IOWA CITY — Open in the end zone with the game on the line, one thing was running through Tyler Scheib’s mind.
“I had to make the play. The quarterback put the ball right where it needed to be. I had to make the play,’’ Scheib said minutes after he and the Bettendorf football team accomplished their mission Monday.
Scheib caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Cyle Cox on third down in overtime to send the Bulldogs into the quarterfinals of the Iowa Class 4A playoffs with a 27-24 win at Iowa City West.
“Going into overtime, we wanted to run the ball in, but they weren’t going to let us,’’ Bettendorf coach Aaron Wiley said. “They have much improved physicality over the team we played two years ago. They didn’t make anything easy for us on the ground all night.’’
As the Trojans held the Bulldogs to 84 yards rushing, Cox went to the air.
The junior completed 13-of-24 passes for 221 yards and three touchdowns, including a 66-yard pass to Scheib on the first snap of the third quarter and a 36-yard strike to Mark Wells which gave Bettendorf a 21-7 lead with 7 minutes, 11 seconds left in the third quarter.
“The line did a great job of giving me time and the receivers were there working hard to get open,’’ Cox said. “The pass game worked the way it needed to work.’’
But, behind the 16-of-24 passing of quarterback Nate Boland, West didn’t quit.
The Trojans ignored the sixth sack of the game by a Bulldogs’ defense which held a powerful Iowa City West ground attack to 135 yards, well below its season average of 322 yards per game.
Dropped into a 4th-and-22 situation, Boland hit Tyler Eads with a 39-yard touchdown pass on fourth down with 2:05 remaining in regulation to tie the game at 21-21.
“We had them in fourth and forever, but they made a play,’’ Wiley said. “I felt like we did about as good as you could do against that offense. They have some great athletes who will get their yards, but I felt we made them earn what they got, which is all you can ask.’’
Held to 135 rushing yards — well below their its season average of 322 per game — West took its first lead since going up 7-0 on a Micah Kelsay run in the second quarter when Connor Gordon connected on a 26-yard field goal for the Trojans (9-2) in overtime.
On Bettendorf’s possession, John McLaughlin rushed for two yards and Cox was dropped for a 1-yard loss before hitting Scheib with the game-winning touchdown pass.
“I saw their defensive back (Anthony Batie), I saw Scheib come back across and get open and he did a great job to catch the ball,’’ Cox said. “We knew we’d have to face some adversity, have to overcome some things, and we did. That’s what it takes to win one like this.’’
Bettendorf, which will take a 9-2 record into Friday’s 7 p.m. quarterfinal at Pleasant Valley, took advantage of the only turnover of the opening half to forge a 7-7 tie at the break.
The Bulldogs’ Justice O’Conner recovered a fumbled punt by the Trojans’ Devin Raffensperger at the West 15-yard line and Cox rumbled in from 15 yards out on the next play with 1 minute, 2 seconds left in the second quarter.
“That recovery gave us a spark, got everybody going,’’ Scheib said. “It was what we just what we needed.’’
Scheib then gave the Bulldogs their first lead on the first snap of the third quarter, taking a short pass from Cox on the left flat, slipping past a defensive back and racing 66 yards to the end zone.
“We made some big plays, and we needed them,’’ Wiley said. “They gave us a chance to advance.’’
Bettendorf 27, Iowa City West 24 (OT)
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|Iowa City West||0||7||7||7||3||24|
ICW - Micah Kelsay 9 run (Connor Gordon kick), 2:48
Bett - Cyle Cox 15 run (Charlie Cox kick), 1:02
Bett - Tyler Scheib 66 pass from Cyle Cox (Charlie Cox kick), 11:42
Bett - Mark Wells 36 pass from Cyle Cox (Charlie Cox kick), 7:11
ICW - Kelsay 17 run (Gordon kic), 4:06
ICW - Tyler Eads 39 pass from Nate Boland (Gordon kick), 2:05
ICW - Gordon 26 yd FG
Bett - Scheib 9 pass from Cyle Cox
Rushing -- Bettendorf, Cyle Cox 7-49, John McLaughlin 12-35; ICW, Kelsay 15-69, Boland 25-49, Devin Raffensperger 9-13, Eads 1-4.
Passing -- Bettendorf, Cox 13-24-0, 221 yards; ICW, Boland 16-24-0, 246 yards.
Receiving -- Bettendorf, Mark Wells 7-88, Mark Penrose 3-22, Scheib 2-75, McLaughlin 1-16; ICW, Anthony Badie 8-107, Kelsay 3-36, Eads 2-62, Raffensperger 2-29, Oliver Martin 1-12.