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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Neosho cruises to 38-10 victory

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  • It was a tie game early in the first stanza, as both sets of Wildcats — Neosho and Logan/Rogerville, had seven apiece on the scoreboard.
    But the final told another story, as Neosho ground its way to a 38-10 victory.
    Again, the Wildcats spread out the field general duties between Austin Hailey and Nathan Moser, to great results.
    Neosho got the first points on the board with just 38 seconds elapsing on the game clock. Neosho's Cody Raines caught the opening kickoff on the 12 yard line, returning it 10 more. Two plays later, Hailey pitched the pigskin to Devin Hames, who sprinted 26 yards downfield for a first down at the 48-yard line.
    Taking the snap, Hailey handed off to Hames on the next play for a 52 yard sprint downfield to the end zone. Last season soccer standout Caleb Johnston's PAT boot was good, making it 7-0 Neosho.
    Logan/Rogersville answered with points of their own, with senior running back Collin Lawson having big yards of his own: a 61-yard carry with 9 minutes left in the first stanza. The PAT boot was good, tying the game.
    The Neosho steamroller then got into action, scoring on a 15-play scoring drive that netted four first downs for the local Wildcats. Taking the snap, Hailey faded back and fired off a 24-yard pass to tight end Chris Paullus in the end zone. Johnston's point after was good, giving Neosho a seven point lead.
    Lawson got the pigskin on Rogersville's next possession and carried for 39 yards, but was stopped short of the goal by Neosho's Bryce Murphy. Their Wildcats had a 5-yard gain before the clock ran out in the first quarter, and a one-yard gain in the opening play of the second, but it was all nearly negated by a five-yard loss as LR QB Spencer Wester was taken down by at least three Neosho Wildcats. This placed LR at fourth and long. Wester attempted the pass, but it was incomplete.
    Later in the quarter, Wester handed off to Lawson at the 22 yard line, and the running back carried the pigskin 59 yards downfield, massing 150 yards in just four plays. LR ended on the 38 yard line, where they attempted a field goal, but the attempt failed.
    That set the scene for a two-play scoring drive for Neosho. Taking the snap, Nathan Moser fired off a 19-yard missile that connected with receiver Calvin Coon. The next pass was even better, as Lucas Werneke caught a 61-yard heave in the end zone. Johnston's PAT made it a 21-7 contest at that point.
    Neosho suffered its first turnover in the contest shortly afterward, intercepting a Hailey pass and carrying it 14 yards. This set the stage for LR's 33-yard field goal with just over a minute left in the first half.
    Page 2 of 2 - Catching the kickoff, Raines carried the ball 32 yards before being grounded at the 42 yard line. Neosho's Chance Branstetter had the next carry for 13 yards and a first down. A few plays later, and Neosho was in striking distance for a field goal attempt of their own, with the ball teed and spiked on the 36 yard line with less than half a second — .4 of a second to be exact — left in the half. Johnston's kick wasn't the prettiest, but it was good, making it 24-10 at the half.
    Early in the third quarter, the Wildcats lengthened the lead on a 12-play scoring drive that ended with Nathan Moser having the quarterback keeper for a 4-yard TD run. The point after was good, making it 31-10 Neosho.
    LR looked like they were attempting a comeback on their next possession, racking up four first downs before Paullus and Werneke wrapped up quarterback Wester for an eight yard loss and stifling their momentum.
    The penalty bug got Neosho in a big way on the its next possession, as the Wildcats suffered a 10-yard loss for holding. But the next play more than made up for it, as Hailey hit Werneke for a 26-yard gain as the stanza ended.
    The penalty bug was back on the first play of the fourth, with block in the back called against Neosho and the ball going to the 39-yard line. Hailey kept the ball for a seven-yard gain before the flag was flown again, this time for illegal man downfield against the Neosho 'Cats. Be it karma or just plain bad luck, but a bad snap cost the 'Cats another 14 yards, making it third down and 33 to go. A nine-yard gain by Branstetter wasn't enough to offset the deficit, so Neosho punted back to Rogersville, with Michael Mast making a four-yard punt return.
    Neosho's run with bad luck came to an end, as the squad recovered a Rogersville fumble. This set up an eight-play scoring drive which Branstetter finished with an eight-yard carry for the TD. Johnston had another flawless PAT to bring it to a 38-10 contest, which is where it stood as the game clock ran out.
    Now 2-2, the Neosho Wildcats will travel to Willard next week to take on the No. 8 ranked Tigers. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday.

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