Monett earned a huge victory over the Seneca Indians on Oct. 12. The win proved to be big on multiple levels. The victory gave the Cubs a much-needed shot of confidence by halting a two-game losing streak. The win also catapulted Monett from the fifth-seed, in the Class 3, District 4 tournament to the third-seed.
Points are awarded or subtracted by several factors to determine district seeds.
* Points are given for playing up or down a Class. Ten points are credited for each class you play up and then divided by the number of games you played. There are no points taken away for playing down.
* Points are given for the strength of schedule of your opponent. Based on their win-loss records
Αdd all the points and divide by the number of games played.
What does that all mean for Monett?
Let's start with two things we know for sure about the district playoffs. Cassville has locked up the top seed. They currently have 50.59 points while Reeds Spring has 42.43 it is mathematically impossible for the Wildcats to lose the top spot.
Cassville will host all its district games, as long as they remain in the district playoffs. The second thing we know for sure is that Aurora is the sixth-seed.
The Houn' Dawgs can't catch any of the teams ahead of them and neither Hollister or East Newton can surpass the Aurora's 10-point lead.
The Houn' Dawgs will travel to the home field of the third-seed for the first round of districts, which will most likely be Monett.
The Cubs do have a slim chance to chase down Reeds Spring for the second-seed. But six things would have to occur. They are as follows.
* Reeds Spring has to lose to Bolivar by 13 points or more.
* Green Forest, Ark., (1-5) has to lose to Greenfield, Ark., (4-2). This has to deal with McDonald County's strength of schedule.
* Ava must defeat Willow Springs.
* The Cubs must defeat Carl Junction by 13 points or more.
* McDonald County has to earn a win over Springfield Central.
* Neosho has to defeat Ozark.
If all of those events came to fruition, Monett would pass Reeds Spring for the second-seed by .04 points.
Monett would clinch the third seed at Carl Junction with a victory, an overtime loss or a loss by four points or less.
Should the Cubs lose by more than four points and Seneca overtake Monett for the third seed the Cubs could appeal.
The new district procedures have an appeals process included for "consecutively seeded teams that have played each other." In other words, even if Seneca were to claim the third-seed and Monett the fourth, Monett can appeal their ranking due to the head to head result.
"We just want to get a win tonight," said Monett coach Chad Depée. "The Bulldogs have put up a lot of points and we can't look past this opponent."
Carl Junction came out of the gate roaring against the Cubs last year and put Monett in a 17-0 hole. However, the Cubs were able to scratch and claw to a 27-24 victory.
The Bulldogs enter this year's matchup battered and bruised on the offensive side of the ball. Carl Junction has lost five running backs this season due to injury or players moving out of the school district.
Despite all the setbacks, the Bulldogs are still putting up impressive numbers scoring 23 points per game.
Carl Junction is averaging 149.9 yards rushing and 173.3 yards passing per contest.
"I think we have underachieved this season," said Carl Junction head coach Jesse Wall. "We always have high expectations for our athletes. We haven't got the job done. We can't use injuries as an excuse."
The Bulldogs will use multiple formations and try to stretch the defense. Carl Junction's quarterback Dustin Satterlee has thrown for 1,378 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season.
"We have to get after Satterlee," said Depée. "He is a dual threat and we can't allow him to settle in the pocket."
Lucas Hertzberg, a sophomore, is the only healthy running back the Bulldogs have on the roster. Hertzberg has 67 yards rushing and two touchdowns since being thrust into the starting role.
On defense, the Bulldogs like to bring pressure and more pressure.
"On each play they tend to send two linebackers on a blitz," said Depée. "We have to pick those blitz packages up and make smart plays."
Carl Junction keys to the game
* Establish the run. While that might sound cliché, if Carl Junction becomes one-dimensional the Cubs will cause havoc in the pocket.
* Get to the edge. Despite injuries, the Bulldogs still have speed and if they can get to the outside edge big plays are possible.
* Stop the bleeding. The Bulldogs want to contain the Cubs' big play threat.
"This is a must win game for our team," said Wall. "If we give maximum effort and play to the level which we are capable, we will have success."
The Cubs come into the contest averaging 220.5 yards rushing and 89.8 yards passing per game. Monett is scoring 25 points per game.
"We can't go into this game taking them lightly," said Depée. "This team showed last year that they could score in a hurry. We need to play our game."
Monett keys to the game
* Play keep away. Against every team this season the Cubs have had a drive of eight-or-more plays. If Monett can consistently replicate that statistic it will be a good night for the purple and gold.
* Bring the heat and intensity. Reese Bounous, Matt Murphy, Kurran Blamey Tyler Bass and Devon Overall harassed Seneca's quarterback, especially in the second half last week. Even though Monett gave up 305 yards passing, they forced the Indians to become one-dimensional, recorded four sacks, seven tackles for loss or no-gain, grabbed two interceptions and scored a defensive touchdown.
* Just win. Forget about formulas, district playoffs and focus on winning the game tonight.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Class 3 - District 4