MONETT — The Monett Cubs earned a critical win in Class 4, District 6 with a 18-12 victory Friday night over Big 8 Conference West rival McDonald County at Burl Fowler Stadium.
The Cubs took the lead on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Dale Slater to Miles Laning (a double reverse pass) and then added two points on a conversion pass from Karter Brink to Ethan Umfleet with 9 minutes, 33 seconds remaining in regulation.
Monett stopped McDonald County on a fourth down play in Cubs territory and then ran out the clock with a pair of first down runs in third down situations.
McDonald County led 12-10 after three quarters and senior running back Oakley Roessler returned to the end zone after being kept out of it by unbeaten stalwarts Cassville and Lamar.
Roessler scored the first points of the game and the only points of the first quarter on a 49-yard run.
Roessler then gave the Mustangs a 12-7 lead on a 1-yard run in the third quarter.
William Murphy scored Monett’s first points on a 4-yard run in the second quarter and Aleks Salas’ 39-yard field goal cut the deficit to 12-10 entering the fourth.
Roessler and Murphy led their respective teams in rushing with 183 yards and two scores on 38 carries for Roessler and 96 yards and one TD on 20 carries for Murphy.
The Cubs outgained the Mustangs 225-209 on the ground and 275-239 overall.
Monett and McDonald County both enter their regular season finales 3-5 overall and 2-3 Big 8 West.
McDonald County and Monett sit in the No. 7 and No. 8 spots in the district seedings, respectively, but since Monett owns the head-to-head with McDonald County, the Cubs would jump into the No. 7 slot and avoid playing No. 1 seed and defending Class 4 state champion Webb City. Monett would take on Neosho.
McDonald County closes out the regular season against Big 8 West foe Seneca, and the Indians and the Mustangs are currently headed in opposite directions with Seneca winners of two of its last three games and McDonald County losers three straight contests.
Monett gets 1-7 Nevada for a regular season finale and it’s quite possible that Monett jumps over McDonald County in the district seedings without the necessity of using the head-to-head tiebreaker, if Monett can beat Nevada and McDonald County stumbles against Seneca.
That’s a definite possibility, since opponents have outscored Nevada 318-158 and Seneca’s five losses have come against Springfield Catholic (50-42), Reeds Spring (28-0), Cassville (62-27), Lamar (49-27), and Mount Vernon (37-14).
Springfield Catholic, Reeds Spring, Cassville, Lamar, and Mount Vernon are a combined 34-6 this season entering Week 9.