CASSVILLE — Just a week after ending a 25-game losing streak, the East Newton Patriots gave the Cassville Wildcats a major scare on their Homecoming, and it was not even October yet Friday.
East Newton took the opening kickoff and scored a touchdown for the only points of the first half, but Cassville scored all 21 points after halftime for a 21-7 victory.
In that first half, Cassville missed on a 30-yard field goal. Otherwise, it was a series of punts for the Wildcats. The Wildcats’ defense, though, kept East Newton within reach — Kade Howard broke up a pass on fourth down and Killian Barbee intercepted another when East Newton had the ball deep in Cassville territory.
The Wildcats’ offense answered the bell on the opening drive of the second half, driving the field 76 yards and earning a tie score on a Zach Coenen 1-yard touchdown run. Bowen Preddy kept the drive alive with a series of chain-moving runs.
On their next possession, the Wildcats took the lead in dramatic fashion with a Deven Bates 72-yard touchdown run.
Coenen finished off the scoring with a 21-yard TD run.
East Newton dropped to 1-4 on the season and the Patriots return to action in Week 6 at home against Lamar. The Tigers are 3-2 after taking their first back-to-back losses since Week 2 and Week 3 in the 2012 season (13-6 against Seneca followed by a 31-0 loss against Cassville); that was also the last time Lamar lost more than one game during the regular season.
The Patriots, despite their 1-4 overall record, are third in Class 2, District 3 with 33.5 points, as they have been helped out by their strength of schedule as one of only two Class 2 schools in the Class 3 and Class 4 heavy Big 8 Conference. Unbeaten Ava stands at top of the district with 48.6 points, followed by Strafford (34.1), East Newton, Willow Springs (31.1), Houston (30.7), Liberty Mountain View (27.8), Forsyth (26.79), and Mountain Grove (15.7).