QUAPAW — Being in better shape was the key tin Quapaw’s 19-7 win against Chouteau here Friday night, according to head coach Chris Cawyer.

“The heat helped us. It was just so hot early,” Cawyer said. “In our scrimmage we played most of our linemen in JV and varsity the week before. It really helped us. We were in a little better shape. We’re still not where we should be, but we were in a lot better shape than they were. That helped more than anything.”

The Wildcats spotted Chouteau a 7-0 lead in the first two minutes on an 80-yard TD strike on a third-and-25 play.

But Quapaw narrowed the gap to 7-6 with a 2-yard run by Corben Cunliffe with 1:54 left in the opening frame.

A 9-yard run by Preston Thomasson gave the Cats the lead for good in the third quarter, then he added a 40-yarde sprint early in the fourth to seal the win.

“The kids have been working hard, hard, hard for us,” Cawyer said. “It’s been paying off. We’ve done this for three years now and I think our kids are catching on. There is so much unity with this team. It’s the best it’s been the three years I’ve been there. The kids are playing for each other.

“Our offensive and defensive lines really played well.”

Cunliffe finished with 107 yards rushing on 13 attempts while Thomasson added 99 yards on 11 tries with the two touchdowns.

Quarterback Kale Thomasson completed six of his nine pass attempts for 36 yards and added 32 yards on the ground.

Chouteau finished with 235 yards in total offense, 181 passing and only 54 yards rushing.

The Wildcats travel to Dewey Friday, Sept. 4 .