Rested, ready to roar

Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Cutter Hicks leans in for a tackle during the Wildcats’ win over McDonald County. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Cassville welcomes Reeds Spring to town Friday

A bye week was just what the Cassville football team needed as it prepares for its district semifinal against Reeds Spring on Friday.

The Wildcats used the rare district bye week to focus internally and to get focused on the Wolves.

Jericho Farris launches a pass to Brett Cooper during the Wildcats’ win over McDonald County in the final regular-season contest. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

“We had a great week of practice,” said Lance Parnell, Cassville coach. “We got a chance to work on some things that you normally don’t get to due to always preparing for that week’s game.”

Originally, Parnell and his coaching staff had planned to travel to Reeds Spring last Friday and watch the Wolves and Hollister battle. However, COVID-19 related issues force the Tigers to forfeit, meaning both teams on Friday come into the game off of a week of rest.

“Offensively, they are a very talented team,” Parnell said. “Their quarterback and tailback key things for them. They have a good line to work behind. Our first concern Friday will be stopping the run.”

The Wolves are under first-year coach Andy McFarland, and he has guided the team to a 3-6 record with wins over East Newton and two over Hollister.

Of their six losses, three have been by 7 or fewer points including a 4-point loss to Lamar.

“I see a team with some speed that can cause issues in space,” Parnell said. “We can’t take anyone for granted.”

The Wildcats are relying on two key pieces Friday – experience and line play.

“I think going through last season, our guys know what to expect and how they need to prepare,” Parnell said. “Our line, as in any game, is the foundation upon which any success will be built. Our guys have gotten stronger as the year has went along.”

Keys for Cassville

• Get back in the flow

With a week off, the team that can settle back into the season rhythm first has the best chance to win the game.

• Something new?

Despite the best efforts of the Democrat staff, Parnell declined to give any specific plays or coverage the team could employ. However, expect Cassville to throw one or two wrinkles in their plan. The week off gave them plenty of time to tinker with the playbooks.

• Ball control

Winning the turnover battle is a must for Cassville if the team wants to host a district championship.

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