Cubs Use De­fense, Trick­ery To De­feat Mus­tangs

McDonald County Press - - SPORTS - Rick Peck

Monett used some pre-Hal­loween trick­ery — a dou­ble re­verse pass — to spark the Cubs to an 18-12 win over the McDon­ald County Mus­tangs on Fri­day night at Monett High School.

But a de­fense that lim­ited McDon­ald County to just 170 to­tal yards af­ter the Mus­tangs took the open­ing kick­off and marched 70 yards in five plays prob­a­bly had more to do with Monett’s win than any black magic.

“I didn’t think we won the phys­i­cal bat­tle,” said MCHS coach Kellen Hoover. “They wanted the game more than we did. They out­played us, out­coached us and beat us in ev­ery phase of the game. We didn’t play as well as we wanted to in the game’s big­gest mo­ments.”

McDon­ald County’s open­ing touch­down drive was a text­book

Mus­tang drive — Oak­ley Roessler run­ning be­hind his tal­ented of­fen­sive line. Roessler car­ried five con­sec­u­tive times, in­clud­ing a 49-yard touch­down with 9:51 left in the first quar­ter. McDon­ald County elected to go for two, but in a pre­view of things to come, Monett stuffed the con­ver­sion run by Roessler leav­ing the Mus­tangs with a 6-0 lead.

“We started off real well,” Hoover said. “We were get­ting a ton of push by our line on that first drive, but I think we kind of took our foot off the gas af­ter that.”

The teams then traded failed fourth-down con­ver­sions on their en­su­ing pos­ses­sions with the Cubs tak­ing over on their own 40-yard line af­ter Roessler was stopped six yards short on fourth-and-eight.

Monett cov­ered the 60 yards in 13 plays capped by Wil­liam Mur­phy’s four-yard touch­down and Aleks Salas’ PAT for a 7-6 Cub lead with 11:04 left in the first half.

McDon­ald County went three and out on the en­su­ing pos­ses­sion, but the Mus­tang de­fense got the ball back when it held on downs in­side the McDon­ald County 20-yard line.

McDon­ald County went back to the Roessler ground game, but af­ter the se­nior run­ning back car­ried 10 straight plays for 47 yards, the Mus­tangs were forced to pass as time was run­ning out in the first half and the Cubs came away with an in­ter­cep­tion on their own 17-yard line to end the threat.

“We put to­gether a good drive, but we kind of ran out of time,” Hoover said. “If we would have had one more minute on the clock, I think there is a real good chance we punch that one in.”

McDon­ald County got off to an even bet­ter start in the sec­ond half than it did to open the game.

Ju­nior Os­car Or­tiz re­cov­ered a squib kick on the open­ing kick­off of the sec­ond half, giv­ing McDon­ald County the ball on the Monett 31-yard line.

The Mus­tangs took 10 plays, in­clud­ing a fourth-and-seven com­ple­tion from Ben Mora to Reece Cooper for 14 yards, be­fore Roessler scored his sec­ond touch­down, this on a one-yard plunge. McDon­ald County’s sec­ond try for a two-point con­ver­sion also failed, leav­ing McDon­ald County with a 12-7 lead.

Monett then put to­gether a 12-play drive that saw the Cubs drive to in­side the McDon­ald County 20-yard line, but were forced to set­tle for Salas’ 39-yard field goal with 2:31 left in the third quar­ter to cut the Mus­tang lead to 12-10.

Monett forced the Mus­tangs to punt on their next pos­ses­sion, tak­ing over at the McDon­ald County 46-yard line. Fac­ing a third and 16 from the 30, the Cubs re­sorted to the trick play, with wide re­ceiver throw­ing a touch­down pass to run­ning back Miles Lan­ing. Carter Brink hit Ethan Um­fleet with the two-point con­ver­sion to give Monett an 18-12 lead with 9:33 left in the game.

McDon­ald County then drove from its own 34-yard line to the Monett 17, but a fourth down pass from Mora to Roessler was stopped for no gain giv­ing Monett the ball with 5:24 left.

Monett was able to con­vert back-to-back third downs to keep the ball away from the Mus­tangs the rest of the way.

“There are a lot of things you wish you could go back and cor­rect,” Hoover said. “That’s the tough thing about it – ev­ery week is a one-week chal­lenge and we def­i­nitely have our hands full with an­other chal­lenge this week against Seneca”

Roessler fin­ished with 188 yards on 40 car­ries and two touch­downs. Mora added 27 yards on four car­ries and com­pleted three of five passes for 30 yards.

Michael Williams led the tackle chart with 13 tack­les while Ju­nior Eliam, Jack Teague and Micah Burkholder had 10 each.

McDon­ald County (3-5, 0-3) closes out its reg­u­lar sea­son on Oct. 19 against Seneca at MCHS. McDon­ald County is most likely go­ing to have to travel to Webb City to be­gin dis­trict play on Oct. 26 un­less seed­ings in the eight-team dis­trict are changed by the re­sults of the fi­nal reg­u­lar sea­son games.

RICK PECK/SPE­CIAL TO MCDON­ALD COUNTY PRESS

McDon­ald County de­fen­sive line­man El­liott Wolfe along with Micah Burkholder (80), Joe Brown (18) and oth­ers stop Monett’s Wil­liam Mur­phy for a short gain dur­ing the Cubs 18-12 win on Fri­day night at Monett High School.

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