Pancake contest provides punch
‘Cats turn tables in win over McDonald County
The Cassville football team put a slow start against East Newton in Week 5 behind them and came out fully swinging Friday to earn a 48-6 win over McDonald County on the road.
Fans, coaches and players could point to any number of factors that contributed to the turnaround, but offensive lineman Nate Boley pointed to one specific new thing the team did during the week — a pancake contest.
“We had a competition Tuesday where coach gave us a goal of getting 15 pancakes during practice,” Boley said. “It was tons of fun, and we kept joking about pancakes all week. Those running jokes kept up the intensity.”
Lance Parnell, Cassville head coach, said the team was focused all week in practice.
“We played a full four quarters [Friday],” he said. “We were focused all week, and we had not done that all year long. We played well in spurts, but we never put a whole game together. I felt we did Friday.”
Parnell credited his defense for playing so well.
“They played really, really well,” Parnell said. “Our concern coming here was stopping the run, and we did that, and that’s attributed to our guys up front.”
Cassville held McDonald County to only 143 yards of total offense, 65 yards on the ground and 78 through the air.
“We absolutely harped [plugging the gaps],” Parnell said. “We had to be a better team going downhill, and we were focused this week and did that.”
Boley said the team really came together in the week leading up to the Mustangs contest.
“We did a lot of coming together as a group,” he said. “We picked each other up and made each other better, and that brought us up to the level we wanted to be at and expected to be at.
“Our line really stepped up, and as long as we continue to do what we know we can do, we will go far.”
Cassville started the game quickly, forcing the Mustangs to punt, then using a 41-yard DJ White return to set up a Deven Bates 1-yard sneak.
Cassville went on to force four more punts and score on all four of its possessions in the opening half.
Zach Coenen scampered up the middle for a 40-yard touchdown run with 1:54 to go in the opening quarter. Jericho Farris then added a 6-yard touchdown, capping off a trio of strong runs during the drive.
The Mustangs shanked a pair of punts in the second quarter. Bates hit Bowen Preddy on a wide open pass to put Cassville up 28-0. After the second short punt, Cassville got within the 5 and, after a few plays, Bates stumbled in with the pack on another sneak.
Cassville continued the onslaught in the second half, opening with a solid drive marked by a 50-yard pass from Bates to Farris and an 8-yard touchdown run from Preddy.
Farris added another score in the third, capping a 40-yard drive with a 7-yard run for a score.
McDonald County broke the goose egg with 3:52 to play with the Mustangs’ quarterback stretching the ball into the end zone on a short run.
Offensively, Coenen led two scores, Preddy had 42 yards on 6 carries and one score, and Bates had 35 yards on 6 carries and two scores.
Bates was also 6-for-6 through the air for 119 yards and one touchdown. White led with 3 receptions for 27 yards, but Farris tallied the most yards with a 50-yard reception early in the second half.
Defensively, Jacob Olbertz led with 2 unassisted tackles and 5 assisted. Andrew Prier, Farris and Coenen each had three unassisted tackles, with Prier recording a sack.
Cassville returns home Friday to host Nevada. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.