Battle of the Wildcats Friday

Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Drake Reese (No. 13) and Jake Anthonysz (No. 38) chase down a Nevada runner during the Wildcats’ win Friday. Kyle Troutman/

Cassville braces for improved Rogersville squad

It will be a big ole Wildcat fight on Friday when Cassville (2-1) travels to Logan-Rogersville (2-1) for football action.

Rogersville was 3-18 over the last two seasons, but in his third year, Coach Matt Talbert has put together a squad that is turning heads in the conference.

“They are a vastly improved team and can flat out play,” said Lance Parnell, Cassville coach. “They have moved the ball on everyone and are now putting up points.”

Through three games, Rogersville is averaging 30 points per game. The Wildcats have scored 91 on the season, a full game ahead of reaching that same total last season.

After giving up 38 points to Nevada in its season opener, the Rogersville defense had toughened up and allowed just 15 points to Seneca and 6 points to an improved Aurora squad.

Rogersville’s resurgence is thanks in large part to the improved play and leadership of quarterback J.J. O’Neal, and a host of returning linemen and skill position players.

“It starts with their quarterback, but it does not end there,” Parnell said. “They have two backs that are big and are hard to bring down, but they also have a couple of receivers that have size and can catch the ball.”

Cassville enters the game on the heels of a win at Nevada, a team that handed Rogersville its only loss of the season.

“Watching film, this Rogersville team is better than the one that went up there Week 1,” Parnell said. “We have to be able to contain the quarterback and then move the ball.”

Keys for Cassville

• No turnovers

Parnell was unhappy with some sloppy play against Nevada. The Wildcats let the Tigers back into a game that could have been iced in the third quarter.

• Hold the edge

Cassville wants to force Rogersville to drive the ball multiple plays to score. The more times a team has to snap the ball, the more likely something could go wrong.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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