Cassville wary of Indian attack

Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Cassville’s Bowen Preddy breaks down the sideline for the opening touchdown in the Wildcats’ win over Monett Friday, 49-12. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Cassville not looking past deceptive Seneca record

Two things stick out in the mind of Cassville Coach Lance Parnell as he looks back at a 49-12 win over Monett on Friday.

One, he loved how the team ended the first half and began the second half, and two, his team’s dominant performance in the second half.

“To be able to drive down the field and kick a field goal as time expired in the second quarter, then take the opening possession of the third quarter and get a touchdown, that was huge,” Parnell said. “I thought we played well and protected the ball on a wet and soggy night. Our senior leadership showed by getting those two scores and it established the momentum for us.”

The Wildcats took a step forward against the Cubs despite a couple of defensive hiccups that allowed long Monett touchdown runs.

The game served as a tune-up for Cassville, the No. 9 ranked team in Class 3, as it welcomes Seneca (1-2) to Wildcat Stadium on Friday.

The Indians came into the season with high hopes and an offense that returned all 11 starters from last year’s squad that defeated Cassville, 33-14.

Seneca began the season dropping a 50-42 boat race to Springfield Catholic, a team the Wildcats only allowed to score 7 points. The Indians had a chance late in the game to potentially tie the score, but could not find the end zone from the 8-yard line in the final 50 seconds.

Seneca was then blanked 21-0 by Reeds Spring in the second week before bouncing back with a 35-12 win over Nevada last week.

“Their record is not indicative of the way they have played and the type of explosive offense they have,” Parnell said. “[Gavin] Clouse is a great quarterback who has speed and is tough to defend. Then, he has three running backs who can all carry the ball. I think the most impressive thing is the accuracy in which Clouse is throwing this season. He is on point and has a tight end and two receivers that run good routes.”

Parnell said his team is not looking past the Indians in any way, shape or form.

“They are very multiple on offense in their sets, and they get off the ball with a big line,” Parnell said. “They have talent, and it shows on the film.”

Cassville is no slouch when it comes to being explosive on offense this season. Against Monett, the Wildcats racked up 458 total yards, 372 of which came on the ground.

Shannon Haney was 7-of-12 passing for 86 yards.

Bowen Preddy scored twice on the ground, including a 60-yard gallop. He finished the game with 131 yards on 15 carries. Anthony Tolbert racked up 91 yards rushing on just 11 carries and added another score.

If the Indians have a weak link, it is on the defensive side of the ball, where the team returned just two starters with significant playing time from a season ago.

While the Red and White made strides last week against Nevada, Parnell and crew are aiming to stop that advancement this week.

“I say this each week — we have to be physical up front,” Parnell said. “If we can control the line of scrimmage, I like our chances. Our offensive line played well at Monett and that needs to continue this week.”

Keys for Cassville

• Speedy delivery

Cassville has more offensive targets than in the past few years. The Wildcats have done a great job keeping teams off balanced with its ability to use multiple backs. Look for that trend to continue Friday.

• That’s a wrap

Seneca will be the most balanced attack the Wildcats have faced all season. The defense will need to wrap up and take down the Indians on first contact.

• Make it an uphill climb

While Seneca is proficient throwing the ball, no team wants to fight uphill in a game. A quick start for the Wildcats will be a huge key to victory.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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