Perhaps winning two football games in a season is not a milestone to most football programs but don't tell that to Davenport North.
For the first time since 2007, the Wildcats reached two wins in a season after taking down city rival Davenport West 25-10 on Friday night at Brady Street Stadium in the last non-district game of the season.
Led by senior running back Akendre Abbey, the Wildcats evened their record at 2-2 while the Falcons fell to 1-3.
Abbey rushed for 235 yards on 29 carries and scored all three of North's touchdowns on the ground. Junior kicker Bryan Verdon nailed a 45-yard field goal for the Wildcats as well.
The North student section rushed the field to celebrate with the team and coaching staff and it was hard to wipe the smile off the face of Abbey, who has been in the program since he was a freshman and has seen some lean years.
"This feels great and it's one of the best accomplishments we could reach," Abbey said. "We have switched things around and we all worked hard to get this far."
Besides Abbey's rushing performance, the story of the game was North's defense. The Wildcats allowed just 237 total yards and kept the big plays from happening. West running back Leon Simpson did have 104 yards but it came on 19 carries and North was able to keep the Falcons from converting when it mattered most. West went 1-for-10 on third-down conversions.
Falcons quarterback Jacob Milem threw for 134 yards but he was sacked seven times in the game and was constantly under pressure from North's defensive line.
Curtis Overton had a pair of sacks for the Wildcats while fellow defenders Brandt Carter, Kade Schultz, Noah Schoephorster, Leonde Holt, Elisjsha Wiseman and Dakota Wright made West earn everything it could get. Wiseman had a fumble recovery and David Luong recovered a block punt as well.
"Our defense played lights out tonight," North coach Brandon Krusey said. "They rose up when they had to and forced a couple of turnovers. They really played solid."
North fell behind 10-0 in the first quarter when a stalled drive and fumble of their own helped set up West. Falcons kicker Adam Gibson made a 32-yard field goal and Alec Cassini scored on a 3-yard touchdown run to make it 10-0 with 2 minutes, 26 seconds left in the first quarter.
But that's when North got going. The Wildcats marched 80 yards in eight plays and Abbey plunged in from the 1-yardline to make it 10-7. The Wildcats' defense made West go three-and-out on its next two possessions before North put together a 61-yard drive late in the second quarter.
Abbey finished it off with a 5-yard run and with some trickery on the extra point pushed the lead to 15-10. Holder Jack West took the snap with the line shifted out wide and ran in a two-point conversion for the bonus points.
West got the second-half kickoff but fumbled on the first play from scrimmage. North had to go just 34 yards for the touchdown. Abbey scored from two yards out to make it 22-10.
The Wildcats' defense took it from there and tacked on Verdon's field goal midway through the fourth quarter.
West coach Justin Peters said the mistakes and the inability to take down Abbey were too much to overcome.
"We just have to play better," Peters said. "We started out on fire and then we let (North) get to us and that was it. We couldn't pull it back together. We missed tackles, straight up. (Abbey) would break about two or three tackles and we had to have the secondary come up and tackle him. We had him contained, we just didn't make the tackles where we needed to."
As for North, while taking down powerhouse Bettendorf might be a stretch in district play, the Wildcats should be competitive in the remaining games against Davenport Central, Clinton, Muscatine and Iowa City High.
"We just got to keep our heads up and play hard," Abbey said. "We have to keep practicing hard to get where we want to go."