Cassville utilized a versatile offense and solid defense to beat the visiting Cubs, now 2-6 on the year and 1-4 in the league. While game statistics showed total yardage to be fairly close, 286 for Cassville compared to 217 for the Cubs, a big portion of Monett's yardage came late in the game when the outcome was no longer in doubt.
The home team kicked off to start the contest. Monett instantly showed some life as quarterback Tyler Green passed to Kurran Blamey for 24 yards on the first play from scrimmage. However, the Wildcats stiffened and forced a Monett punt.
Special team play
While Monett's defense was sharp early, led by Carter Huffmaster, Matt Schiffner, Kyle Doss and Jacob Childress, the Cub offense could do little and had to punt again. It was the special team play of Cassville that enabled that club to take a lead it would not relinquish.
Trenton Tanner received the Cub punt and galloped 51 yards to the nine yard line. The Wildcats scored in just two plays. The touchdown came on a five yard run by Kyle Brattin. The extra point by Garrett Barnes made it 7-0 in Cassville's favor with 5:59 remaining in the opening stanza.
Monett entered Wildcat territory near the end of the first period with running back Aaron Hall picking up a couple of first downs.
The minor threat ended on a pass interception at the one yard line.
Defense by the Cubs continued to be strong as the game entered the second quarter. Monett forced a Wildcat punt and the offense moved the ball to the 28 yard line before being stopped on downs. Cassville then relied on a passing attack to take charge.
Cassville went 69 yards in only four plays to score. The TD came on a 25-yard pass from quarterback Ricky Nichols to Josh Lewright. The extra point by Barnes upped the Wildcat lead to 14-0 with 6:42 to go in the half.
Quickly forcing a Cub punt, the home team headed for another score. Cassville marched 83 yards in 12 plays for the touchdown, which came on a 30-yard pass from Nichols to Lewright. The point after by Barnes made the score 21-0 in Cassville's favor with 56 seconds until intermission.
The Wildcats continued to roll as the second half began. Receiving the kick-off, Cassville drove 68 yards in eight plays to score again. A four-yard run by Tanner got the touchdown. The extra point by Barnes made the score 28-0 with 9:28 left in the third quarter.
While Monett's offense still couldn't do much, a sparkling return of a punt gave Cub fans a chance to roar. Ethan Davis sacked the Cassville quarterback for an 11-yard loss and to force a Wildcat punt. Receiving the punt on the 49 yard line, Broc Wolfe darted and danced his way 51 yards into the end zone for a Monett touchdown. The extra point by Chris Eimer made the tally 28-7 in Cassville's favor with 2:21 to go in the quarter.
A successful on-sides kick gave the ball right back to Monett. The Cubs managed one first down but a pass interception halted Monett's advancement.
As the game entered the last quarter, the two-time defending state champions would get another score. The Cubs elected to gamble on fourth down deep in their own territory and the pass was intercepted. The Wildcats took advance of the good field position by going the 21 yards in four plays. The TD came on a 12 yard run by Garrett Kirk. The extra point by Barnes made it the final of 35-7.
Monett did threaten in the waning moments. An apparent touchdown run by Hall was nullified by a block in the back penalty. The Cubs reached the four yard line with seconds left to play before turning the ball over on downs.
This Friday the Cubs will host the Seneca Indians. It was be a Big 8 Conference and Class 3A District game.
Touchdowns: Monett--Wolfe. Cassville--Kirk, Brattin, Tanner, Lewright 2. Extra point kicks: Monett--Eimer. Cassville--Barnes 5.