Wildcats and Wolves, round 2
Future conference foes vie for district title berth
A motivated Reeds Spring team heads to Cassville on Friday with one thing on its mind — upset.
Only the Wolves do not necessarily view themselves as an underdog.
The football Wildcats are hoping to reach the district title game for only the second time in the last five years.
“We know that we have a hot team coming in here Friday that has won their last eight games,” said Lance Parnell, Cassville coach. “The second time you face a team in the season, you have to be even better in your execution that the first time you played them.”
Reeds Spring began the season 0-2 with back-to-back losses to Mt. Vernon and the Wildcats.
What the Wolves did not advertise was the fact that their starting quarterback was suspended for a violation of team rules in week one and made just his first start in week two against Cassville.
The Wildcats held on to beat Reeds Spring, 39-28, and Parnell called the game anything but easy.
“Turnovers hurt us,” he said. “We had a couple while we were driving in for a score and we gave them a couple that allowed them a couple of chances to score. That game was not easy.”
The Wolves feel like this is their chance to make a statement before joining the Big 8 Conference next season.
They demonstrated that statement-making ability in the form of a 59-6 beatdown of Monett last week.
The Wolves rubbed salt in the Cubs’ wound with two timeouts in the final 40 seconds to score on the last play of the half, then converted a 2-point attempt to take a 52-0 lead into intermission.
Still, the Wildcats know they have their hands full.
In the week two matchup, Reeds Spring rushed for 319 yards and threw for another 46.
“They have a dual-threat quarterback and a fullback that has tailback or better speed,” Parnell said. “It will be assignment football. We have to stay in our lanes and not give up the big plays.”
Parnell said that his team has a big advantage in the game.
“First, we are going to be home and in front of our great fans,” Parnell said. “We have to do the little things right. No turnovers and make plays.”
Keys for Cassville
• Muck up the line
This game comes down to whether or not Cassville’s defensive line can slow down the rushing attack of the Wolves. If not, it will be a long night. The Wildcats must make stops at the point of attack and not allow clean running lanes.
• Run wild again
The Wildcats gained 426 yards on the ground rushing the first time the two teams met. They need to find a way to duplicate that production.
• Iron out the wrinkles
Both teams will make adjustments from the week two matchup. The team that can figure out what the other’s changes are first has the greatest chance to win the game.