Wildcats seek edge on Wolves

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Cassville, Reeds Spring battle for 1st season victory

Cassville football coach Lance Parnell refuses to take any comfort or satisfaction from moral victories.

He looks at Friday night’s 28-0 setback to Lamar and he sees it for what it was — a loss.

“We’re 0-1 and looking for our first win,” Parnell said. “We’re going to play a very tough Reeds Spring team that lost to Mt. Vernon in a game where the final score was not indicative of how well the Wolves played.”

Parnell said Reeds Spring allowed Mt. Vernon to return a fumble, interception and a punt for a touchdown. Additionally, the Wolves turned the ball over twice to end long drives in Mountaineer territory, and they lost one fumble at the goal line later deemed a touchback.

“Reeds returns a lot of players,” Parnell said. “They are built just like us. We have to create our own edge on Friday if we want to take a win home.”

Cassville is seeking to not only create their own breaks, but also seeking to gain a valuable edge in the district points race.

Even though Parnell would not take credit for a moral win on Friday, he said there were several things to be proud about.

“I thought we competed with Lamar,” Parnell said. “We were in the game in the fourth quarter. Two of the Tigers scores in the first half came on fourth down plays. I say it every week that we just have to keep getting better. We do that, and then we can get those teams off the field on fourth down.”

Parnell praised the play of his linemen.

“Everything we do, any success we have on a play is because they did their job,” Parnell said. “Lamar has two of the best defensive ends in the state on their team. I thought we did as well of a job as we could have on them.”

Against the Wolves, Cassville coaches hope to take a more detailed look at its running game.

“I thought Shannon [Haney, quaterback], did a fine job for us,” Parnell said. “I have sung his praises all summer long. He was only 6-of-17 throwing, but Lamar had something to do with that, and we dropped a couple of catchable balls. We hope we don’t have to throw on Friday and Shannon can run the offense like normal. It’s hard to read anything accurately when you play Lamar.”

Keys for Cassville

• Control the line

Last year, the Wildcats hit Reeds Spring in the mouth and were able to keep the Wolves off-balance all game. If the Wildcats establish a line of scrimmage, they should be celebrating at the night's end.

• No lingering effects

The Wildcats have the perfect opportunity to show that last week’s loss to Lamar is firmly in the past. The team needs to simply focus on going 1-0 this week.

• Continue to win the turnover battle

Zero turnovers were committed by the Wildcats last week. Another zero would please the coaching staff this week, as well.

• Find, keep and use “MO”

In high school football momentum is everything. If the Wildcats get on a roll, they need to ride the wave.

Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

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