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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Monett to battle Roosters in playoff tilt

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Monett Cubs and Pleasant Hill Roosters football teams are set to battle Wednesday night in Pleasant Hill.

The Roosters (7-3), winners of District 12, are in the Class 3 playoffs for the fifth time in the last seven years. Three of those years, Pleasant Hill has advanced to the quarterfinal round.

"I feel our biggest strength is that we play like a team," said Pleasant Hill coach Kyle Roach. "This is one of the most unselfish teams I have ever coached. We aren't the biggest, but we play hard."

The Roosters run a two-platoon style with offensive and defensive specialists.

Offensively, Pleasant Hill features a running back by committee, using five running backs who have 40 or more touches in its pro-style attack.

Hank Hudson is the Roosters' leading rusher. He has carried the ball 93 times for 545 yards and eight touchdowns. Brigham West is second in rushing on the team with 57 carries for 321 yards and two touchdowns.

Senior quarterback Josh Griffith has completed 90 of 160 pass attempts for 1,225 yards and 16 touchdowns. He has rushed 64 times for 34 yards and scored one touchdown.

As a team, the Roosters average 122 yards passing and 148 yards rushing per game. Pleasant Hill scores an average of 24.7 points per game and only yields 14.8.

"The strength of our team is our defense," said Roach. "We try to pressure teams and will use multiple fronts to keep teams off-balance."

Pleasant Hill's keys to the game are:

* No margin for error. The Roosters have to eliminate turnovers and mental errors.

* Do the little things right. Run, throw and catch and then do it again.

* Shorten the game and move the chains.

Monett enters the playoffs for the 11th time in school history with a 5-5 record and runners-up in District 11.

After a 3-5 campaign in his inaugural season, Cubs' coach Chad Depeť is happy with the growth of his team.

"I am really proud of our kids staying the course and believing in what we are trying to build here at Monett," said Depeť. "Our seniors have provided great leadership this year."

Watching video of the Roosters reminds the Cubs of themselves.

"They are not that big up front on the O-line, but they have speed at the skill positions," said Depeť. "On defense, they keep the play in front of them and are sound when it comes to tackling. We have to be ready."

Monett's keys to the game are:

* Make then pass 21 times. The Rooster are one and three when they have been forced to throw 20 or more times with four interceptions. Pleasant Hill is zero and three when attempting 21 passes or more.

* Ball control. Monett wants to own the time of possession battle and grind out first downs on the grid iron.

* Win the battle of field position. Rain is in the forecast Wednesday night. Eighty-yard drives will be hard to sustain.

"Our goal this season was to get to week 11 and the playoffs," said Depeť. "The great thing about achieving your goals is that you get to set new goals. Right now our goal is to reach week 12."

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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