‘Cats ready for Indian attack

Wednesday, September 18, 2019
DJ White jukes past a defender during Friday’s win at home over Monett. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Cassville hits road for gridiron clash

At the rate the Wildcat football team is going, Head Coach Lance Parnell may contemplate taking up another hobby.

The latest round of stressful events came as Parnell’s Wildcats held off a late Monett rally in a 21-14 Barry County Brawl win Friday.

Zach Coenen (No. 23) takes down a Monett runner during Cassville’s Barry County Brawl win. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

“I told the radio station after the game that the final 1:03 of regulation aged me about 10 years,” Parnell said. “I breathed a huge sigh of relief after that game. I told the players that I would not be surprised if we see this Monett team again somewhere in the district playoffs.”

The win marked the second time this season the Wildcats have had to fight through some adversity.

In Week 2, Cassville found itself in a 14-7 hole at Springfield Catholic before it got the ball rolling.

While Friday night began with much promise, as the Wildcats jumped out to a 21-0 edge in the third period, Parnell said there are things that the team needs to address this week in practice.

“We didn’t execute on offense at the end of the game,” Parnell said. “We had a chance to get a first down and then be in a position to run out the clock, but we had a turnover. That can’t happen in that position. I think Monett exposed some issues we had in coverage, and their quarterback showed some poise. There were some things that drive the defensive coordinator in me crazy.”

Parnell said he was proud of his team for fighting through the adversity and finding a way to get the four stops at the end of the game to seal the win.

“The heart and soul of this team in the first three games has been our ability to come together at the right time,” Parnell said. “We have found ways to win. There are areas we need to improve, but these kids are doing what is necessary when they need to win these games.”

The Wildcats will need all of their skill on Friday as they head to the “Little Town on the Border,” also known as Seneca.

The Indians enter the match 2-1 on the season, dropping their first game of the year to Springfield Catholic, 41-26. That was a game Seneca led, 20-0.

The Red and White bounced back with a 28-16 win over Reeds Spring and a 39-18 decision over Nevada.

Seneca is a senior-dominated squad with a two-headed rushing attack — with Monty Mailes and Trey Wilson — that drove the Wildcats crazy in the district playoffs last season.

“We know all about those guys from last year,” Parnell said. “Seneca is big up front, and those guys run extremely hard. That alone is enough for us to have a full plate.”

Keys for Cassville

• Four quarters

The Wildcats, while 3-0, still have not put a complete game together. The Indians have depth and experience on their side. Cassville must be solid all game long if it wants to obtain 4-0.

• Bulk up the Beef

Once again, this game falls on the shoulders of the Wildcats’ offensive line. If they have success, so will the team.

• Keep them clean

Cassville’s linebackers must be able to make stops Friday. That means the defensive line must chew up Indian blockers.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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