CARTHAGE — Rainy weather proved to be a stiff challenge for the opening week of Neosho Youth Football.
Heavy, heavy, heavy rain washed out four games scheduled Saturday for Neosho’s all-grass Bob Anderson Stadium.
A day before, it was determined that all eight games would be played at all-turf David Haffner Stadium in Carthage, starting bright and early at 8:30 a.m. and with the final game beginning at 7 that evening.
All that rain took a toll on the turf at Haffner Stadium and games started at 9:30 a.m.
In Week 2, Neosho Gold teams travel to Nevada and Neosho Black teams host Joplin Red, of course weather permitting.
Neosho Gold 24, Carthage White 0
A couple numbers will perhaps put Neosho Gold’s domination on the defensive side Saturday in the season opener in perspective.
The young Wildcats used every player on their roster against Carthage White.
Carthage White gained all of 25 yards, just over a yard for every Neosho defender.
Parker Wilson came away with a late interception for the first Neosho Gold takeaway.
Behind the blocking efforts of River Feagans, Gabriel Busteed, Romario CiFuents, John Chew, Carter Howard, Wade Bowers, Kade Lawson, Virgil Rosiere, Dayton Kivett, and Brody Kivett, Neosho Gold racked up 244 yards, 271 total yards, and three touchdowns and three conversions.
Brody Crane rushed for 99 yards and one conversion on nine carries and caught two passes for 10 yards, including a 3-yard diving grab in the end zone.
Rosiere added 78 yards and one conversion on eight carries and he made a 13-yard leaping reception for the other passing touchdown. Rosiere caught two passes for 17 yards.
Chase Kivett completed four of six passes for 27 yards and two scores.
Brett Meyer rushed for 33 yards and one TD on six carries, Chase Kivett 11 yards on four carries, Howard 10 yards on two carries, Lawson seven yards on two carries, and Bowers six yards and one conversion on three carries.
Defensively, Meyer led the way with nine tackles, Rosiere added four, the trio of Bowers, Lawson, and Howard each had three, the quartet of Oliver Martin, Dayton Kivett, Crane, and Chew each had two, and Jaden Rice and Brandon Bartholomew each finished with one.
Donnie Burton, Chase Kivett, Feagans, Preston Rash-Hood, Kaymon Rhone, Tyler Sprenger, Wilson, CiFuents, Kevin Xiong, Ethan Crandall, and Gabriel Busteed rounded out the Neosho Gold shutout contributors.
Carthage Blue 16, Neosho Black 0
Despite some success on the ground, the young Wildcats could not find the end zone for their first points of a new season. Defensively, Neosho Black came through with a pair of fumble recoveries.
Cordell Washington started his last youth football season with 95 yards on 15 carries and three tackles and half of the fumble recoveries on the defensive side.
Kaiden Asberry rushed for eight yards on four carries, Keisean Rhone six yards on three carries, and Conner Reiboldt rounded out the ball carrier totals with two yards on two carries.
Rhone led the defense with seven stops, the trio of Asberry, Connal Ullom, and Everson Tomlinson each made five, the trio of Reiboldt, Brody Mitchell, and Curtis Jackson each made three and formed a quartet with Washington, and Barrett Henson and Isaac Boes each had two stops.
Ullom made the other fumble recovery.
Carthage White 26, Neosho Gold 16
The teams combined for 28 points after halftime and the young Tigers erased a narrow 8-6 deficit.
Offensively, Phoenix Rhatigan rushed for 169 yards and two touchdowns on a work horse 30 carries and he connected on a 12-yard pass to Reaghan Mace late in the first half.
Colby McGehee rushed for 51 yards on 12 carries and he scored twice on two-point conversions, Lincoln Howard added 21 yards on two carries and his longest run set up Neosho’s first touchdown, and Mick Wilder rushed for seven yards on his only carry.
McGehee’s stellar day included a team-high 12 tackles and Wilder added eight. Jaxon Ertyl, Rhatigan, Cayden Ward, Landon Morrison, and Carter Jobe each made three stops and Mace and Brodie Leach each picked up one tackle. Ward and Jacoby Gonzalez both recovered fumbles.
Carthage Blue 14, Neosho Black 0
Head coach Levi Patterson’s group experienced much success — just a single loss — during their third and fourth grade seasons.
The young Wildcats’ defense had trouble overcoming four turnovers by the offense and they suffered their second loss in three season.
Huck Spires and Ryan Counts each made five tackles to lead the defense, Wyatt Woodward and Mason Spiva had four each, Nate McAfee and Cale Vandorn three each, Andre McCamish and Kelton Shaffer two each, and Aiden McCrory and Drew Weelborg one each. Zackary Willet, Axel Lezama, Jackson Weber, and Spencer Long each contributed to the Wildcats’ defense.
Meanwhile, Zackeary Blevins, Jeremiah Hayes, Sam Madewell, and Tryson Carman played their roles on special teams.
Behind the blocking contingent of Connor Hay, Connor Pace, Jason Smith, Cole Rinehart, and Grant Walthall, Woodward found room for 75 yards on 12 carries. Otherwise, it was tough sledding for the Wildcats on a day dominated by the defense for both teams.
Spiva added 17 yards on three carries and Shaffer and McAfee each contributed one more yard.
Neosho Gold 36, Carthage White 14
One of Neosho Gold’s best players went down with an injury during its season opener, he did not return, and the young Wildcats played with that next man up mentality and secured a 22-point victory.
Neosho Gold’s offensive line of Kyler Bales, Kaleb Godbersen, Keegan Franklin, Toby Duncan, Jayshawn Samuels, Aiden Carrillo, Gage Sherwood, and Weston Richardson proved golden and paved a golden road to victory with more than 300 rushing yards and five touchdowns.
Neosho Gold ball carriers averaged 5.9 yards per tote.
Dane Arthur led the way with 200 yards and three scores on 26 carries, Cohen Depoe added 78 yards on seven carries, Kort Lawson had 59 yards on 13 carries, and Kaide Sikes’ two carries proved productive as he found the end zone twice on 1-yard runs.
Neosho Black 36, Carthage Blue 20
The three-headed dragon of Asher Mutz, Easton White, and Blaze Morgan benefited from great offensive line play and the young Wildcats opened their season with a 16-point victory.
Mutz rushed for 108 yards and two touchdowns, White added 84 yards and one TD, and Morgan recorded 66 yards and two scores.
Defensively, Mutz and White each recorded six tackles, Graham had five, and Aerian Owens, Jesse England, and Trenton Robinson each added three stops. Head coach Derrick Mutz said that many other players added one or two tackles apiece.
Thirty-six proved to be the magic number for both Neosho fourth grade teams.
Neosho Gold 18, Carthage White 6
T.J. Ellis led the young Wildcats with 10 tackles and Logan Hurn recovered a fumble for a touchdown, while Hurn carried the ball for 92 yards and two scores on seven carries.
Lachlan Paul, Connor Oxford, and Mackenzie Rogers each made five tackles, Lavyin Heathman added three, Isaac Abernathy had two, and Connor McGhee, Hurn, Braiden Ruffo, Chapman Southern, Tobin Sinclair Hall, and Reese French each contributed one tackle.
Ellis forced a fumble and Ruffo tallied one recovery.
Offensively, Abernathy rushed for 27 yards on four carries, Ellis 25 yards on four carries, and Heathman six yards on two carries.
Webb City Red
Webb City Blue
— Sixth grade, 10 a.m.
— Fifth grade, 11:30 a.m.
— Fourth grade, 1 p.m.
— Third grade, 2:30 p.m.
Nevada at Webb City Red
Carl Junction at Lamar
Carthage White at Neosho Gold
Joplin Blue, bye
Webb City Blue at East Newton
Monett at McDonald County
Neosho Black at Carthage Blue
Joplin Red at Seneca
Joplin Blue at Carthage White
Webb City Red at Lamar
Carl Junction, bye
Neosho Gold at Nevada
Joplin Red at Neosho Black
Carthage Blue at McDonald County
East Newton at Seneca
Monett at Webb City Blue
Lamar at Joplin Blue
Nevada at Carl Junction
Carthage White at Webb City Red
Seneca at Neosho Black
Kickapoo at Neosho Gold
Joplin Red at McDonald County
East Newton at Monett
Webb City Blue at Carthage Blue
Start Times (Sept. 7 only)
— Sixth grade Black, 8:30 a.m.
— Fifth grade Black, 10 a.m.
— Fourth grade Black, 11:30 a.m.
— Third grade Black, 1 p.m.
— Sixth grade Gold, 2:30 p.m.
— Fifth grade Gold, 4 p.m.
— Fourth grade Gold, 5:30 p.m.
— Third grade Gold, 7 p.m.
Lamar at Neosho Gold
Carl Junction at Carthage White
Joplin Blue at Nevada
Webb City Red, bye
Carthage Blue at Joplin Red
McDonald County at Webb City Blue
Monett at Seneca
Neosho Black at East Newton
Neosho Gold at Joplin Blue
Lamar at Carthage White
Webb City Red at Carl Junction
McDonald County at Neosho Black
Carthage Blue at Monett
Joplin Red at East Newton
Seneca at Webb City Blue
Nevada at Lamar
Carl Junction at Neosho Gold
Carthage White, bye
Joplin Blue at Webb City Red
Neosho Black at Webb City Blue
Carthage Blue at East Newton
McDonald County at Seneca
Monett at Joplin Red
Webb City Red at Neosho Gold
Carthage White at Nevada
Joplin Blue at Carl Junction
East Newton at McDonald County
Neosho Black at Monett
Seneca at Carthage Blue
Webb City Blue at Joplin Red
OCTOBER 12 & 13
Super Bowl (3rd, 4th Grade) at Joplin
OCTOBER 19 & 20
Super Bowl (5th, 6th Grade) at Joplin