Title berth awaits in Title Town

Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Cassville Coach Lance Parnell was fired up about his Wildcats’ quarterfinal win Saturday, penguin-sliding through the mud on his way to talk to his team and parents after the game. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Wildcats, Spoofhounds vie for spot in the ‘ship

While fans do not know who will win on Saturday, one thing they can be assured of is the clock will be moving and possessions will be prized as Cassville (10-2) travels to Maryville on Saturday for the Class 3 semifinal.

Both teams are tradition-rich and enter the game with plenty to prove.

“Watching film, you can see they like to run the ball, and they are good at it,” said Lance Parnell, Cassville coach. “They are physical and have skill guys in spots that are very talented.”

With two running offenses, the game becomes a battle of wills — more specifically, the team that can better impose theirs.

“You hope the schedule you play during the season prepares you,” Parnell said. “The Big 8 for the last 15-20 years has done a great job of that. I think since 2002, a Big 8 team has advanced to the semifinal every year but one. It is a tough place to play.”

Over the last decade, Maryville has been a staple program in the playoffs.

The Spoofhounds share the same hometown as Northwest Missouri State University, and with both schools winning championships, the city was renamed “Title Town.”

The Spoofhounds, in the last 10 seasons, are 130-15, including three state titles and a second place finish, as well as two years of going undefeated, in 2012 and 2013.

Maryville does have history with the Big 8 Conference, defeating Seneca for one of its championships, but falling to Monett in 2016 in the title game played in Springfield.

It enters the game this week at 10-3 with losses to Blair Oaks, St. Pius X and Odessa.

The Spoofhounds have ripped off five straight wins and are averaging 35.8 points per game, out of the wing-T offense, while surrendering 19.7 points.

The Wildcats average 34.3 points per game and allow just 15.5 per contest.

Keys for Cassville

• Weather the storm

The Wildcats need to survive the initial emotional surge and drive of playoff football. The team that gets to its trademark style first has the best chance to win.

• Ball security

Turnovers will be a key. These teams know how to make foes pay for mistakes.

• Clean it up

Parnell specifically said the Wildcats need fewer penalties. They committed 11 against Buffalo in the quarterfinal. Good teams must play disciplined ball.

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

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