Playoff football is here

Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Andrew Prier pursues a Lamar runner during the Wildcats’ loss to the Tigers Friday. Kyle Troutman/

Cassville welcomes long-time foe to town Friday

As the weather begins to cool down, the action on area football fields is just heating up. For Cassville, that means a home playoff game on Friday against long-time Big 8 foe Aurora.

“We are going to face a well-coached team that, just like us, is trying to keep their season alive with a win,” said Lance Parnell, Cassville coach. “Aurora has a dynamic quarterback, and you have to account for him on every play.”

Jericho Farris makes a diving tackle during Friday's loss to Lamar. Kyle Troutman/

Cassville (7-2) despite a 14-10 loss to Lamar last week, earned the No. 2 seed in the Class 3, District 6 tournament. The Houn’ Dawgs (1-8) are the No. 7 seed.

Mt. Vernon picked up the No. 1 seed and hosts No. 8, Nevada. Monett earned the No. 3 seed and hosts No. 6 Hollister, while No. 4 seed Seneca welcomes No. 5 seed Reeds Spring to town.

“You look at our district, and it is tough,” Parnell said. “You can make a case for four or five teams being able to win the thing.”

Parnell is not wrong.

This is the eighth year for this current district seeding and playoff bracket.

In the previous seven seasons, the No. 1 seed has reached the championship game five times but has never won the game. The No. 2 seed has won three district titles, and the No. 3 seed has won three, as well, and the No. 5 seed has claimed the other.

• 2018: No. 3 Mt. Vernon defeated No. 1 Cassville, 34-14

• 2017: No. 5 Mt. Vernon defeated No. 3 Reeds Spring, 30-28

• 2016: No. 2 Monett defeated No. 1 Reeds Spring, 44-28

• 2015: No. 3 Aurora defeated No. 1 Reeds Spring, 27-21

• 2014: No: 2 Monett defeated No. 1 Reeds Spring, 21-0

• 2013: No. 2 Seneca defeated No. 5 Aurora, 45-15

• 2012: No. 3 Monett defeated No. 1 Cassville, 10-6

For the Wildcats, they aim to shake off the loss to Lamar and focus on the second season.

“I told the boys that everyone goes back to 0-0 in the record book,” Parnell said. “We saw against Lamar what happens when you don’t execute the little assignments, how turnovers at inopportune times can hurt your team, and we just have to be ready to play at the start.”

Parnell said both teams have changed and gotten better since a Week 1, 42-0 Wildcat win.

“We want to come out and execute,” Parnell said. We have to win up front if we want to win in the end.”

Keys for Cassville

• Up the middle

Wildcat runners need to get north and south with their pads and not bounce the ball. They accomplish this with good running lanes.

• Smart football

Penalties and turnovers are drive-killers and jeopardize the ability to come away with a victory. Cassville can’t afford either.

• Lead from the front

Cassville needs a quick start. Once the Wildcats get a lead, they must keep the pressure up.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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