We survived the heat, late starts and lightning delay at Clinton in Week 1 of the high school football season.

As we transition into Week 2, we begin to learn a lot more about who has what and who has staying power at the top of the Mississippi Athletic Conference.

Conditions are expected to be a bit cooler on the field this week, and there are a couple games that catch my eye.

Here is a look at each of the matchups for the week, rating the games on intrigue and competitiveness from one to five.

1. Davenport Assumption (1-0) at Pleasant Valley (1-0)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Twitter: @mattcoss78

Insight: This is a game Assumption has targeted since the 41-7 loss to PV last season at Brady Street Stadium. Quarterback Jake Gervase mentioned it on two occasions during our conversation at the start of fall practice saying, "Personally, that's the game I'm looking forward to most because they embarrassed us last year. It is a big challenge." The Knights were brilliant on defense last week against an inexperienced Grayhound offensive line. How does that translate against arguably the MAC's best offensive line? PV gashed Assumption for more than 460 yards on the ground last season. I expect Assumption to be much more physical this time around. On the flip side, can Jake Gervase or James Hua spring free for a couple game-changing plays? I think Assumption will need at least two or three of those to win the contest. Even though it is just Week 2 and the home opener, it is PV's homecoming game. We'll have a much better handle on both of these teams after Friday night.

2. Bettendorf (1-0) at Davenport Central (1-0)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Twitter: @BobbyMetcalf88

Insight: The bad news for Central? It has lost 23 consecutive games to Bettendorf dating back to 1990. The good news? It is coming in with positive vibes after a late interception sealed a 30-27 road win at Muscatine last week. Bettendorf was crisp offensively last week and the offensive line was a load. Quarterback Cyle Cox was smooth in both the run and pass game, and John McLaughlin proved he can be a workhorse back. Granted, North Scott has some stellar athletes at receiver, but I still have some concerns about Bettendorf's pass defense. Central, though, hasn't shown it can throw consistently, completing only four of 12 passes last week. Even though it lost to Bettendorf by three touchdowns last year, Central had an opportunity to be in the game late if it completed a couple deep throws to open receivers. The Blue Devils can't beat Bettendorf being one-dimensional.

3. Clinton (1-0) at North Scott (0-1)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Twitter: @QCVarsity

Insight: There is considerable construction taking place around Lancer Stadium. The same can be said about North Scott's football team, a work in progress. Quarterback Matt Sacia had three picks last week, but only one of those I thought was a poor decision on his part. He also threw three touchdowns and has big-play targets in Ricky Grimes and Ty Williams. North Scott has to be better on defense this week, particularly up front. The Lancers shuffled numerous players in and out of there last week, but they couldn't get consistent stops and were gashed in the run game for 317 yards. Clinton, meanwhile, did what it had to do against a depleted North squad. The River Kings have a senior quarterback in Eric Maddasion and Alex Caldwell is a tough, hard-nosed runner. The intrigue here is seeing how Clinton's secondary can match up with Grimes and Williams, a much different and arduous task than North's run-oriented double-wing attack.

4. Davenport West (0-1) at Burlington (0-1)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Twitter: @ChadDrury

Insight: This is a pivotal game for the direction of West's program under Jeremy Mosier. The Falcons didn't have enough speed, size or talent to keep up with Pleasant Valley last week, but this is a game where West can be competitive and possibly win. It would have won last year's meeting if it made two extra-point kicks. In Mosier's fourth season, it is critical for West to turn a couple of last year's close calls into wins this season for the players to see proof of the growth. And with Bettendorf and Assumption on the horizon, the game becomes even bigger. West has come out of the chute well in several games the past two seasons, but loses its edge after one or two big plays go against them. Burlington's offensive line allowed nine sacks to Assumption last week as it had less than 70 total yards. I'm predicting a low-scoring contest, much like last year's 13-12 encounter.

5. Muscatine (0-1) at Davenport North (0-1)

When: Thursday, 7:30 p.m.

Twitter: @mattcoss78

Insight: Last week was a double-whammy for Muscatine. It lost a seesaw game with Davenport Central on a late interception, and starting quarterback Matt Wieskamp likely is done for the season with a broken clavicle. How does Muscatine rebound? Head coach Jake Mueller said his team needs to be more consistent in its execution. "That's a sign of a young team," Mueller remarked. "We knew we were going to have that a little bit." The schedule may work in Muscatine's favor for new starting quarterback Clayton Sloan. It has North, Burlington and Clinton the next three weeks before a three-week gauntlet against Bettendorf, PV and Assumption. Once again, North will be short-handed. More than wins and losses at this point, Guy Dierikx just wants to see gradual improvement from week to week.


Matt Coss covers the MAC for the Quad-City Times. Contact him at 563-383-2288 or mcoss@qctimes.com

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