Bettendorf receiver Suni Lane makes a catch over Pleasant Valley's Jordan Allender during the teams' 2014 meeting at Spartan Stadium. The rivals, both looking to rebound from 1-2 starts, square off Friday night.

John Schultz, Quad-City Times

For Iowa Class 4A schools, this is the last week of what some coaches have called "the preseason.” Starting next week, district play begins across the state, the five games that will determine the playoff field.

After Clinton and Davenport Central fell last week, there are no undefeated teams remaining in the Iowa Quad-Cities metro.

Muscatine entered the state rankings at No. 8 this week following a home win against Pleasant Valley. Bettendorf is just outside the top 10 after a 28-27 overtime loss at home to third-ranked Cedar Rapids Washington.

Bettendorf and PV is the marquee game on the slate this week. One team will be staring at a 1-3 record going into district play.

Also, city bragging rights are on the line between Davenport North and Davenport West; Clinton travels to Dubuque Senior; North Scott entertains Muscatine and Assumption faces Central DeWitt on the gridiron for the first time in more than 75 years.

Here is a more detailed look at each of the games.

Thursday’s game

Cedar Rapids Prairie (2-1) at Davenport Central (2-1)

When: Approx. 7:15 p.m. kickoff

Where: Brady Street Stadium, Davenport

Twitter: @mattcoss78

BCMoore’s take: Prairie by 49

Last season: Did not play

Thoughts: Prairie scored on a 41-yard, third-down pass play in the final 2 minutes last week to clip Clinton on the road, 46-42. The Hawks, who run a single-wing offense, called 54 run plays for 324 yards while quarterback Dakota Simonsen completed 10 of 12 throws for 168 yards last Friday. After Washington held Prairie to 14 points in the opener, the Hawks have scored 38 and 46 points the past two weeks. Joseph Meyer (356 yards) and Zachary Ganske (254) are the primary ballcarriers. Central, coming off narrow wins against Burlington and Davenport West, dropped a 28-7 road contest against North Scott last week. The Blue Devils were held to a season-low 99 rushing yards. Linebacker Miles Stokes had a team-high 13 tackles in that contest. This is the final non-district game for the Blue Devils before playing city-rival North next Friday. Coach Ben Sacco said the Blue Devils will suit up only 21 players this week, but are expected to get several individuals back next week who have been out for academic reasons. “North Scott and Prairie are great games for us going into our district because our district has a lot of good teams in it,” Sacco said. “It’s a good test for us trying to see where we’re at and how we’re able to compete.”

Friday’s games

Bettendorf (1-2) at Pleasant Valley (1-2)

When: Approx. 7:15 p.m. kickoff

Where: Spartan Stadium, Bettendorf

Twitter: @dox5

BCMoore’s take: Bettendorf by 21

Last season: Bettendorf 27, PV 3

Thoughts: Dubbed the Hy-Vee Bowl by legendary Bettendorf coach Merv Habenicht, one team is going to be saddled with a 1-3 record heading into district play next week. Bettendorf has losses to No. 1 West Des Moines Valley and No. 3 Cedar Rapids Washington, a 28-27 overtime tilt last week at TouVelle Stadium. The Bulldogs, who haven't started 1-3 since 1984, have turned the ball over three times in each of those games, with five of the six miscues returned for touchdowns or leading to scores. “We’ve got to stop the self-inflicted wounds,” Bettendorf coach Aaron Wiley said. Keegan Glaus rushed for 116 yards and three scores last week along with eight tackles (two for loss) on defense. Quarterback JMichael Young has yet to throw an interception. “We’ll have our hands full defensively,” PV coach Rusty VanWetzinga said. The Spartans have dropped two straight, a 19-17 loss to ninth-ranked Iowa City High and a 27-13 defeat to eighth-ranked Muscatine. Turnovers, penalties and the inability to finish drives in the red zone have hindered PV’s offense. Fullback Arthur Braden has a team-high 355 yards and four touchdowns. David Matthews leads the defense from his linebacker spot with 23 tackles. “Bettendorf’s defense is physical, tough and fly to the ball,” VanWetzinga said. “We’ve got to match that. Our kids will be ready. We’ll coach them up hard, but it is a tough, stiff challenge.”

No. 8 Muscatine (2-1) at North Scott (1-2)

When: Approx. 7:15 p.m. kickoff

Where: Lancer Stadium, Eldridge

Twitter: @jakearyder

BCMoore’s take: Muscatine by 45

Last season: Muscatine 43, North Scott 14

Thoughts: Muscatine is back in the state’s top 10 after a 27-13 win against Pleasant Valley last week. The Muskies outscored the Spartans 14-0 in the second half and limited them to less than 100 yards. Nate Holliday had two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery to spark the defense. Offensively, tailback Alphonso Soko eclipsed 100 yards for the third straight game and receiver Drew Greenhaw followed up a 14-catch, 235-yard performance with seven grabs for 108 yards and two second-half touchdowns. “The difference between our season last year and this year, our kids know how to respond to adversity a little bit better this year,” coach Jake Mueller said. Muscatine forced four turnovers and Soko compiled 136 rushing yards in last year’s win against North Scott. The Lancers pieced together their best performance of the year last week in a 28-7 win against Davenport Central. Quarterback Sam Stonskas rushed for 162 yards and passed for 146. Junior Jared Rus had 131 yards on the ground and two scores. Wyatt Wriedt was back in the lineup after missing the first two games and collected two sacks. “You can see the improvement from week to week with North Scott,” Mueller said. The Lancers’ stiffest challenge will be defending Muscatine’s multitude of playmakers. “They’re tough to defend,” Lancers coach Kevin Tippet said. “Offensively, they’re what I would love to be right now. They’re really diverse and you have to pick your poison.”

Davenport North (0-3) at Davenport West (0-3)

When: Approx. 7:15 pm. kickoff

Where: Brady Street Stadium, Davenport

Twitter: @QCVarsity

BCMoore’s take: West by 11

Last season: West 16, North 14

Thoughts: The intriguing storyline here is first-year North coach Brandon Krusey served as Justin Peters’ defensive coordinator at Davenport West last season. Now, they’ll be on opposite sidelines trying to out-scheme the other as Krusey is North’s offensive coordinator and Peters calls West’s defense. “It’ll be fun,” Peters said. “We’ll shake hands at the end and go from there.” North was plagued by turnovers each of the first two weeks. In last week’s 48-7 home loss to Dubuque Senior, the Wildcats were held under 250 yards and gave up more than 10 plays for a dozen yards or more. In particular, North was dominated at the line of scrimmage and struggled to make tackles. “We’ve got to tackle better to win, to even compete,” Krusey admitted. Zeke Hayslett has anchored North’s ground game with 354 yards. Collin Glazek has missed the past two games with injury. West, meanwhile, has lost back-to-back games by two points — Davenport Central (28-26) and Burlington (21-19). Dot Combs is the leading rusher in Class 4A with 549 yards (8 yards per carry) and sophomore quarterback Jacob Milem has passed for 602 yards. Alec Cassini has five tackles for loss to spur the defense. This game is West’s homecoming and serves as the start of four home dates in the last six outings.

Clinton (2-1) at Dubuque Senior (1-2)

When: Approx. 7:15 p.m. kickoff

Where: Dalzell Field, Dubuque

Twitter: @THsportsfeed

BCMoore’s take: Clinton by 31

Last season: Senior 28, Clinton 20

Thoughts: Nobody has put up more total yards in Class 4A than Clinton, which has tallied 51, 51 and 42 points, respectively, the first three weeks. Coach Jon Wauford’s squad is averaging 487 yards per game and is second in 4A scoring with 136 points. Quarterback Johnny Sullivan threw for a school-record 424 yards last week against Prairie while matching his previous career high for completions in a game with 27. Sullivan has passed for 976 yards and 11 touchdowns versus two interceptions in three contests. He is 207 passing yards shy of 4,000 for his career. Tailback Gage Harris has been his top target with 29 grabs for 436 yards and six scores. The River Kings gave up more than 300 yards on the ground to the Hawks, an area they’ll need to shore up against a Senior squad that was dominant up front last week versus Davenport North. This is an important game for Clinton as it has back-to-back home district games against Iowa City High and Bettendorf. Senior broke out of its offensive funk with a 48-point output last week. Using two quarterbacks, the Rams passed for nearly 290 yards and rushed for more than 200. Sam Schnee had 133 yards and four scores on the ground.

Assumption (1-2, 0-1) at Central DeWitt (1-2, 0-1)

When: Approx. 7:15 p.m. kickoff

Where: Birney Field, DeWitt

Twitter: @BobbyMetcalf88

BCMoore’s take: Assumption by 5

Last season: Did not play

Thoughts: You have to dust off the history books to find the last time these schools met in football. In 1937, Assumption (formerly St. Ambrose) and Central DeWitt played to a 6-6 tie. Despite less than 30 miles apart, the two haven’t tangled since as Assumption spent a large chunk of time in Class 4A. “We’re excited to play a local rival in 3A,” Assumption coach Wade King said. “Hopefully, we’ll be ready to roll.” Assumption lost its district opener at home to fifth-ranked West Delaware, 39-22. Jayce Levy, who stepped in for the injured Chris Bridges at quarterback, completed 11 of 18 passes for 145 yards. Justus Burke had two interceptions on defense for the Knights and Pete Laubenthal had five tackles for loss. Already in the second week of district play, this virtually is a must-win for both teams as only the top two finishers in each district are assured playoff spots come Oct. 21. Central DeWitt dropped its district opener at Marion, 7-0. The Sabers were stymied to just 80 yards and didn’t complete a pass. Sam O’Connor was in on seven tackles and recovered a fumble. Nick Smith is Central DeWitt’s primary ballcarrier with 44 carries for 357 yards and five touchdowns. The Sabers turn around and play West Delaware next week.


BCMoore’s record: Week 3 (7-0); Overall (15-4)


Peeking ahead

Week 5

Dubuque Senior at Davenport West (Thursday)

Davenport Central at Davenport North

Iowa City High at Clinton

Muscatine at Bettendorf

North Scott at Dubuque Hempstead

Pleasant Valley at Western Dubuque

Assumption at Dubuque Wahlert


Prep sports editor, with emphasis on covering the Mississippi Athletic Conference and Iowa area high schools. I've been in sports journalism for 17 years, the last five at the Quad-City Times.