Pleasant Valley's Arthur Braden gets hit by North Scott's Zachary Petersen (left) and Cole Rollinger last week. The Lancers try to extend their win streak to three Friday night at home against Dubuque Senior. 

The playoff push is here. We're down to the final two weeks of the regular season and there are still five Iowa Quad-City metro programs with a chance of extending its season beyond Week 9.

The three most significant games this week -- Clear Creek Amana at Davenport Assumption (Thursday night); Bettendorf at Iowa City High and Dubuque Senior traveling to North Scott.

Assumption likely needs to win its last two games to make the Class 3A playoffs. The winner of Bettendorf and City High is the Class 4A District 7 champion. And North Scott can position itself nicely with a senior night win against the Rams. 

Pleasant Valley and Davenport Central still could reach the playoffs but need to win out and get some help. 

Here is a deeper look at this week's schedule ...

Thursday’s game

Clear Creek Amana (6-1, 4-1) at Assumption (5-2, 4-1)

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

Where: Brady Street Stadium, Davenport

Twitter: @QCVarsity

BCMoore’s take: CCA by 3

Last season: Assumption 37, CCA 14

Thoughts: Both of these teams can secure a playoff berth with wins in the final two weeks. CCA closes against Central DeWitt and Assumption travels to Marion. The Clippers are coming off a 15-14 overtime loss to Marion, a game in which the Indians completed a two-point conversion try to prevail. CCA has recorded three shutouts and not allowed more than 15 points in a game yet. Cole White has a state-best 13 sacks and Cory Siders has intercepted five passes. Offensively, CCA has thrown only 54 passes in seven games. Even with Drake Brezina sidelined with a torn ACL, Matt Brimeyer (514 yards) and Jared Eckrich (380) have ignited the ground attack. “Clear Creek is a blue-collar team,” Assumption coach Wade King said. “They are downhill and try to outnumber you at the point of attack. They do the same thing on defense, just bring bodies at you. It is a great challenge for us, but we’re excited to have this kind of game at this point in the season.” The Knights have won four straight, all by 15 points or more, including a 34-19 victory at Center Point-Urbana last week. QB Jayce Levy had almost 375 all-purpose yards in the game. It featured an 85-yard kickoff return for a score. Assumption has scored at least 22 points in every district game. Tailback Justus Burke has 921 yards rushing for the season while Levy has rushed for 665 yards and passed for 653. Ryan Wohlers has been the top target with 15 grabs for 331 yards. Donaven Juarez and Pete Laubental pace the Knights’ defense with 20 tackles for loss (8 sacks).

Friday’s games

No. 6 Bettendorf (5-2, 3-0) at No. 4 Iowa City High (6-1, 3-0)

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

Where: Frank Bates Field, Iowa City

Twitter: @mattcoss78

BCMoore’s take: Bettendorf by 13

Last season: Bettendorf 44, City High 7 (regular season); Bettendorf 31, City High 7 (playoffs)

Thoughts: The winner of this game claims the title in District 7 and solidifies a first-round home playoff game. City High already has secured a playoff berth. Bettendorf is in with a victory or a Muscatine triumph against Davenport Central. The Bulldogs sat several starters last week in the win against Davenport North, including starting linebackers Keegan Glaus and Jacob Durkin. They’re expected back this week. Bettendorf has won four straight since the 1-2 start, all double-digit wins against Pleasant Valley, Muscatine, Clinton and North. “We are in Week 8, and we’ve got to play well,” Bettendorf coach Aaron Wiley said. “You don’t want to back into the playoffs. It is time you want to start playing your best football.” This will be the fourth meeting between these teams since the start of the 2014 season. Bettendorf has won all three by double figures. QB Nate Wieland anchors City High’s attack. The Northern Illinois recruit, who will be teammates with Bettendorf lineman Cole Webster next season, has passed for 1,041 yards and four touchdowns. He’s also rushed for 549 yards and nine scores. Zach Jones and Vance Dillon are his primary targets. “Their receivers are very athletic,” Wiley said, “and they’re tough up front. We’re going to have to play well because they’re sound at what they do.” The Little Hawks have won four straight, including a 36-28 triumph against Muscatine last week. Jones had a 63-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. City High has picked off 11 passes this season, second most in 4A.

Dubuque Senior (3-4, 2-1) at North Scott (3-4, 2-1)

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

Where: Lancer Stadium, Eldridge

Twitter: @dox5

BCMoore’s take: Pick ‘em

Last season: North Scott 49, Dubuque Senior 7

Thoughts: These two programs, along with Dubuque Hempstead and Western Dubuque, are tied for the District 6 lead at 2-1. North Scott can guarantee itself a playoff berth with a win here and victory next Thursday at Davenport West. In fact, two wins could be enough to give the Lancers a district title and first-round home playoff game. Senior, after opening with convincing district wins against West and Dubuque Hempstead, is coming off a 42-28 loss to Western Dubuque. Sam Schnee is the catalyst for the Rams’ offense with 861 yards rushing and a dozen scores. Senior has five receivers with at least 10 receptions, and it features good size on the offensive front. North Scott, meanwhile, has won back-to-back games in the final seconds. It edged Western Dubuque 20-17 on a field goal and Cole Rollinger hauled in a pass from Sam Stonskas with 7 seconds left in last week’s 32-28 come-from-behind win at Pleasant Valley. Stonskas has thrown for 1,216 yards and 11 touchdowns versus two interceptions. Nate Wilkerson and Cole Rollinger have teamed for 69 receptions and 973 yards. This is North Scott’s senior night. “We’ve been on the hot seat for the last two to three weeks and our kids keep finding a way to get it done late in games,” North Scott coach Kevin Tippet said. “It’d be nice if we can do it a little bit earlier.” North Scott placekicker Colin Fairfield is 20 of 20 on point-after attempts and 4 of 6 on field goals. Senior kicker Blake Harris is 24 of 25 on PAT tries.

Davenport Central (3-4, 1-2) at Muscatine (4-3, 1-2)

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

Where: Muscatine Community Stadium

Twitter: @TBrownsports

BCMoore’s take: Muscatine by 35

Last season: Muscatine 30, Central 7

Thoughts: Central still has an outside shot at the postseason. Along with having to win its last two games, it needs City High to beat Bettendorf and Clinton to lose either this week or next. The Blue Devils held their own for about a half with Clinton last week before stumbling 56-21. “We just make way too many mistakes to compete with good football teams right now,” Central coach Ben Sacco said. “We’ve got to figure out a way so we can compete with good teams for longer than a quarter or a half.” Central has given up 49, 49 and 56 points, respectively, in its last three losses. Kobe Williams leads the Blue Devils’ ground attack with 649 yards and five scores. Isaiah Litt and Miles Stoakes are tied for the team lead with 37.5 tackles. Muscatine, meanwhile, was eliminated from playoff contention after last week’s 36-28 loss to Iowa City High. The Muskies led 21-20 early in the fourth quarter after an Alphonso Soko punt return for a score. However, Muscatine gave up a 99-yard kickoff return and threw an interception for a 63-yard score in the defeat. Soko left the game with about 6 minutes remaining with a lower-body injury and didn’t return. He was seen on crutches afterward and his status for the remainder of the season is in doubt. Soko has run for 944 yards this season. If he can’t go, quarterback Luke Wichers is the team’s next leading rusher with 144 yards. Receiver Drew Greenhaw, who had two scores last week, is among the top receivers in 4A with 43 grabs for 634 yards and eight scores. This will be Muscatine's final home game for nearly 25 seniors.

Clinton (4-3, 1-2) at Davenport North (1-6, 0-3)

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

Where: Brady Street Stadium, Davenport

Twitter: @QCVarsity

BCMoore's take: Clinton by 49

Last season: Clinton 43, North 14

Thoughts: The River Kings are coming off a 56-point effort last week against Davenport Central. Coach Jon Wauford’s squad has the top-ranked offense in Class 4A (3,092 yards) and averages 39 points per game. Quarterback Johnny Sullivan is less than 100 yards from becoming the 13th quarterback in Iowa Class 4A to throw for 5,000 career yards. Ty Wenzel, Gage Harris, David Winters and Sam McEleney have at least 18 receptions and all average at least 11 yards per catch. “Our defensive backs are going to get a test there,” North coach Brandon Krusey said. Clinton needs one more win to equal last year’s win total. Brady Brunson and Trevor Barry are the team’s top tacklers with 48 and 46.5 stops, respectively. North dropped a 38-0 contest to Bettendorf, but Krusey was encouraged with how his defense performed. “Our kids were playing downhill and we performed (so much better) compared to how we had the previous couple of weeks,” he said. “It was encouraging to see out of them in our Week 7 game after we’ve struggled. Our offense and special teams put them in some tough situations.” North has generated only one touchdown in the past three games after scoring 76 points in the opening four games. “It is a big week for our offense to step forward, correct a couple things we’ve done wrong the last couple of weeks and put some drives together,” Krusey said.

Pleasant Valley (2-5, 1-2) at Dubuque Hempstead (4-3, 2-1)

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

Where; Dalzell Field, Dubuque

Twitter: @THsportsfeed

BCMoore’s take: PV by 13

Last season: PV 49, Hempstead 7

Thoughts: The Spartans are in a precarious spot to extend their playoff streak to nine years. PV needs to win its final two games and Senior to knock off North Scott on Friday night to at least put itself in the conversation. PV’s five losses are by 2, 14, 10, 4 and 4 points, respectively. Other than North Scott, the other four teams possess winning records. The last two have ended in heartbreaking fashion against Western Dubuque and North Scott. “We just haven’t made enough plays this year at critical times,” coach Rusty VanWetzinga said. Quarterback Terry Saul is expected back this week, according to VanWetzinga, after missing the past two games with injury. PV junior Arthur Braden has 794 yards rushing for the season and more than 1,700 for his career. The Spartans don’t have a player with at least 10 receptions all season. Hempstead, meanwhile, is run-oriented as well. The Mustangs have thrown only 46 times in seven games. Junior Charlie Reeg handled the snaps under center last week in the 49-28 victory against Davenport West. Starter Marshon Crowder was sidelined with an ankle injury. Hempstead has a backfield led by Jonny Miller (467 yards) and Tay Collins (248). “Hempstead is a little bit like us,” VanWetzinga said. “They don’t run the option maybe as crisp as we do, but they’re going to big and physical.” Hempstead can secure a playoff berth with a win this week and another next Friday against Western Dubuque.

Davenport West (0-7, 0-3) at Western Dubuque (5-2, 2-1)

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

Where: Epworth

BCMoore’s take: Western Dubuque by 41

Last season: Did not meet

Thoughts: West was tied with Dubuque Hempstead for a half last week before being outscored 28-7 in the second half of a 49-28 setback. Sophomore quarterback Jacob Milem threw for 304 yards in the game, more than 200 of those in the opening half. DJ Mosley hauled in a pair of touchdown receptions. “It was nice to see some of our young players step up,” West coach Justin Peters said. “Our defense just didn’t play very disciplined so they took advantage of that.” The Falcons, mired in a 13-game losing streak, were eliminated from playoff contention with the loss. Senior tailback Dot Combs has run for 1,046 yards and 10 scores. Milem has passed for 1,258 yards. The defense, though, has surrendered 56, 48 and 49 points, respectively, in district play. “We’re looking to develop some of these kids the next couple of weeks,” Peters said. “We’ve got a lot of young juniors coming up to being seniors. We’ll get them in the weight room and improve our program over the next year.” Western Dubuque rebounded from a last-second loss at North Scott with a 42-28 win against Dubuque Senior. The Bobcats are in the playoffs with a win this week and another next week against Hempstead. Kameron Kramer leads Western Dubuque with 929 yards rushing and nine scores. QB Dylan Gotto threw for 263 yards in last week’s win and has almost 1,100 for the season.


BCMoore’s record: Week 7 (5-1); Overall (35-9)


Peeking ahead

Week 9

North Scott at Davenport West (Thursday)

Assumption at Marion

Davenport Central at Bettendorf

Dubuque Senior at Pleasant Valley

Iowa City High at Davenport North

Muscatine at Clinton


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.