By Caleb Curtis
This week, the McDonald County Mustangs (3-3, 1-3 in the Big 8) take on the Monett Cubs(2-4, 0-4 in the Big 8) in a battle of Big 8 Conference foes. The Mustangs come into the game on a 2 game losing streak after falling to Mount Vernon (43-21) and Lamar (50-8). Monett comes into the game on a losing skid as well, as the Cubs have fallen in 4 straight games (Mount Vernon, @Lamar, Aurora, @Cassville).
The Cubs claimed the last meeting between these two teams by a score of 35-0. The Cubs have also claimed wins in every game against the Mustangs in the last decade. Since 2007, the Cubs have outscored the Mustangs 375-29, which includes 5 shutouts. However, the reigning Class 3 State Champions lost a lot of production from last year’s team. The Cubs graduated 16 seniors from last year’s team, many of whom started for the Cubs in their 14-1 state run. The Cubs’ have also struggled to get on the scoreboard this season. They are only averaging 12.8 points a game, and they have been shutout twice this season. The Cubs have also given up 25.83 points per game on the defensive side of the ball.
The Mustangs have managed to turn things around this season. They have already matched their win total from the last 4 seasons combined. McDonald County also comes in with an entirely different offense from last season that couldn’t manage to even put up a score in their game at Monett last year. After having a rough game at Lamar last week, the Mustangs are now averaging 16.0 points a game. The Mustang defense this year has also entirely evolved from what they were last year. Through their first six games last year, the Mustangs gave up 38.17 points per game. Through the first six games this year, they have only given up 26.83 points per game.
Points Per Game- McDonald County: 16.0 vs Monett: 12.8
Points Allowed Per Game- McDonald County: 26.83 vs Monett: 25.83
State Rank*: McDonald County: 106 vs Monett: 147
*= according to MaxPreps.com
The Cubs and the Mustangs have faced three common opponents this season, Mount Vernon, Lamar, and Cassville. Here are how both teams fared against each opponent.
Mac County: vs Mount Vernon(L 21-43) vs Lamar(L 8-50) vs Cassville(W 21-14)
Monett: vs Mount Vernon(L 20-25) vs Lamar(L 0-51) vs Cassville(L 0-21)
If you compare the teams by what you see in those first game, Monett has the edge. If you compare them by what you see in the second game, then McDonald County has the slight edge. However, the third game seems to show that there may be a solid gap between the two teams. Monett couldn’t manage to score on Cassville, a team who McDonald County put 21 points on.
The Bottom Line
Both the Cubs and the Mustangs have had some trouble stopping their opponents from scoring, as they have allowed a very similar amount of points per game (25.83-26.83). The Mustangs have the edge on the offensive side of the ball, and average 3.2 more points per game. These teams have put up some very similar numbers this year, and it wouldn’t be any surprise at all if the final score to this game ends up being very close. I say this game could very well come down to whoever has the advantage on special teams. A simple PAT could be the difference in this one. One thing is for sure, everyone in attendance for this game will be in for a great game.