Cubs Use Defense, Trickery To Defeat Mustangs
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.
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.