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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Indians geared up for Cassville

  • If you’re not doing anything tonight, heck, even if you are, you might want to cancel your plans and head to Cassville where the Wildcats will take on the Seneca Indians in a Class 3, District 4 semifinal football game at 7 p.m.
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  • If you’re not doing anything tonight, heck, even if you are, you might want to cancel your plans and head to Cassville where the Wildcats will take on the Seneca Indians in a Class 3, District 4 semifinal football game at 7 p.m.
    This game could be one that is talked about for years to come. These two Big 8 Conference foes have, how should we say this? They’ve … met.
    Rewind to Sept. 14 at Seneca’s Earl Campbell Stadium. The Indians held a 14-12 lead late in the fourth quarter when Cassville recovered an Indians fumble, marched down the field and scored a few plays later. The Wildcats went on to win that game 18-14, and remain unbeaten at 10-0 entering Wednesday.
    The Indians, meanwhile, come in at 6-4 after knocking off Mount Vernon, 25-7, last week. In the time since that week four showdown, the Wildcats have weathered a host of injuries at the running back position and continue to thrive. The Indians escaped the Mountaineers last week despite losing quarterback Payton Rawlins due to injury.
    Indians fans can breathe a sigh of relief this week, however. Rawlins is expected to start under center.
    “Payton will be ready to go,” Indians coach Dan Scheible said of his star junior. Rawlins has thrown for 1,805 yards and 26 touchdowns this season as one of the key leaders on the team.
    “You don’t do those things that he’s doing this year without being an outstanding football player, and he’s got a great supporting cast,” Scheible said. “But, you know, it all starts with the protection of the quarterback, and our offensive line and our running backs have done a great job protecting him this year.”
    The Wildcats, meanwhile, have plenty of firepower of their own, and, as Scheible pointed out, a team like them that wins a lot does so for a reason.
    “I think the biggest key will be (to) not give up the big play,” Wildcats coach David Large said. “Seneca can put points on the board in bunches if you’re not careful. We need to make sure we keep everything in front of us.”
    Large said he expects another knock down, drag-out slugfest tonight.
    “Seneca did a very good job against our offense,” he said. “Their defense played very well and gave us a lot of trouble in that game. I think both teams are very evenly matched. (Tonight) will really come down to who makes the fewest mistakes.
    “I don’t think it will be a high-scoring game, but I think you will see more points on the board than the first meeting.”
    Page 2 of 2 - The Indians are about as confident as a team can get entering this contest. They know deep down they are capable of solving Cassville if they can limit mistakes.
    “We feel good about the game, yes,” Scheible said. “We just feel like we’re playing pretty well right now. We would love to get the opportunity to go to the next rung in the playoff situation, so to speak, and go on another week.
    “We also know how tough it’s going to be to go to Cassville and beat a good football team. We know we’re going to have to play a great football game to be able to do something against those guys.”
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