Barry County Brawl: Fifth edition

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Cassville aims to bring the hardware back

The football rivalry between Cassville and Monett plays second fiddle to no other gridiron match-up.

It is as intense a rivalry as can be found in not just southwest Missouri, but in the entire state.

“The thing that really heats up the rivalry is the fact that the parents from both schools work together at many of the area factories,” said David Large, former Cassville coach. “One set of those parents is going to have bragging rights for an entire year.”

The players all know each other and the roots run deep.

“Most of these guys have played against one other since the third grade,” said Derrek Uhl, Monett coach. “They are on first-name basis with each other. We don’t need to hype the game’s importance to them.”

After assuming many different names, some unsuitable for print, each school decided to name the game the “Barry County Brawl” and created a traveling trophy that is housed by the winning school until the series is renewed the next season.

The trophy, in its first four years of existence, has spent a year at Cassville, but the last three at Monett.

The Wildcats won the first meeting, 27-0, in a game where the score did not reflect just how dominate the Wildcats truly were in the contest.

Cassville scored on its first offensive play, and was on cruise control the remainder of the game. The Cubs never seriously threatened the Wildcats.

Three years ago, Monett returned the favor with a convincing 38-0 rout of the Wildcats on the turf at Burl Fowler Stadium that was highlighted by the Cubs running the opening kickoff back.

Two years ago, Monett claimed the first road win in the series with a 34-6 decision.

Last year, the game was decided by the slimmest of margins. It was again the Cubs that overcame a 20-7 second half deficit, scoring the winning touchdown with 8:44 left in regulation to win 21-20.

“You don’t have to say or do anything extra to pump the kids up for this game,” Uhl said. “They know what’s up. They know it’s Cassville.”

This year, the stakes are even higher.

Cassville enters the game 3-2 and fresh off a redeeming win over unbeaten St. James.

The Cubs were thumped 46-10 by Aurora and are 2-3 on the season.

Neither team can afford to lose this game and hope to build any momentum for the remainder of the season. Furthermore, the winning squad will hold the coveted tie-breaker in the district playoff bracket and could steal an extra home playoff game.

With district seeding and bragging rights on the line, the game has the makings of the best since the name “Brawl” was added to the contest.

Following are numbers and stats surrounding the Barry County Brawl:

• 1-3: The record of road teams in the Brawl games.

• 26: The number of combined points the losing team has scored in all four regular season Brawl meetings (6.5 points per game).

• 120: The number of combined points the winning team has scored in all four regular season Brawl meetings (30 points per game).

• 1-3: Cassville coach Lance Parnell’s record in the Brawl.

• 2-0: Monett coach Derrek Uhl’s record in the Brawl.

• 8-9: Cassville’s record against Monett in the last 15 meetings (13 seasons, four playoff games).

• 4: Games won by less than seven points during the last 14 meetings (2016, 2012, 2009, 2007).

“This is the game our players and fans circle on their calendar when the season schedule is released,” said Lance Parnell, Cassville coach. “If you’re not excited and ready for this game, you don’t have a pulse.”

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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