ANDERSON — After a sluggish first half last week against East Newton, the Cassville Wildcats made sure not to repeat the feat in their Week 6 game against the McDonald County Mustangs.
The Wildcats roared to a 34-0 halftime score, as they scored on all five possessions and forced McDonald County to punt on all five possessions in the first half, en route to a 48-6 victory.
Cassville’s first half points came on a Deven Bates 1-yard run, a Zach Coenen 40-yard run, a Jericho Farris 6-yard run, a Bowen Preddy pass from Bates, and another short Bates run.
The Wildcats scored 14 more points in the second half — on a Preddy 8-yard run and a Farris 7-yard run — for a 48-0 lead.
McDonald County broke the shutout with 3 minutes, 54 seconds remaining in regulation.
The Mustangs dropped to 2-4 overall and 2-1 Big 8 West, and their four-game gauntlet to finish the regular season continues in Week 7 against Lamar (4-2). Lamar, who might not be as imposing as during a seven-year run of state titles, defeated East Newton 49-14 on Friday night.
McDonald County’s loss, coupled with Hillcrest’s 54-12 victory over winless Springfield Central (a Class 5 school), sent the Mustangs into the No. 8 spot in Class 4, District 6 standings, and that would mean an opening district game against Missouri powerhouse Webb City (5-1).
Webb City stands at the top of the district with 49.67 points, followed by Bolivar at 48.33, West Plains 47.83, Willard 36.33, Carl Junction 31, Neosho 28, Hillcrest 23.83, and McDonald County 20.33.
The Big 8 Conference McDonald County faces a disadvantage in the points system that seeds the teams for the playoffs, since the Mustangs play mostly Class 3 schools, whereas Central Ozark Conference schools Webb City, Willard, Carl Junction, and Neosho and Ozark Conference schools West Plains and Hillcrest play more Class 5 opponents.
Cassville improved to 5-1 overall and 3-1 Big 8 West, and the Wildcats are in action in Week 7 against Nevada (0-6), owners of the longest current losing streak in the Big 8.