Kyle Troutman: Barry County Brawl: 9th edition

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Coaches are fond of saying every game is a big one, and while that may be true when it comes to growth and postseason positioning, no game in southwest Missouri may mean more in the hearts of players and fans than the Barry County Brawl.

Entering its ninth edition, the Brawl is shaping up to be one of the most hotly contested matchups in recent years. Both teams enter the game at 1-4 and with only one common opponent thus far in Nevada, and both teams fell to the Tigers by a similar margin.

The traveling trophy has not gone far in recent years, as the Wildcats have won the last four regular-season meetings, most recently handing Monett a 50-0 loss at home that the Cubs would love to avenge this week.

Overall, the trophy has spent three years in Monett and five in Cassville. The Wildcats won the first meeting, 27-0, in a game as dominant as last year’s 50-0 scoreline, though it wasn’t reflected on the board that year.

Monett returned the favor in the second installment with a 38-0 rout of the Wildcats, returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown and ceasing to let up thereafter.

The Cubs tallied the first road win in year three, defeating Cassville 34-6 at Wildcat stadium, and Monett added a third consecutive win in 2016 with a 21-20 come-from-behind win that went in the books as the most thrilling game to date.

Since then, Cassville has taken the reins and refused to let go. The Wildcats set a new streak record last year, having won four straight: 21-0, 49-12, 21-14 and 50-0.

The stakes this year? Pride.

Now in different classes, the contest does not carry any district seeding implications, and Big 8 West championships are hard to come by with perennial power Lamar in the mix.

No, this year’s Brawl will be all for the honor, just two rivals battling it out with the chance to raise a trophy and fill a prominent spot in the high school’s case for another year.

As a sports writer who covers both teams, I’m looking forward to what Friday will bring as a game without all those district or conference distractions — a game for the sake of the game.

This setup gives this year’s Brawl the potential to be the best yet, and Barry County had better be ready!

The following are numbers and stats surrounding the Barry County Brawl:

• 3-5: The record of road teams in the Brawl games.

• 52: The number of combined points the losing team has scored in all six regular season Brawl meetings (6.5 points per game).

• 261: The number of combined points the winning team has scored in all four regular season Brawl meetings (32.63 points per game).

• 5-3: Cassville Coach Lance Parnell’s record in the Brawl.

• 2-4: Monett coach Derrek Uhl’s record in the Brawl.

• 9-6: Cassville record against Monett in the last 15 meetings (11 seasons, four playoff games).

• 2: Games won by less than 7 points during the last 15 meetings (2016, 2012).

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Kyle Troutman has served as the editor of the Cassville Democrat since 2014. In 2017, he was named William E. James/Missouri Outstanding Young Journalist for daily newspapers. He may be reached at 417-847-2610 or editor@cassville-democrat.

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