Monett’s football players hope to equal the performance of their school’s soccer team.
The Cubs (12-1) will have the chance when they play in the Class 3 playoff semifinals on Nov. 19. Monett defeated Owensville 48-20 Saturday at Monett’s Burl Fowler Stadium in the quarterfinals. The win came a week after the soccer Cubs finished second in their state tournament.
Quarterback Ian Meyer said the football team has no rivalry with the soccer team, but a desire to continue what has been a big year for Monett sports.
“We’re trying to get up on their level, because they set a really high bar for us, so we’re trying to get there,” Meyer said.
Meyer was 14-of-21 passing for 276 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed six times for 22 yards and three rushing touchdowns. Meyer and his teammates appear united in their desire to reach the state championship game on Thanksgiving weekend.
“We have a bond. Going into this year, we knew we could do something special. Our coach told us at the very beginning we could do something special,” Meyer said.
Monett running back Michael Branch surpassed 1,800 rushing yards on the season with 12 carries for 105 yards. Branch added four receptions for 84 yards and a touchdown.
Alex Turner had five receptions for 111 yards and a touchdown on a 40-yard pass in which he broke two tackles while barreling down the right sideline. You can do that when you stand 6-foot-4 and weigh 230 pounds.
“It’s nice to throw to those big targets because you know that they’re not going to go down very easily. They end up getting those yards after the catch, which is important, right?” Meyer said while laughing.
Turner noticed how passionate Monett’s fans are about the Cubs’ playoff run by the crowd at the game.
“It was great, one of the best atmospheres I’ve ever played in. All of the crowd was hyped up, the stands were filled,” Turner said.
A turning point came in the first quarter when Owensville standout quarterback Wyatt Ellis took off on a 28-yard scramble inside the Monett red zone, but went down with a leg injury. Ellis left the stadium in an ambulance. Ellis entered the game with 2,337 passing yards and 32 touchdown passes.
The Dutchmen punched in a touchdown two plays later on a sweep by Tanner Rector, but it was shutout defense for Monett and coach Derek Uhl from then until the fourth quarter.
“I’ve been on the other end of that where you lose a quarterback or something like that, and it stinks, but there’s really nothing you can say about it. I feel bad for the kid,” Uhl said.
Uhl is excited for his team to have the chance to play another game.
“This was probably the biggest team win that we’ve had, it was spread around,” Uhl said. “It’s a team win.”
Rector led Owensville in rushing with 71 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries.
Monett advances to the Class 3 semifinals and plays at McCluer South-Berkeley (12-0). The game will take place in St. Louis on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 1 p.m. The opposite semifinal pits Maryville against Miller Career Academy.
Turner believes Monett can keep up its postseason momentum.
“We just need to keep playing how we’ve been playing, going out and executing what we do,” Turner said. “I think we’re continuing to get better each week and learning from our mistakes.”
High school football Class 3 quarterfinal
Monett 48, Owensville 20
At Burl Fowler Stadium, Monett
Owensville—Devon Ridenhour 78-yard pass from Wyatt Ellis (kick failed)
Monett—Ian Meyer 1-yard run (Cameron Cody kick)
Monett—Meyer 3-yard run (Cody kick)
Owensville—Tanner Rector 7-yard run (Grant Steever kick)
Monett—Michael Branch 9-yard run (Cody kick)
Monett—Alex Turner 60-yard pass from Meyer (kick failed)
Monett—Aaron Howard 2-yard run (Cody kick)
Monett—Branch 35-yard pass from Meyer (Cody kick)
Monett—Meyer 1-yard run (Cody kick)
Owensville—Dustin Faragher 92-yard kickoff return (Steever kick)