After the expansion of the Big 8 to 14 teams, one game that stayed put was Cassville versus McDonald County.
At 5-0, boasting an offense that scores 47 points per game, Cassville features a senior led squad that is one of the hottest teams in the area.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” said Cassville Head Coach, Lance Parnell, “this is a really good group of seniors, that have stayed together. They come to practice with a great attitude everyday. It’s just a fun group to be around.”
While 3-2 McDonald County is in the midst of their second season of resurgence, recording just eight wins from 2011 to 2016, Kellen Hoover has matched that total since coming to Mac County last fall, instilling new found confidence in the Mustangs.
“Other Coaches in McDonald County it’s just been like ‘We’re going to go here and try our hardest’ but now having a five win season, we gotta prove to other people that we still have what it takes. We’re still going to come in we’re still going to pound you to the ground,” said McDonald County Senior, Elliott Wolfe.
As is common in Big 8 football, both teams are led by the ground game for their success. The Wildcats by Anthony Tolbert, the Mustangs and Oakley Roessler. Both Coaches know turning to their horses will be key on Friday.
“There’s a lot of similarities between us and them. You know we’ve gotta do what we do well. You know we’ve got to play physical football, and I know Coach Hoover is saying the exact same thing at Mac County this week,” said Coach Parnell.
“This game is going to be won in the trenches, whichever team can kind of overtake the other team, and kind of, assert their dominance on the other group up front, I think is gonna, is gonna be the winner on Friday,” said McDonald County Head Coach, Kellen Hoover.
As for the players, the physicality preached by their coaches will translate to the field.
“Applying a lot to Oakley,” said Wolfe. “We like to establish our run game. That’s what we want to do in a game. We just want to pound it down your throat.”
“They’re a big team and they’re obviously going to play very physical with us. So we need to hit ’em, hit ’em in the mouth, hit ’em first and hit ’em hard and keep hitting ’em all game,” said Cassville Senior, Anthony Tolbert.
The Wildcats and Mustangs square off Friday (9/28) at Cassville, kickoff at 7PM.