That the Cassville Wildcats were 5-0 entering tonight’s contest wasn’t unexpected. But after dropping their first game of the season 26-10 to Mt. Vernon, a 4-1 record for the Monett Cubs might have been a surprise.
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But Monett had given up only 21 points over the last four games and was looking to forge a tie atop the Big 8 standings by downing the Wildcats.
Despite a determined effort from the Cubs, Cassville held on for the 30-20 win to maintain sole possession of the conference lead.
The first strike came on a 15-yard toss to Cole Beagle on the Wildcats’ first possession. The second touchdown happened on a 23-yard throw to Garrett Kirk to cap Cassville’s second trip down the field.
But a safety resulting from a high snap on a Cassville punt would give Monett their first points and energize the Cubs.
Kurran Blamey would score on an 18-yard run to pull within 14-8, and Monett would drive to the Cassville 6 before having to settle for a field goal attempt. But the kick went wide. The defensive stand quelled the Cubs’ momentum.
“For our kids to step up and make a stop right there was very big.” said Wildcats defensive coordinator Lance Parnell.
Cassville continued to grab momentum as Craig had the first of two touchdown rushes in the second half. He would finish with 59 yards rushing and 44 yards passing, going 3 of 6 through the air.
Craig was quick to give credit to his teammates.
“I owe it my line. They did great tonight. Without them I wouldn’t have been able to do anything. Our backs ran hard. It was a good all-around performance,” he said.
Monett would not go away though as a successful fake punt from its own 25 yard line would set up a 58-yard touchdown pass to Blamey from Kyle Woods on the next play to make it 21-14. After a Cassville field goal early in the final quarter, Woods would cap a 71-yard drive with a 10-yard run to pull within 24-20 with 3:44 to play.
The Cubs would get another chance but an interception from Cassville’s Hayden Prater would end the drive. Craig would put the game away with his second rushing TD of the night with 42.4 seconds left.
Brent Thompson led Cassville on the ground rushing for 113 yards on 14 carries. Woods passed for 102 yards (with 98 of those going to Blamey) but was only 4 of 15 while getting picked off three times. The win also gives Cassville a clear path to the top seed in their district.
Cassville: TD - Ty Craig, 15 yard pass to Cole Beagle (Lueckenhoff XP)
Cassville: TD - Ty Craig, 23 yard pass to Garrett Kirk (Lueckenhoff XP)
Monett: TD – Kurran Blamey, 18 yard run
Cassville: TD – Ty Craig, 21 yard run (Lueckenhoff XP)
Monett: TD – Kyle Woods, 58 yard pass to Kurran Blamey
Cassville: FG – Bradley Lueckenhoff, 31 yards
Monett: TD – Kyle Woods, 16 yard run
Cassville: TD – Ty Craig, 10 yard run