For quite a few years now, Mountain Grove Head Coach Steve Ary (an alumni of Thayer High School) and Bobcat Head Coach Billy Webber (also an alum of THS) have been going head-to-head on the football field.
And although Coach Ary may have the edge in the W-L column, the latest installment of this annual battle, on the first Friday night of October 2010, was not going to be much of a battle.
Domination would be a more apt description.
Doing virtually everything they wanted, when they wanted it, the Cats blasted the Panthers 63-13.
As the "Trojans of the gridiron" took positions on the chalk-lined grass battlefield, advantages became clear very quickly.
After the Bobcats took the opening kick, they ran one play up the middle for a short two yard gain before Cameron Carey blasted around the left end for a 72- yard run, before being knocked out of bounds at the 1-yard line of the Panthers.
From the power stack formation, Thayer quarterback Jared Foley dove over the goal line for the TD and Jeremy Cabrales kicked the PAT to put the Bobcats on the board early, up 7-0.
This was a precursor of things to come for the entire night of football competition.
After holding the Panthers in check, the Bobcats moved down close to the goal and Carey dove across for six.
Although the Bobcat defense did give up one touchdown to the Panthers in the first quarter, it came up big when needed.
Defensive tackle Jacob Adams made a hard stop in the backfield which forced the Panthers into a punting situation. That led to Levi Hargrove blocking the Panther punt at the goal line, allowing the Bobcats to take over on the 5.
Foley scrambled in for another score, to stake the Green team to a 20-7 lead at the end of one.
After the teams changed ends for the second square, the Bobcats had control of the ball with a second-and-2 on the 45.
Running back Jacob Alford took the Foley handoff, banged into a clump of players and then squirted free out the back side of the pile, past the Panther secondary and into the end zone for one of his two TDs of the night.
Later, Lucas Risner caught a Foley pass and scampered in from the 35 with 3:45 remaining in the second to add six more to the Bobcats' tally, pushing them in front 41-7 at the half.
The Bobcats continued their domination of the game in the second half with a long run from Alford for his second score, along with a long run from fullback Cabrales.
The Thayer defense held the Panthers in check, allowing only one second half touchdown.
Next week, the Bobcats host the Houston Tigers for the 2010 Homecoming game. Line-up for the Homecoming parade will be next to the old elementary school, at the top of Chestnut, at 1:30 p.m., with the parade set to march down the hill at 2 p.m.
Crowning of the 2010 Homecoming queen will take place at 6 p.m. on the football field.
The alumni association will host a reception for all THS classes after the Friday night football game and the annual alumni banquet dinner is set for the following night, Oct. 9.