Quarterback Tyler Green, of the Monett Cubs, fired a touchdown pass to Spenser Witt with less than three minutes remaining in the game to lift the Cubs to an exciting 14-7 triumph over the upset-minded Aurora Houn' Dawgs in a Big 8 Conference football game last Friday night at Aurora.
It was one of those games in which statistics indicate the game should not have been as close as it was. Monett, 6-0 on the year and 3-0 in the league, enjoyed a big advantage in total yards, 262 to 180; and first downs, 17 to 10. But wasted scoring chances couples with mistakes and penalties, kept the game in doubt until the very end.
Monett kicked off to start the contest and the Cub defensive unit stood firm right away. The Houn' Dawgs, 1-5 overall and 1-4 in the conference, were quickly forced to punt.
Behind the offensive line play of Jacob Murphy, Jeff Craft, Beau Bounous and Jason Obermann, the Cubs mounted a long drive to take the lead. Monett marched 66 yards in 11 plays to score, mainly behind the running of Christian Privett, who gained 54 of those yards. Ryan Cody had the other 12 yards on a key first down run.
The touchdown came with 4:49 to go in the first quarter on a three-yard burst by Privett. The extra point kick by Chris Eimer made the score 7-0 in Monett's favor.
Defense by both teams took over for most of the rest of the first half. Early in the second quarter the Houn' Dawgs did reach the Monett 32 yard line but a fumble recovery by Kyle Fellwock stopped the minor threat.
Both teams had to punt as the second quarter wound down. Following the Aurora punt, the Cubs did threaten to score.
With a minute to go until intermission, Green passed to Privett for a 31-yard gain to the 14 yard line. Monett reached the five-yard line with just seconds left on the clock but a loss on fourth down resulted in the wasted opportunity.
Monett's defensive crew, led by Matt Schiffner, Jacob Childress, Ethan Davis, Obermann, Bounous and Fellwock, continued to contain the Houn' Dawgs as the third quarter got under way. Aurora did reach the Cub 30-yard line on one occasion but was stopped on another fumble recovery by Fellwock.
Offensively, the Cubs still could not manage much, although Monett did reach mid-field mid-way through the quarter before being stopped and forced to punt.
A bad snap on the punt attempt resulted in a 13-yard loss for the Cubs, giving Aurora the ball in excellent field position at the 35-yard line. The home team took advantage of this chance.
Led by the running of Jared Hickman and the passing of Garret Ormsby, the Houn' Dawgs went the 35 yards in 10 plays, twice being successful on fourth down against the stubborn Monett defense. The score came on a three-yard run by Hickman with 1:04 left in the quarter. Manuel Rios added the extra point to tie the game at 7-7.
Monett then began its winning march behind fine offensive line play, going 80 yards in 18 plays to score.
A pass from Green to Witt for eight yards on the next to last play of the third period started the march. Ten minutes later, the march ended on the TD pass from Green to Witt covering seven yards. Eimer's extra point with 2:39 to go in the game made it the 14-7 final.
Following the ensuing kickoff, the Cubs quickly halted Aurora's offense and regained possession of the ball at the 23-yard line. With less han a minute to go a 10-yard run by Privett for a first down just four yards from another score iced the game. Monett then elected to run out the clock by the quarterback taking a knee on the next three plays.
Privett was the leading ball carrier in the game and for the Cubs with 156 yards on 32 rushes. Green completed nine passes for 104 yards.
This Friday, the Cubs will host the Lamar Tigers in another Big 8 contest.
Touchdowns: Monett--Privett, Witt. Aurora--Hickman. Extra Point Kicks: Monett--Eimer 2. Aurora--Rios.