes left in the first half.
Cassville was forced to play the second half without River Phelps who was injured, but still managed to cut the lead to 21-14 with 4:15 left in the third quarter. However, Monett, behind a 73-yard drive on the legs of Branch resulted in a 28-14 lead, which swelled to a 35-14 advantage on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Troy Rose provided a pride score with 2:50 remaining in the game.