The streak stops here

Friday, October 19, 2018
Cassville football players celebrate the Wildcats' 24-21 win over Lamar Friday. Shannon Haney/Special to the Cassville Democrat

WATCH: Drake Reese's 36-yard, game-winning field goal

Wildcats topple Lamar, ending its longest winning streak in nation

The cheers from Cassville could be heard across Barry County Friday night, as sophomore kicker Drake Reese made a bubbling crowd boil over with a 36-yard field goal at the final horn to topple Lamar, 24-21, ending the Tigers’ longest winning streak in the nation at 57 games.

A quintet of Wildcats take down a Lamar runner during the Wildcats' win Friday. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Tied at 21, the Wildcats attempted a field goal, but a low snap led to a bobbled set and Reese driving the ball into the line, giving Lamar the ball with 1:25 left in the game. However, placeholder Deven Bates was not discouraged, picking off a deep Lamar pass with 20 second left.

Bowen Preddy ran the ball up to the Lamar 24, then Cassville added another run up to the 19.

Enter Reese, again. The kicker did not miss this time, clearing the bar with plenty of room to spare, and right down the middle.

Ethan Hoppes, right, congratulates Deven Bates, left, on his interception with 20 seconds left in the game that set up the game-winning field goal drive. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Lamar set the tone of the contest on the game’s opening kickoff, silencing the raucous Wildcat Nation with a 99-yard return for a 7-0 lead 13 seconds into the game. 

Cassville was forced to punt on its first possession, and Lamar extended the lead with a 6-yard touchdown. 

Cassville’s defense then started grinding, forcing the Tigers into a long field goal try that fell short. On the next play, the Wildcats broke out the hook and ladder, with Shannon Haney hitting Ethan Hoppes, who pitched to Bowen Preddy for a 75-yard sprint to paydirt. 

However, Lamar answered, with a long run setting up a 1-yard touchdown and pushing the lead to 21-7. 

The teams traded possession in the last half of the second quarter, with Lamar punting and Cassville throwing an interception on a long bomb down field. 

The tide turned after the break. Cassville took the second half kickoff down field, converted a 4th-and-short and created room for a Haney to find the end zone from 9 yards out. 

With the crowd and the team sensing a comeback, Wildcat Nation got rose up and urged Wildcats to force another Lamar punt. A 64-yard Tolbert run then set up Preddy for a 2-yard score, tying the ballgame with 10:56 left to play. 

With the win, Cassville finishes the regular season undefeated, won a Big 8 championship and has secured first seed in the district playoffs.

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