Cubs seek signature moment

Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Ethan Umfleet

Monett close but not fully developed

Gaining yards this season has not been a problem for the Monett football team.

The Cubs (2-3) have racked up nearly 1,500 yards of offense but have struggled in the category that matters most — turning drives into points.

“We have moved the ball, just not finished drives,” said Derrek Uhl, Monett coach. “We have got to find a way to finish.”

In a 20-7 loss to Nevada, Monett moved the ball three times inside of the Tigers’ 15, only to turn it over twice on downs and once on an interception. Against McDonald County and East Newton, the story was the same.

What is encouraging is the fact that the Cubs’ offense has improved, and the team, hit hard by injuries early in the season, is starting to get healthy. Monett hopes that could be the fuel needed to ignite scoring.

“We were able to get Ethan [Umfleet] back for a few plays last week,” Uhl said. “He’ll be a week healthier Friday.”

Monett also welcomed back Aleks Salas to the backfield, as well, and he and Dru Guinn have provided the Cubs a potent one-two punch at the fullback position.

The team now turns its attention to the task and opponent at hand on Friday, none other than rival Cassville (3-2) for the Barry County Brawl.

“This is always a big game,” Uhl said. “First, both teams are in Barry County. You have parents of players from both teams that work together, and then there is bragging rights. Over the last 10 years, these teams have played for state titles, and it seems every game is big.”

The Wildcats enter the contest on the heels of a 40-20 loss to Lamar. Still, the setback is not indicative of the talent that Monett and its coaches know the Wildcats possess.

“They are fast and physical and it shows on film,” Uhl said. “They still have the core of the running backs that played in the state championship last year, and they are big and run hard. We have to tackle better Friday than we did last week if we want to win.”

Keys for Monett

• Establish the run

Monett must become a ball control offense and control the line of scrimmage to keep the potent Wildcat attack on the sidelines.

• Finish drives with points

The Cubs must put points on the board on their drives. It sounds simple and elementary, but it has been a challenge for the Cubs this year.

• Turnovers

Monett did improve at Nevada in the turnover category. However, ball security must still be a high priority.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Season Stats

MonettCassville
62Points145
1,466Total yards1,720
1,112Rushing1,289
354Passing431
63Completion %55.9
17Turnovers6
7Interceptions1
10Fumbles5
222.4YPG Rushing257.8
70.8YPG Passing 86.2
35.8 Net Punt Avg. 34.3

Team Leaders

Rushing

Monett: Dru Guinn, 75-322, 1 TD; Ethan Umfleet, 36-240, 1 TD; Corbin McCully, 23-178, 1 TD

Cassville: Jericho Farris, 118-772, 10 TDs; Zach Coenen, 17-106, 1 TD; Hayden Sink, 41-175, 2 TDs

Passing

Monett: Ethan Umfleet, 7-27-142

Cassville: Hayden Sink, 12-20-249, 3 TDs

Receiving

Monett: Dylan Lynch, 9-228; Dylan Smith, 2-26

Cassville: Brett Cooper, 10-124, 1 TD; Drake Reese, 6-279, 3 TDs

Defense

Monett: Harrison Merriman, 52 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks; Cole Davis, 51 tackles, 26 solo tackles, 1 fumble recovery; Tanner Wright, 43 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 1 forced fumble

Cassville: Jericho Farris, 16 tackles, 3 tackles for loss; Keaton Shellenberger, 16 unassisted tackles; Zach Coenen, 12 tackles, 3 tackles for loss

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