For most of this football season it has been a combination of a solid defense and a bruising ground attack that enabled the Cassville Wildcats to be successful. It was no different Saturday as the Wildcats defeated Bowling Green 24-7 to claim their second consecutive Class 3A state championship in St. Louis.
Cassville, following an opening game loss to Branson, reeled off 14 straight wins enroute to the state title. Bowling Green also finished 14-1.
In the early going, it was all Bowling Green. The Bobcats opened the game with a 13-play scoring drive culminated by an 11-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Cox to Zach Pease. The extra point was added by Leon Ruess.
The Wildcats were unable to generate any offense on their first possession and had to punt. Again, Bowling Green headed toward the goal in an attempt to up its lead and take control of the game.
With the quarter winding down, defense came up big for Cassville as it has so often this year. Bowling Green reached the 27-yard line, but Cassville's Trey Ross intercepted a Bowling Green pass to stop the threat. Cassville's offense then took over as the game entered the second period.
On the second play of the second quarter, runningback Joseph Gouvion got loose on an 85-yard touchdown jaunt. Matt Angel's extra point kick tied the score at 7-7.
Defense by the Wildcats took over again, shutting down Bowling Green. On the next possession, quarterback Trevor Tanner launched a 63-yard pass to Travis Northern to get the Wildcats close. Five plays later Cassville took the lead for good at 14-7 on a one-yard TD run by Tanner and Angel's extra point.
Cassville sewed up the game in the third stanza with two more scores. Tanner broke free for a 35-yard touchdown run and Angel's extra point made the score 21-7. Later in the quarter Angel booted a 38-yard field goal.
Cassville had 278 yards rushing. Bowling Green managed 239 yards on the ground with 109 coming in the first quarter.
Tanner led Cassville's running attack with 144 yards. Gouvion added 131 yards.