"This is the way you want to start the season," Monett Head Coach Chad Depeť, told his team after the game.
"This is why we got up and came to practice at 5:45 a.m., went through two-a-day practices and prepare in the weight room. Tonight we earned this win. I am proud of you."
The Mustangs won the toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff. Monett's defense set the tone early by forcing a three-and-out. Each team would trade possessions before Monett landed a break.
McDonald County started its third possession of the game on its own 29 yard line. Three plays later Monett's Matt Murphy recovered a Mustang fumble to give the Cubs excellent field position at the Mustang's 22 yard line.
Monett only needed four plays and one minute 36 seconds to score as Aaron Hall crossed the goal line from a yard out to give the Cubs a 7-0 lead with one minute remaining in the first period.
McDonald County drove into Monett territory four times in the first half, and inside the Cubs' 30 twice. One drive ended after a fumbled snap, the other killed by a critical penalty. The Mustangs were flagged five times in the first half, one of them being a defensive penalty that kept Monett's first scoring drive alive.
"Our defense bent tonight, but it didn't break," said Monett defensive coordinator Matt Holt. "I was proud of them."
Monett seized the momentum and struck quickly after holding the Mustangs.
The Cubs' running back Kurran Blamey took the hand off from quarterback Kyle Woods on first down and raced 75 yards to put Monett up 13-0.
"It really wasn't a play designed to go for big yardage," said bleary. "I slipped a tackle and found some room to run."
Monett held a 13-0 edge heading into halftime, but they knew they still had work to do.
"I told the boys at halftime that 13 points wouldn't be enough," said Depeť. "I didn't want McDonald County to score and make the game a one possession contest. We were going to need to stay in an attack mode in the second half."
Monett received the second half kickoff and 14 seconds later led 19-0 as bleary returned the kick 90 yards to excite the large home crowd.
"I just saw the hole and ran as hard as I could," said bleary. "The guys up front did a good job of opening a lane. It was a good win."
Blamey only touched the ball eight times on the night, but finished with over 230 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns. He also caught a 66-yard touchdown pass that was called back on a penalty. The Cubs' workhorse was running back Aaron Hall, who finished with 71 yards on 20 rushing attempts.
McDonald County got on the scoreboard late in the third quarter as Lynn scored from two yards out to cap a 10 play, 67 yard drive but it was too little too late. Lynn finished the game 188 yards on 33 carries.
"We saw a lot of good things tonight," said Depeť. "We didn't play a perfect game and we saw some things we need to fix, but we got better as the game went on. I was very pleased with the performance of our younger guys. It is a great start to our season."
Monett faces a huge challenge Friday night as they travel to Rogersville to face the number one ranked team in Class 3 Logan-Rogersville Wildcats.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.