"It [the win] was ugly but we'll take it," Depée said after the game. "It was the first week."
For the Cubs, it was the failure to take advantage of excellent scoring chances most of the game, mainly due to penalties. For McDonald County it was the inability to hold on to the football.
Game statistics reflected the play of both teams. Monett was penalized five times for 35 yards. The Mustangs fumbled the ball eight times and lost four of the them.
McDonald County took the opening kickoff and quickly mounted an opening drive. Nick Wolfe ripped off a 34-yard run on the first play from scrimmage. Four plays later the Mustangs reached the 17-yard line but were stopped when Andy Hagedorn recovered a fumble and returned the ball 33 yards to mid-field.
The Cubs could generate little offense early in the game and had to punt after three plays. McDonald County immediately threatened again, reaching the 15-yard line. This time it was a pass interception by Chris Eimer that halted the Mustangs.
Late in the first quarter, Monett had its first scoring chance following a fumble recovery by Matt Schiffner. An 11-yard run by Aaron Hall and a seven-yard burst by fullback Tristen Homfeldt moved the Cubs to the 35-yard line. Quarterback Tyler Green then connected with Eimer on a 30-yard pass play to put the ball just five yards from pay dirt.
On the first play of the second quarter, it appeared the Cubs had scored but the play was nullified by the first of two consecutive penalties. Eventually Monett had to relinquish the ball on downs at the four-yard line.
Defense by the Cubs kept the home team at bay in the second stanza. Led by Ryne Johnson, Jeffery Craft, Ethan Davis, Kyle Doss, Schiffner and Hagedorn, the Cubs made McDonald County punt three times in the quarter.
The Cubs could not get into the endzone, however, despite reaching the nine-yard line twice midway through the quarter.
The third quarter displayed more defense by both clubs. Schiffner recovered another Mustang fumble early in the quarter. A 27-yard pass from Green to Carlin Balley got the Cubs close, but McDonald County stopped Monett on downs at the seven-yard line.
The two teams exchanged punts in the third period. Neither team could muster much offense as the game entered the fourth frame.
McDonald County was able to reach the 35-yard line on the second play of the fourth quarter, but the Cubs continued their solid defensive play and stopped the Mustangs on downs.
Following a Monett punt, the Mustangs could not advance the ball and had to kick it away. Kurran Blamey raced in and blocked the punt, and Asher George recovered the ball for the Cubs on the 31-yard line. It took Monett just two plays to get the winning points.
Green once again hooked up with Eimer on a pass play good for 26 yards to the five. On the next play Homfeldt banged it home into the end zone for the touchdown. Eimer's extra point made the score 7-0 in favor of the Cubs with 7:19 remaining in the contest.
It wouldn't be long before Monett would add insurance points. On the following kickoff, the ball was fumbled by the Mustangs and recovered by Drake Wolfe on the 30-yard line.
Davis garnered 10 yards for a first down at the 20 and Homfeldt picked up 11 more yards to the nine. Monett's offense sputtered at this juncture and elected to try a field goal on fourth down. Eimer's 22-yard kick split the uprights to give the Cubs a 10-0 lead with 4:10 left to play.
McDonald County managed one first and 10 after the Cub kickoff but then turned the ball over on downs. The game ended four plays later.
Homfeldt was Monett's leading ball carrier in the game, picking up 68 yards on 30 rushes. Wolfe gained 106 yards on 17 tries for the Mustangs. Eimer caught four Green passes for a total of 82 yards.
This Friday, the Cubs will play their first home game, hosting the Logan-Rogersville Wildcats. It will be a non-conference encounter.
Touchdowns: Monett--Homfeldt. Extra Point Kicks: Monett--Eimer. Field Goals: Monett--Eimer.