It was homecoming at East Newton Friday night as the Patriots faced off against the Cassville Wildcats.
The Patriots could not follow up on their win against the McDonald County Mustangs last week, as they fell to Cassville 43-6.
Before the kickoff, the Patriots celebrated the "The Magic of Homecoming," and crowned Bethany Ames and Clayton Stewart queen and king, respectively.
Now back to the game.
Both teams stayed on the ground all night. Combined, there were only three completed passes for a total of 43 yards. For comparison, East Newton's Ross Nagle had 183 yards rushing and Cassville's Brent Thompson, who didn't have a carry in the second half, had 203 yards for the night.
East Newton received the kickoff and was forced to punt. Cassville took possession on its own 18-yard line and clawed down field until Hayden Prater scored on a 12-yard run. The Wildcats ate up almost eight minutes of the period during this drive. The largest gains during for the drive were two 12-yards runs. It was straight forward, run the football. Cassville’s drive spanned 82 yards, though the distance seemed further as they were set back on numerous occasions by penalty.
The teams switched ends to start the second quarter, and the ball eventually ended up in Cassville's hands with 9:56 left in the half. Four minutes later, Thompson scored running 15 yards up the middle.
The Wildcats went on to score on their next three possessions in the half, too. The first score was on two runs covering 60 yards, with Prater crossing the goal line. The second touchdown was on a 70-yard run by Thompson after an East Newton punt. The third score was a four-yard burst by Thompson after Cassville recovered a fumble on the Patriots’ 4-yard line.
Cassville led 33-0 at the half.
Gabe Kirk caught East Newton's kickoff to start the second half and ran it back 80 yards for a touchdown, taking 16 seconds off the clock and expanding the Wildcats’ lead to 40-0.
A few series later, Cassville moved into the Patriots’ end of the field but stalled on the 30-yard line. Kicker Bradley Lueckenhoff then trotted onto the field and split the goal posts with a 40-yard kick to expand it to 43-0.
East Newton got the ball on its own 30-yard line with 1:12 left in the third quarter and quickly moved the ball downfield.
Quarterback Rocky Liveoak connected on passes to Aaron Millett for 27 yards and Nagle for five, before running himself for 30 to get the ball to Cassville's 15. Nagle then scooted into the end zone on a 15-yard run with 9:01 left in the game. East Newton's PAT was blocked and the Patriots had to settle for six.
Next week the Patriots will travel to Lamar to take on the (6-1) Tigers.