Cassville shows depth in turbo clock win
Coach lauds better execution; players step up
Friday night’s game against East Newton was one sophomore Deven Bates will never forget.
In his first full start on the Cassville varsity squad at quarterback, he racked up 93 yards passing and two scores, plus another 11 yards rushing and a score. Filling in for an injured Shannon Haney, who is expected to return for homecoming this week, Coach Lance Parnell said Bates and a number of other players stepped up to the plate on Friday.
“We’ve got 80 guys, and we give them all lots of reps for opportunities like this, and several stepped up,” he said. “Bates came in and ran our offense, and Michael Hunter came in for Garret Knight at safety and had a great second half.
“Football is a tough sport, and we have to keep people ready.”
Parnell said Bates only knew he was starting on Thursday, but had been taking the reps in practice while Haney is was getting healthy.
“Bates handled it well and played well [on Friday],” Parnell said.
Knight said it is a relief to have so many brethren behind him on the sidelines, ready to fill in wherever they are needed.
“It’s a relief for me,” he said. “I hate having to come off, so it’s good to be able to have someone else come in and do the job well.”
Knight said the defense showed marked improvement from the Reeds Spring game, not allowing any big plays to break out.
“We were mentally focused in practices and more focused and ready to play today than we were against Reeds Spring,” he said. “We made some really weak tackles and were not hitting well, so we came back [from Reeds] and worked on that.”
The hitting work could be heard from the stands, as the Wildcats laid a number of pad-rattling hits in Granby.
“W love those big hits,” Knight said. “They are big confidence boosters.”
Against East Newton, Anthony Tolbert led on the ground with 153 yards and three scores. DJ White and Bowen Preddy each had receiving touchdowns, going 60 yards and 33 yards, respectively.
Defensively, Evan Kessinger led the way with six unassisted tackles and four assisted tackles.
The Wildcats return home on Friday, hosting McDonald County for this years homecoming festivities.