"We were ready to play at kickoff," said Monett coach Chad Depée to his team after the game, "Enjoy it, you earned it. We just had our week 13 goal set for us. We need to be ready to go one week from today."
The Cubs improved to 10-3 and joined the 2008, 1977 and 1971 squads as the only Monett teams to achieve 10 victories in a season.
"It was a team effort today," said Depée. "We had big plays, good defense and the kids executed our game plan perfectly."
A large, purple-clad crowd packed the stands at Burl Fowler Stadium in eager anticipation of a good performance from their Cubs.
Eldon received to open the game and quickly found out why the Monett defense earned the nickname Purple Haze.
Starting at their 34-yard line, the Mustangs attempted three running plays and managed 2 yards. A punt gave the Cubs first and 10 at the Monett 29.
Aaron Hall gouged the Eldon defense with two consecutive runs of 8 yards each.
On the third play of the drive, Kurran Blamey raced around the left side of the Mustangs' defense 55 yards to put the Cubs on the board. Aaron Aldrich drove the ball between the pipes to give Monett a 7-0 lead with 9:44 left in the first stanza.
Eldon fumbled on the second play of its next drive and it was recovered by Monett's Dezmond Bradford. The turnover gave the Cubs great field position at the Mustang 27. Monett was unable to capitalize on the turnover gift and missed a 37-yard field goal attempt.
Monett's defense continued to terrorize the Eldon offense on their next series forcing a three and out.
The Cubs took over at the Eldon 47-yard line after the punt and only needed three runs from Hall -- the scoring run by the senior running back covered 38 yards to take a 13-0 lead with 2:32 left in the first quarter.
"We were real physical on both sides of the ball today," said Hall. "It means everything to me to still be playing. Our offensive line made things easy today creating some big running lanes. It was exciting to see them play well."
Things didn't improve for Eldon. After another punt, the Cubs had the ball at midfield.
Monett quarterback Kyle Woods dropped back and found Blamey open down the middle of the field for a 50-yard strike. Grant Oganesyan captured the 2-point pass to extend the Cubs' advantage to 21-0 with 58 seconds left in the first period.
The Mustangs took a small step forward on their next drive earning a first down on four plays. However, Eldon took two steps back on the fifth play when Monett sophomore Zack Hammond intercepted a Wyatt Greenwalt pass and returned it to the 33-yard line.
Three runs by Hall and a 4-yard gain by Blamey set up a Hall 20-yard touchdown gallop. Zach Swearingen broke into the end zone for the two-point addition and Monett led 29-0.
The Cubs tacked on another score on their next possession when Woods snuck into the end zone from 1 yard out. Aldrich kicked the extra point to give Monett a commanding 36-0 lead with 4:06 left in the half.
The Mustangs countered, mounting their best drive of the game starting at their own 35. Eldon benefitted from two Monett 15-yard penalties and moved 65 yards in seven plays.
Greenwalt hit Logan Shinn for a 13-yard touchdown strike to close the gap to 36-6 at the intermission.
"We knew that Eldon wanted to come into the game and run the ball," said Monett defensive coordinator Jim Genzler. "We got after them and took them out of their comfort zone. The boys as a team did the work. It's easy for me to make calls, but they made the plays."
At half time, the Purple Haze Cubs' defense had only yielded 56 total yards. Eldon managed 25 yards rushing on 17 attempts.
Monett amassed 315 first-half yards. On 26 carries, Monett had 265 yards rushing for a 10.19 yards per carry average.
"Our boys did a great job of coming out in the first half and putting us in a position to be successful," said Depée. "The goal in the second half was to continue the momentum and not get hurt."
The Cubs served notice on their first drive that there would be no mercy.
Monett started at the 47-yard line after a failed onside kick attempt by Eldon. Hall rumbled for 19 yards on the first play and Matt Murphy scored from 28 yards out on the second play. Aldrich drilled the extra point to give the Cubs a 43-6 lead.
The lead initiated the turbo clock.
The Mustangs' Dalton Lister returned the ensuing kickoff to the Monett 24, but four incomplete passes gave the ball back to the Cubs.
Eldon's defense rose to the occasion and held Monett short of the first down marker after three plays to force the Cubs' first punt of the game with 7:07 left in the third quarter.
Monett began to rotate younger players into the mix and on the Cubs' final drive of the game Wes Abramovitz scored from 10 yards out to complete a seven-play, 57-yard drive with 3:58 remaining.
"Our seniors are a big reason why we are here today," said Depée. "With their leadership and effort, we've been successful."
Monett's defense was outstanding all game long.
"We played with the same spirit and intensity that we had on Monday against Cassville," said defensive lineman Reese Bounous. "We try to push ourselves to be better than we were the week before. We have really gelled as a unit and played well."
The Cubs racked up 421 total yards of offense 371 yards rushing and 50 yards passing. Monett achieved 17 first downs.
Hall rushed for 185 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns. Blamey added 53 yards rushing on four carries and had one catch for 50 yards and scored two touchdowns. Murphy added 72 yards rushing on three carries and a score and Abramovitz added 16 yards on six totes of the pigskin and a score.
Woods completed one of three attempts for 50 yards and a score. He also rushed for 7 yards and a touchdown.
Eldon managed 100 total yards of offense -- 59 yards rushing and 41 yards passing. The team managed seven first downs.
Greenwalt was the leading rusher with 47 yards on 11 carries. Sheyne Stafford, who had rushed for over 1,800 yards this season, was limited to 5 yards on eight carries.
Greenwalt completed eight of his 21 pass attempts for 41 yards with two interceptions and one touchdown.
Shinn caught four passes for 18 yards and a score.
Monett will host John Burroughs High School on Saturday, Nov. 17. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m.