"It was an ugly game," said Monett head coach Chad Depeť. "Lamar caused us some fits with their pressure, and we struggled to find our rhythm. We kept battling to the final whistle, but we came up short."
The Tigers rushed the ball 75 times and gained 377 yards on the ground, averaging just over five yards per attempt and picked up 20 first downs. Lamar's workhorse Markell White ran the ball 37 times for 213 yards averaging 5.75 yards per carry.
Monett's Zach Swearingen intercepted two Lamar passes. The first ended Lamar's game-opening possession and the second ended the first half.
The Tigers scored first on their third drive of the game. Quarterback Brett Campbell capped a 10-play 54-yard drive with a four-yard scamper into the end zone. With 8:35 remaining in the second quarter, the Tigers led 7-0.
Monett's offense, which sputtered most of the first half, found traction on its last possession of the first half.
|The Cubs took possession on their own 31-yard line with 2:56 left in the first half. Aided by three Tigers' pass interference penalites Monett marched 69 yards in 10 plays.||Quarterback Kyle Woods used his wiry six-foot, two-inch 178-pound frame to sneak across the goal line from a yard out with 32 ticks left on the clock. The extra point failed, and Lamar led 7-6 at the break.|
With the game too close for comfort, the Tigers opened up the second half and methodically drove 63 yards in nine plays. Running back Levi Peterson dove into the end zone from a yard out to make the score 14-6.
Monett squandered excellent field position on the ensuing drive. Kurran Blamey return the kick off to the Tigers' 28-yard line, but the Cubs were unable to move the ball. Monett turned the ball over on downs.
Lamar then put together an eight-play 72-yard scoring drive capped by Cedric Gartman's 39-yard touchdown off a double reverse to take a 20-6 lead.
Monett's next possession ended on a turnover.
The Tigers set up shop at Monett's 30-yard line and mounted what they hoped would be the drive to put the game out of reach.
Lamar drove to the Cubs' three-yard line when Devon Overall jumped on a White fumble.
Starting on its own three-yard line, Monett picked up 15 yards on an unsportsmanlike penalty, a six-yard Aaron Hall run, five yards on an encroachment penalty and a yard by Blamey.
On the Cubs' fourth play, of the fourth quarter, Hall took a simple pitch to the near side of the field, slipped one tackle and exploded 70 yards for the touchdown. Monett cut the advantage to 20-12 with 11:03 left in the game.
Lamar looked to regain control of the contest, moving the ball on the ground to chew precious time off the clock. The Tigers worked the ball to the Cubs' 14 with 3:29 left in the game.
Needing a big play, Monett's Tyler Bass provided one. Bass recovered a fumbled exchange to breath new life into the Cubs' team.
Monett wasted no time in scoring. On their second play from scrimmage, Woods found Blamey for what should have been a 16-yard gain. Blamey slipped his defenders' tackle and raced 85 yards for the touchdown to cut the lead to 20-18.
Monett's two-point conversion failed, leaving the Cubs to attempt the on-side kick, which Lamar recovered.
White scored on a 25-yard touchdown run for the Tigers with 42 seconds remaining to provide the final tally.
"I don't fault my defense for that last score," said Depeť. "We could have stopped the back for a five- or six-yard gain, but we were trying to strip the ball and he kept running."
Hall finished the game with 91 yards rushing. Blamey caught four passes for 102 yards.
"Lamar has a high powered offense," said Depeť. "They are a tough team to stop. Our defense bent but it didn't break, and it gave us a chance to stay in the game. I credit our offense, which made some big plays to keep us in the game."
Depeť agreed that Monett didn't play a perfect contest.
"We know we have things we need to fix," said Depeť. "We struggled in the kicking game and it took us a while to get the offense up and running. Our kids have played a grueling schedule, and I am proud of their effort."
Monett travels to Carl Junction on Friday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.