Bounce-back win boosts Wildcats’ spirits

Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Cassville quarterback Shannon Haney tosses a completed pass during the Wildcats’ win over St. James on Friday. Kyle Troutman/

Parnell: 'We were focused, saw attention to detail'

It's safe to say Cassville Coach Lance Parnell was excited by Friday's win over St. James, as he started his post-game speech with an emotional, "Woooooooooo."

A week after falling to McDonald County, 21-14, Cassville turned the tide by taking a three-hour road trip to shut down a previously undefeated St. James team, 33-6.

Cassville’s Bowen Preddy sidesteps a Tiger defender during the Wildcats’ win over St. James on Friday. Kyle Troutman/

"We were focused, and we saw attention to detail," Parnell said. "There were no lackadaisical attitudes, no messing around in practice, and we executed a plan we spent a lot of time on."

Parnell said his team had a different mindset coming into Friday's game, and that showed in the team's physicality, especially on defense.

"We pride ourselves on being a physical team, and we especially did that on defense by being the aggressor and taking things away from their offense," Parnell said.

Wyatt Goade, who reeled in a 15-yard touchdown pass early in the contest, said he was happy his team passed more and executed well.

"We played physical, and our offense played much better," he said. "Monday in practice, coach was pretty ticked off. He talked about how we have to focus on every snap and every play to be able to execute."

Goade said after the disappointment of the loss to the Mustangs, Friday's win over the Tigers was that much sweeter.

"It feels amazing," he said. "It's the best feeling, and I hope we feel it a lot more down the road. But, this is just one step, and we have a lot more to take."

Scoring in Friday's game started when a Shannon Haney screen pass found Bowen Preddy, who trekked 53 yards for a 7-0 lead. A deadly punt later in the first half led to a safety, followed by Goade's score for a 16-6 lead.

A 37-yard field goal by Drake Reese at the halftime buzzer put the Wildcats up by 13 points.

The second half saw Cassville work the clock, starting the third quarter with a drive chewing up 63 yards and 4:30 off the clock, capped off by a 2-yard Anthony Tolbert scamper to paydirt. Garret Knight then picked a deep Tigers pass, returning it to the St. James 21-yard line and setting up Haney for a 1-yard quarterback keeper for a score later in the drive.

Haney finished the game with 101 net rushing yards on 19 attempts and went 13-of-18 through the air for 148 yards. Preddy led receivers with 64 yards on four catches. Tolbert led running backs with 36 net yards on 13 attempts.

Jonny Medina led the defense in tackling with 10 unassisted and two assisted.

In total, the Wildcats racked up 339 yards of offense and allowed only 160 yards on defense.

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