Wildcats trounce Patriots, 45-7
Backup quarterback leads Cassville to road win
GRANBY — Cassville's starting quarterback may have been sidelined with a minor injury, but sophomore backup Deven Bates had no trouble leading the Wildcats to a 45-7 victory over East Newton on the road Friday night.
Cassville struggled on the opening drive, forced to punt. East Newton did the same, and DJ White on the return tip-toed the Wildcats' sideline to return the punt to about the Patriots' 35-yard line. Bowen Preddy then caught a ball in the middle, bounced outside and rumbled 32 yards to the end zone for the opening score.
On the ensuing kickoff, Jose Melchor forced a fumble and set the Wildcats up with prime field position at the East Newton 13-yard line. Two plays later, Anthony Tolbert cut up the middle to score on a 13-yard touchdown run and put Cassville up 13-0.
After another Patriots punt, Cassville found the end zone again through the air when Bates hit White for a 60-yard pass to paydirt with just 26 seconds left in the first quarter.
Halfway through the second quarter, Tolbert added to his scoring total with another 13-yard run into the end zone.
The Wildcats became energized in the second half, laying a big hit on a kick return and blocking a punt on the Patriots' opening drive of the half. Bates then scuttled to the corner for a 7-yard score and 32-0 scoreline.
Getting the ball back again, Cassville invoked the turbo clock with 6 minutes left in the third quarter, as a 25-yard Logan Carlin run moved the score to 38-0.
Cassville, however, could not hold onto the shutout, as East Newton went on a long drive capped with a 6-yard touchdown run.
Tolbert then added a 56-yard run to paydirt for Cassville.
Quarterback Shannon Haney did not play Friday due to a sore foot sustained in the Week 2 game in Reeds Spring. He is expected to return for homecoming next week against McDonald County.