The Neosho Wildcats gave the Logan-Rogersville Wildcats the stuff nightmares are made out of Friday night at Bob Anderson Stadium.

The Neosho Wildcats gave the Logan-Rogersville Wildcats the stuff nightmares are made out of Friday night at Bob Anderson Stadium.
Neosho’s defense pressured Logan-Rogersville quarterback Bronson Tavenner all night long and Neosho’s offense scored 26 points in the second quarter en route to a 33-0 halftime lead and 46-0 victory in their home opener.
Logan-Rogersville’s most valuable player Friday night was punter Bailey Rettman, who surely needed some ice for his kicking leg after his workout against Neosho.
One particularly nightmarish series for the guests right before halftime involved three straight negative-yardage plays totaling losses of 26 yards. Logan-Rogersville faced a fourth-and-36 from its own 18-yard line before Rettman booted a 32-yard punt on the half’s final play. Logan-Rogersville averaged over minus-8 yards alone on that drive.
Neosho (2-0) opens Central Ozark Conference Large play next Friday night against Willard.

The swarm
Neosho’s defense is one McDonald County short field after an 80-yard opening kickoff return away from consecutive shutouts to start the season. The Wildcat defense proved even stronger in week two.
“Zero points. No plays over 20 yards,” Neosho head coach Dustin Baldwin said. “I think around 30 maybe 40 total yards for the game. They’re doing a really nice job. They’re communicating better this year. We’re a little more physical upfront and a little more disciplined. We’re just happy with their progress. They’re going to have a tremendous challenge next week.”
With the more one-dimensional and pass-oriented Logan-Rogersville offense, Neosho was able to dial up blitzes and have little fear of giving up a big draw play.
“They have a hard time running the ball,” Baldwin said. “They showed that on film (against Mountain Grove). We tried to mix up a few coverages and give our kids some more responsibility than they’ve had. Last week, we were vanilla defensively. This week, we tried to do a few more things and move some guys around. They’re doing a good job. I’m happy with where they’re at.”
The Wildcats have outscored their first two opponents 92-6.

Consistency x 2
For the second week in a row, Neosho scored five rushing touchdowns and seven TDs overall.
Devin Hames led the way with four TDs Friday night — a 9-yard run to open the scoring with 3 minutes, 16 seconds remaining in the first quarter; a 1-yard run at 9:50 of the second quarter; a 25-yard run 6:21 before halftime; and a 1-yard run for the only points of the third quarter. Hames increased his TDs to six; both his scoring runs last week came in the second half against the Mustangs.
Reserve quarterback Gavin Kelley picked up his first TD on a 10-yard run to close out the scoring with only 3:17 remaining on the clock.
None of that success would be possible without the offensive line and other blockers.
“It’s definitely a good start,” Baldwin said. “We can be a lot better still, I really believe that. I hope they keep working at that because they could be a really good group.”
The Wildcats had two touchdown runs called back on penalties: Hames broke free on a 59-yard run but offsetting personal fouls returned the ball to the Neosho 41 and Kelley’s 25-yard run was nullified by a holding penalty at the Logan-Rogersville 11. Neosho later scored on both drives, but that might not happen down the road against better opponents.
“The big thing right now is eliminating penalties,” Baldwin said. “We’re executing at a pretty good rate. We’re efficient if you take out the penalties. I say efficient meaning yards per play and yards per pass, but the penalties are going to kill us. They’re absolutely going to kill us if we can’t get them under control. If we can do that, I’ll be a lot happier coach and can sleep a lot better at night.”
On the flip side, Neosho committed no turnovers, an improvement over Week 1.
“We put it on the ground two or three times," Baldwin said, "but we never actually turned it over. We had four last week, so obviously zero is what you want and of course, on the other end, like we talked about, the defense not giving up plays of 20 or more yards, that’s a good way to have success.”

Scott to Klier
Last week, starting quarterback Coleman Scott threw his first varsity touchdown pass when he connected with fellow junior Payton Klier on a 73-yard play early in the second quarter. This play sparked Neosho to a 19-point second quarter and a 46-6 victory over McDonald County.
On Friday night, just as Logan-Rogersville struggled mightily before the half, Neosho exploded for 120 yards and two scores on two plays over 25 seconds of game clock late in the second quarter.
Scott hit Klier for a 61-yard TD and then a 59-yard TD on back-to-back plays. Neosho took a 33-0 lead on the second TD.
“Payton’s got some speed,” Baldwin said, “and Coleman did a good job on both of those plays of reading the defense and putting it where it needed to be. Payton does the rest.”

LR                        0  0  0 0 — 0
NHS                        7 26 6 7 — 46
First quarter
N — Hames 9 run (Williams kick), 3:16
Second quarter
N — Hames 1 run (Williams kick), 9:50
N — Hames 25 run (run failed), 6:21
N — Klier 61 pass from Scott (Williams kick), 3:47
N — Klier 59 pass from Scott (kick failed), 2:25
Third quarter
N — Hames 1 run (kick failed), 8:31
Fourth quarter
N — Kelley 10 run (Williams kick), 3:17

Up next
Neosho welcomes Willard (2-0) to Bob Anderson Stadium for the COC Large opener for both teams. The Tigers rolled 46-24 over Springfield Central and 41-6 over Nevada for its similar 2-0 start.
In addition to being a conference game, both teams play in the same district: Class 5, District 6 alongside Belton, Carthage, KC Ruskin and Smith-Cotton. This game will have an impact on district seeding.
Last season, Willard defeated Neosho 35-8.
“They’re the real deal,” Baldwin said of Willard. “They’re probably going to be ranked seventh or eighth coming in this week. (Running back) Hunter Yeargan is supposed to be back, an all-state running back, and he’s a load. We’re going to have to gang-tackle. We’re going to have to run to him and get a lot of guys on him because he’s really good and their quarterback is really good. They’re just a good football team all-around. Their defense is good and they’re playing with a lot of confidence. We’ll have our hands full.”
Yeargan, a state champion wrestler, made his return Friday night against Springfield Central and gashed the Bulldogs for 251 yards and four TDs. Yeargan’s listed at 5-foot-11, 235 pounds.
Reportedly, Yeargan injured himself lifting weights in May and missed the season opener against Nevada.
Logan-Rogersville (0-2) looks for its first points of the season and its first win next Friday on the road against Springfield Catholic.