Wildcats finding identity
Barry County Brawl win a big boost for Cassville
Cassville Football Coach Lance Parnell challenged his team ahead of Friday’s Barry County Brawl in Monett, and boy, did they respond.
The Wildcats blew by the Cubs, using a 29-point second quarter to lead the way to a 50-0 win.
“I told the team before the game they would learn their character as a football team depending on how they came out tonight, and they did,” Parnell said. “We had an awful performance last week [against Lamar] and had a challenging week in practice. They responded well, and I couldn’t be more proud.”
The gamebreaker for Cassville was Killian Barbee. His big sack on the Cubs’ first drive was a momentum booster.
He also had an interception in the second quarter to set up a touchdown, and he stepped in front of an option pitch for another interception he took 26 yards to the end zone untouched.
“Those are absolutely momentum moments,” he said. “Turnovers in any form are a huge push and get our offense going and excited to start moving the ball.”
Parnell said those kinds of plays also set the tone of the game.
“That’s early game stuff and about the flow of the game,” he said. “We forced a three-and-out on their first drive, and they got a little on their second drive but we got the stop. And we really set the tone with the turnovers in the second quarter.”
Barbee said going forward, the team has to stay motivated.
“We’ve got to stay hungry and keep getting better every day,” he said. “[The Lamar game] was disappointing, and this week, we had to come out and be perfect. We were humbled, and everyone was ready to get better.”
After the game, Parnell made a point to the team that how they played Friday should be their identity week in and week out.
“I’m preaching this is who we are, and we have to continue to get better,” he said. “No more highs and lows.”
For the team, Barbee said the preaching is working.
“It’s a huge motivator,” he said. “A lot of things Coach Parnell says sets us up to succeed. He pushes us to be our best.”
The Wildcats found the end zone early and often, putting up 36 points in the opening half and seemingly scoring without even trying.
On the first drive, quarterback Hayden Sink launched a floating pass Jericho Farris pulled down for a 51-yard gain. He scored a play later from the 1.
That was the only score in the opening quarter, but in the next 12 minutes, Cassville caught fire.
After Sink scored on a 1-yard keeper, a bad point-after snap was scooped up by Drake Reese, who ran it in for 2.
Killian Barbee then jumped a Monett pass, setting up Farris for a 10-yard run to paydirt.
A Cub’s fumble on the option pitch then put Cassville at the 7, and Zach Coenen scored from 2 yards out.
Another errant pitch was intercepted by Barbee, who went 26 yards the other way untouched to provide the 36-0 halftime score.
After the break, Coenen added to the lead with a 73-yard jaunt to the end zone.
Drake Reese and Hernan Hernandez each had an interception to help keep the shutout intact. Cutter Hicks also contributed a 1-yard touchdown run.
Cassville returns home Friday to host Seneca for homecoming.