‘Cats invade Indian territory

Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Cassville’s Shannon Haney launches a pass during the Wildcats’ win over the Cubs on Friday. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Cassville faces tough task in No. 4 Seneca

There is something unique about Earl Campbell Stadium and Tom Hodge Field in Seneca that makes it a great venue for football.

For starters, it has intimate seating for fans. The bleachers are a mere few feet from the field. Fans usually encircle the east and west end zones.

A host of Wildcats take down Monett running back William Murphy during Cassville’s win over the Cubs on Friday. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

The stadium, located in the valley next to Lost Creek, serves as the perfect acoustic setting for one of the best home fields in the Big 8.

When the Indians are winning and the band cranks up the Tomahawk Chop, the large crowd in unison begins chopping and singing along it is something to behold.

The scene is sure to be even more crazy this Friday, as the Wildcats (4-2, 2-2) invade the No. 4 ranked team’s home turf.

“Seneca is one of the places, as an opposing coach, I love to go,” said Lance Parnell, Cassville coach. “It’s the setting and fans and the intimacy of it all. It gets your heart pumping, and you’re glad to be a part of the game.”

This year, the Indians have been the surprise darlings of the conference.

Most coaches felt they would be improved, but Seneca is 6-0 and continues to find ways to win games.

“It starts with their line on both sides of the ball,” Parnell said. “They are big and physical and fast. That is a deadly combination. Then, they have two above average backs and a quarterback that can beat you with his legs or in the air.”

The Wildcats have grown over the last two weeks, and if they want to take the next step, a win on Friday is a must.

“This game is big for our line,” Parnell said. “They must be able to keep things manageable. Against Monett, we did a decent job of controlling the front. We have to have holes for our back to run through.”

The Indians are averaging 28 points per game and surrendering 11 points per contest. They have already recorded wins over Nevada, Osage, McDonald County, Mt. Vernon and East Newton.

The Wildcats average 25 points per game and have surrendered 15 points per contests. It should also be pointed out that in the last eight quarters, the defense has allowed a grand total of 6 points.

“It will be a typical Big 8 fight and grind match,” Parnell said. “Right now, we are as healthy as could be expected, and we are going to Seneca to try to win a ball game.”

Keys for the Wildcats:

• Set the tempo

Cassville must control the tempo of the game on Friday if they want to unseat the Indians. Seneca has won its games this season by forcing teams to get out of their comfort zones.

• Get nasty

This game is the perfect opportunity for the Wildcats to show the Big 8 they have one of the best offensive and defensive lines around. Seneca already believes that they posses that title. Cassville must prove them wrong.

• Field position

Cassville won the field position battle against Monett and also won the game. There is generally a correlation between the two.

Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.

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