‘Cats provide thunder, lightning in Brawl win
Cassville fights through rain to top Monett, 49-12
A steady rain blanketed Burl Fowler Stadium Friday, but all the thunder and lightning was provided by Cassville (3-0) in a 49-12 win over Monett to keep the Barry County Brawl trophy for a second straight year.
“It’s great the trophy gets to stay in Cassville,” said Lance Parnell, head coach. “It’s a great win, and the kids are all fired up. This is a tough conference, and no matter where this game is played, it means a lot to win. Getting a win over Monett is a big deal.”
While the coaches may be a bit more tempered in their excitement about the win, for the players, “fired up” is the best description.
“It’s amazing,” said Bowen Preddy, Cassville tailback who led the Wildcats’ attack with 131 yards on 15 rushes and 2 touchdowns. “It’s always amazing to beat Monett, and I like it even more to beat them [in their stadium]. Having a silent crowd that leaves at halftime is great.”
Preddy and the Wildcats, who moved to No. 9 in the Class 3 state rankings after the win, pulled no punches in the Brawl. Along with Preddy’s performance, Anthony Tolbert put in work Friday with 91 yards on 11 runs with a score, quarterback Shannon Haney added 60 yards on 6 rushes and 2 scores, and Zack Coenen bagged 2 scores with 75 yards on 7 handoffs.
The Wildcats also managed to throw the ball in the rain. Haney went 7-for-12 passing for 86 yards. DJ White led with 48 yards on 4 grabs, Blake Gordon added 23 yards on 2 catches, and Ethan Hoppes pulled in a 15-yard reception.
“I felt our offensive line was pretty well perfect up front,” Preddy said. “They gave us some great opportunities.”
Parnell said the rain was of little consequence because the Wildcats had been preparing for a wet contest all week.
“We were preparing mentally for a game in the rain, so when you approach it that way and the rain happens, it’s not a big deal,” he said. “We focused on our run game with the weather conditions, and out backs ran hard and broke a lot of tackles, and our offensive line was great, especially in the second half.”
The game looked to be a barnburner at the start, with Preddy scoring less than 2 minutes in on a 60-yard run, then Monett’s Jamie Guinn answering with an 83-yard sweep he took to the house.
“We gave up a couple big plays I hope never happen, but we rebounded and played well from the middle of the first quarter onward,” Parnell said. “We got some stops and some turnovers, and we really controlled the offensive and defensive lines for the rest of the game.”
The Wildcats managed to stay focused in the contest, even with friends across the line of scrimmage doing their best to throw them off.
“Cole Davis [on Monett] was yelling my name repeatedly every time we came up to the line against one another,” Preddy said. “He’s on my baseball team. It’s always fun to play against friends and have that kind of competition.”
Offensively, Cassville defeated the weather and Monett when it came to offensive production, totaling 458 yards to the Cubs’ 268. The Wildcats also forced 4 turnovers to Monett’s 1, all of which were fumbles.
Cassville returns home this week, hosting Seneca (1-2) at Wildcat Stadium. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.