Mt’neers squeak past powerful Wildcats in first game of season

Steve Chapman

Tied with 12 seconds to go, Mt’Neers pull out win against highly touted Cassville squad
The Mt. Vernon Mt’neers defeated the Cassville Wildcats during their first varsity football game of the 2020 season on Friday, Aug. 28 at Mt’neer Stadium.
Cassville took an early lead about midway in the first quarter when they scored a touchdown, followed by a successful PAT. The Mt’neers evened the score about midway in the second quarter when quarterback Mason Ballay completed a 16-yard pass to Rafe Darter, who took the ball into the end zone for the Mt’neers first touchdown of the evening. Dominic Dawson completed a success PAT to tie the score at 7-all at the end of the first half.
The Mt’neers took the lead in third quarter when Ballay completed a 15-yard pass to Justin Moore who then made the team’s second touchdown of the evening. An attempt at a PAT was unsuccessful, leaving the score at 13-7.
The Wildcats made their second touchdown late in third quarter, but a bad snap prevented them from making a successful PAT, and the score was again tied, 13-all.
The Mt’neers then made an offensive drive towards the Wildcats’ goal, and with 12 seconds remaining on the game clock, Ballay completed a 38-yard touchdown pass to Darter. Ballay then used a quarterback keeper to make a successful two-point conversion, and the game ended a Mt. Vernon victory with a score of 21-13.
This week, the Mt’neers travel to East Newton, where they will face the Patriots. Last Friday, East Newton lost their first game of the season to Reeds Spring, 41-7.
Mt. Vernon head football coach Tom Cox said he was very proud of how his team played.
“I couldn’t be prouder of our guys,” he said. “We never gave in and we never gave up. We hung around long enough to make one more play than they did. We didn’t run the ball as well as we had hoped, but our offensive line did a good job of pass protection. As a result, our passing game was very good with the combination of Mason Ballay say enough good things about our defense. To hold Cassville to just 13 points is incredible.”
Cox said everyone on the team worked very hard to make the victory happen.
“As cliche’ as it sounds, this took an entire team effort,” he said. “Our young guys worked extremely hard to give our varsity a good look offensively and defensively as the Scout Team every single day. That kind of effort in practice determines how successful we will be on Friday nights. Our coaching staff put in a ton of hours coming up with a game plan to give us the best chance for success.”


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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