Wildcats take win into Week 9

Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Cassville quarterback Cutter Hicks lets a pass go during the Wildcats’ win over East Newton on Friday. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Cassville confident after big win over East Newton

With only one week of regular-season play left, the Cassville football team is confident.

The Wildcats (3-5) earned a big win over East Newton on Friday, 42-6, and they hope to take that momentum to Anderson on Friday in a meeting with McDonald County.

Lance Parnell, Cassville coach, said he was pleased with the way his team responded after as shutout loss to Seneca in Week 7.

“I’m very proud,” he said. “I’m proud of the effort was came back with after a week ago. The boys did not drop their heads and did everything I asked them to do. We had a great week of practice, and they got rewarded for the work they put in.”

Ethan Fuchs said the win felt great.

“We played a lot better tonight, and that’s some of the most points that team has had on them,” he said. “They may have been 1-6 but they are a good football team. We knew we had to work hard during the week, and we took the Seneca loss to heart and wanted to go hard and get this win.”

Parnell said the biggest key in the win was the Wildcats’ play at the line.

“We played well up front,” he said. “Our backs blocked well for each other, and we read our blocks better than we have all season. It was the best execution we’ve had as an offense.”

Fuchs also credited the line.

“Our line play was a big part of the win,” he said. “We worked hard this week to stay on our blocks, and we played really well.”

Parnell said the win especially meant a lot to his seniors, who led the team to the senior night victory.

“It means a lot, and these seven young men have committed to the program these last four years,” he said. “They are selfless and really good young men. This is a performance they will remember for the rest of their lives, and they all played very well.”

Parnell said he hopes to see the play continue as the season winds down.

“I hope we can put one, two or three weeks in a row and build on the level of play from last week,” he said. “That was our best performance of the year in all three phases of the game.”

Parnell said McDonald County (7-1) is a big, physical team that will test Cassville.

“They are a veteran football team that has been playing really well,” Parnell said. “For us, it’s important every week to be physical because that’s the base of who we are and what we do.

It will be very important this week to play a physical brand of football.”

The line, especially, will have to continue its level of play.

“That was our line’s best performance of the year, and I’m proud of the effort,” Parnell said. “We’ve had some different bodies in there all year and we’ve continued to improve. Jake [Anthonysz] had a big night because of the line, and because Ethan [Fuchs] did a great job blocking for him, too.”

Keys for Cassville

• Stay confident

The Wildcats played their best game of the year on Friday, and going into Week 9 and the postseason, there is no time to go backward

• Hold the line

Cassville’s line play on Friday was stellar, and the Wildcats will need to play big against a big McDonald County front.

• Have fun

Cassville seniors especially should soak in their final regular-season game and play like they have nothing to lose, because they don’t!

East Newton recap

Cassville started the game with a methodical, 5:31 drive of 65 yards. Hernan Hernandez returned the opening kick to the 35, and during the drive, Anthonysz dove to convert a fourth-and-2. 

Quarterback Cutter Hicks closed the drive and opened the scoring with a 2-yard push into paydirt. 

East Newton erred on the next kick, catching a ball that would have gone out, then stepping out at the 15. After a three-and-out, the Patriots punted to Cassville’s 34-yard line. 

Cassville’s second drive was as short as the first was long. On the first play, Hicks hit Anthonysz for a 66-yard touchdown pass for a 14-0 lead. 

On the next series, East Newton attempted on fourth-and-1, but a bad snap gave Cassville the ball on downs. The Wildcats, however, threw an interception a few plays later. 

The next points did not come until the final minute of the half. Hernandez picked off a wide receiver pass and a personal foul on the Patriots put the ball at the 11. A few plays later, Hicks punched in another 5-yard score. 

After the break, East Newton punted and the Wildcats embarked on a drive lasting about 7 minutes, aided by a pair of Patriots penalties. Anthonysz capped the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run.

Another error on the kickoff by East Newton stuck the Patriots at their own 3, and a few plays later, the Wildcats recovered a fumble at the 10. Anthonysz cut in for a 5-yard touchdown run to put the Wildcats up 35-0 and activate the turbo clock with 2:20 left in the third quarter.

A third error on the kickoff allowed Cassville to recover the ball immediately after. Hicks moved the ball up to the 13-yard line, and Anthonysz fought his way in from 10 to put up the Wildcats’ final score.

East Newton put together a drive that ate up nearly all the final quarter, scoring on a fade to the corner of the end zone. Cassville kneeled out the rest of the clock for the win.

The Wildcats outgained the Patriots with 266 yards to East Newton’s 167. Anthonysz led on the ground with 105 yards on 20 attempts and 3 scores.

Hicks added 62 yards on 8 rushes and 2 scores. He was also 1-for-3 through the air, hitting Anthonysz for the 66-yard touchdown pass.

Defensively, Fuchs led the way with 7 unassisted tackles and 5. Keaton Shellenberger had 5 of each, Ethan Lamborn tallied 2 sacks, and Michael Morgan added another.

Kickoff on Friday is at 7 p.m.

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