The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

High School Sports

September 8, 2012

Field position key as Cassville blanks Lamar

CASSVILLE, Mo. — Cassville took advantage of early scoring opportunities and defeated Lamar 31-0 in a Big 8 Conference game Friday night.

The Wildcats recovered two fumbles at the Lamar 10 and recovered a blocked punt in the Lamar endzone that led to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter.

“We talk a lot about momentum in high school football,” said Cassville head coach David Large. “We had the ball on their end a lot. At the same time, it's tough conditions when you're high-school athletes.”

The game began in a driving rain that tapered off in the middle of the first quarter. The game was stopped after the first play of the second quarter due to lightning strikes near the stadium, which was evacuated. The game resumed after about 30 minutes.

Statistically, the game was close. Cassville rushed for 117 yards on 46 carries, while Lamar had 118 yards on 41 carries. Turnovers and field position were the difference.

“We came off a state championship, and the expectation was that we're going to play like we did last November in the dome,” said Lamar head coach Scott Bailey. “This is a new team that needs to make its own way, and sometimes figuring that thing out takes time.”

Lamar fumbled on its second play from scrimmage, which led to a 22-yard field goal by Cassville's Bradley Lueckenhoff with 9 minutes, 49 seconds left in the first quarter.

Cassville's Garrett Kirk recovered a Lamar punt attempt in the endzone for a 10-0 lead, then the Wildcats, after another fumble recovery, ended a three-play, 10-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run by Josh Carlton for a 17-0 lead.

A 15-yard touchdown pass from Gabe Kirk to Logan Scott late in the second quarter gave the Wildcats a 24-0 lead at halftime.

The only score of the second half came on a five-play, 62-yard drive that was aided by two 15-yard penalties on Lamar. Carlton scored on a 4-yard run with 6:08 left in the third quarter.

Lamar quarterback Levi Peterson rushed for 35 yards on 14 carries, and wingback Johnny Brooks gained 35 yards on four carries.

“It's a tough offense to defend and their two wingbacks were injured,” Large said, “but they have some other kids they can put in there. With their misdirection, it was a wonderful job by our defense just making sure they kept the ball in front of them.”

Brent Thompson led Cassville with 81 yards rushing on 10 carries.

“We had a good day defensively here,” Bailey said. “They had a pretty short field to get their 31 points. We're just going to have to play without kids that go down. If it was easy, everybody would do it. We going to have to deal with injuries, which is something we didn't have to deal with last year.”

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