Preaching consistency hits home for Cassville
Wildcats buckle down in second half
Friday was a big night for Anthony Tolbert, but it was an even bigger night for the whole Cassville football team, as the consistency the Wildcats were looking for was found in the second half against Aurora.
Tolbert carried the team offensively with 194 yards on 19 carries and 4 touchdowns, including an 83-yard run to paydirt. He said it felt amazing to have such a big game.
“We’ve had a lot of trials as a team this season, and we’ve stuck together as a team and executed,” he said. “Coach [Lance Parnell] has preached to us about being a fourth-quarter team and playing to win, and we did that.”
Parnell said consistency has been a big point for Cassville in the past few weeks, and after a loss in Seneca where turnovers hurt the Wildcats, Friday’s win was a good one.
“We were holding on by our fingernails in the first half, but in the second half we kept them out, and that was the difference in the ballgame,” he said. “There were a couple series they could see what we were doing, and we adjusted to that amazingly.”
The keys for Cassville, along with Tolbert’s four scores, were big defensive plays in the second half. Big sacks from Wyatt Goade and Logan Carlin demoralized the Houn’ Dawgs in their comeback attempt.
“Consistency is something we have talked about since Week 4, and we saw [against Seneca] what happens when we don’t play consistent,” Parnell said. “To bounce back and play like we did [on Friday] is a good feeling as a coach.”
Tolbert said the success on the scoreboard is attributed to staying focused each play.
“We went one step at a time,” he said. “We stayed focused on getting 5 yards at a time and dealing with whatever came next.”
Tolbert’s scores came from 6 yards, 83 yards, 2 yards and 27 yards. Haney scored the other Wildcats touchdown on a 3-yard run.
Cassville as a team netted 342 rushing yards, with Tolbert’s 194, Haney’s 88 and Carlin’s 59. Bowen Preddy added a 1-yard rush. Defensively, Goade and Garret Knight led with 7 unassisted tackles each.