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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Solid Nixa squad cages Cubs

Monday, September 12, 2011

The run stuffer. Jared Childress, a senior at Monett, corrals Nixa's Dean Deetz during first half action of Friday night's football contest. [Times Photo by Jared Lankford]
Hoping to build off the momentum generated in the previous two weeks, the Monett Cubs football team traveled to Christian County on Friday night to face the Nixa Eagles.

The Eagles handed Monett a 31-12 defeat.

"Nixa is a big and solid squad," said Monett head coach Chad Depeť. "We knew coming into this game it was going to be a fight. I was proud of our boys for battling to the end of the game and never quitting."

Scanning the field. Kyle Woods, Monett's quarterback, looks for an open receiver Friday night in Nixa. Woods completed nine passes for 92 yards and a touchdown. [Times Photo by Jared Lankford]
Nixa used size and outstanding field position to keep the Cubs bottled up for most of the evening. Monett's average starting field position through its first eight drives was its own 18 yard line.

Monett went three-and-out on its initial drive of the game.

Nixa returned Monett's punt 40 yards and set up shop at the Cubs' 13 yard line. Two plays later Nixa running back Kevin Shrauger found the end zone from nine yards out to put the Eagles up 7-0.

Monett struggled most of the evening getting its offense on track. The Cubs managed two first downs in the first half, both via penalty.

Nixa scored 17 second quarter points to open up a 24-0 lead at halftime.

"I challenged the players at halftime to choose a path," said Depeť. "We could roll over and lay down or we could battle. The choice was ours."

The Cubs battled in the second half, but an interception thwarted their initial drive of the third quarter. Monett appeared to find pay dirt on their second series of the third quarter when Kurran Balmey caught a 21-yard strike from Kyle Woods. The excitement from that score was short lived as an ineligible man down field penalty backed Monett up and they turned the ball over on downs.

Monett finally cracked the Nixa defense on their third offensive drive of the second half with a seven-play 63-yard drive that chewed up five minutes of the third quarter. Woods connected with Tyler Green on 26-yard pitch and catch to cut the Eagles lead to 30-6.

The Cubs added one more score on their final possession of the game. Monett went to work at their own 27. Blamey took the hand off and raced 58 yards up the middle carrying three defenders down to the Eagles 15 yard line. Four plays later Woods would scamper from eight yards out to make the score 30-12.

"Nixa is deep at every position," said Depeť. "We battled to the end. It doesn't matter what level of football you play, when you force your opponents to travel 80 yards each and every time to score you are going to win the majority of you games. It is hard to sustain an offense drive that many times."

Nixa outgained the Cubs in total yards 308-250.

Blamey had six rushes for 93 yards. Aaron Hall rushed 14 times for 65 yards. Woods finished nine for 25, passing for 92 yards. Green had three receptions for 45 yards and Matt Schiffner caught three passes for 42 yards.

"We needed to execute perfectly tonight and we didn't get that done," said Depeť. "Several times we put ourself in a bad spot. We are going to use this game to help make us a better team. I was proud that the boys dug deep and found a way to put two scores on the board in the second half."

After spending the previous two weeks on the road the Cubs are ready for some home cooking. Monett entertains Lamar this Friday for Homecoming.

The Tigers are coming off a week two 42-19 victory over Aurora and a week three 52-0 dismantling of Mt. Vernon.

"We are going to have our hands full, there is no doubt about that," said Depeť. "We are going to have to play a flawless game. Lamar should come into the contest ranked in the top two in the state. We hope to have a large crowd on hand to cheer us on."

Kick off is set for 7 p.m.

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