Wildcats hit reset button

Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Brett Cooper

Cassville refocused for Brawl action

If Cassville Coach Lance Parnell was a doctor, and his patients were asked to critique his bedside manner, he would likely receive low scores in one category – sugar coating the diagnosis.

Parnell does not use flowery language. He knows one way to address situations, and that is head on and with honesty.

Parnell had a heart-to-heart conversation with his team after a 40-20 loss to Lamar on Friday. In the conversation, he took part of the blame for not having the team focused, but he also told the players that they have a choice to make – they could learn from the past, or they could not learn anything and risk losing again.

“I told the team we are going to refocus and regroup this week,” Parnell said. “We didn’t come out against Lamar like we wanted to, and you can’t give up 21 points in the first quarter and expect good things to happen.”

Cassville (3-2) is ranked No. 9 in Class 3 and heads to a familiar foe’s house on Friday, invading Burl Fowler Stadium to play Monett in the annual Barry County Brawl.

“This game has turned into one of the premier rivalry games in the state,” Parnell said. “You look at the last 15 years and all the big games played by these teams, the championships that were on the line or that the teams played for. The kids all know each other. Their parents work with each other. It is a big game atmosphere.”

The Cubs (2-3) are a bit deceptive in their record. While the offense has struggled to score points, they have chewed up yards. Defensively, Monett is stout and boasts one of the biggest lines in the conference, something Parnell said coaches have taken notice of.

“Defensively, Monett flies to the ball,” Parnell said. “Their line, led by Harrison Merriman, is big, physical and athletic. Merriman is a load, and you can see him disrupt things on tape. Offensively, Monett has some nice fullbacks that run hard, and you have to account for them.”

As Cassville prepares for action, the Wildcats are playing for a No. 1 district seed. Currently, they sit in second place in the district standings, just behind Mt. Vernon. The Mountaineers entertain Lamar on Friday after falling last week to Logan-Rogersville, 29-23.

Keys for Cassville

• Set the tone

Look for the Wildcats to establish the tempo early. The Wildcats will be primed to show their fans and coaches that last week’s lapse was a glitch, not the norm.

• Turn up the pressure

Cassville will likely stack the box and dare the Cubs to beat them in the air.

• Lead from the front

The Wildcats are the older and more experienced team entering the game Friday. They do not want the Cubs hanging around.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Season Stats

1,466Total yards1,720
63Completion %55.9
222.4YPG Rushing257.8
70.8YPG Passing 86.2
35.8 Net Punt Avg. 34.3

Team Leaders


Monett: Dru Guinn, 75-322, 1 TD; Ethan Umfleet, 36-240, 1 TD; Corbin McCully, 23-178, 1 TD

Cassville: Jericho Farris, 118-772, 10 TDs; Zach Coenen, 17-106, 1 TD; Hayden Sink, 41-175, 2 TDs


Monett: Ethan Umfleet, 7-27-142

Cassville: Hayden Sink, 12-20-249, 3 TDs


Monett: Dylan Lynch, 9-228; Dylan Smith, 2-26

Cassville: Brett Cooper, 10-124, 1 TD; Drake Reese, 6-279, 3 TDs


Monett: Harrison Merriman, 52 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks; Cole Davis, 51 tackles, 26 solo tackles, 1 fumble recovery; Tanner Wright, 43 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 1 forced fumble

Cassville: Jericho Farris, 16 tackles, 3 tackles for loss; Keaton Shellenberger, 16 unassisted tackles; Zach Coenen, 12 tackles, 3 tackles for loss

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