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Nigel McIntosh is from the south. His body is not accustomed to playing football games in 30-degree temperatures.

"This is a big change from the weather in Atlanta," McIntosh said.

It didn't faze McIntosh or the Bettendorf football team's offensive line Friday night.

After missing the first meeting against Pleasant Valley with injury, McIntosh rushed for a career-high 194 yards and two touchdowns as fourth-ranked Bettendorf upended its crosstown rival 28-14 in a Class 4A playoff opener at TouVelle Stadium.

"It was terrible sitting on the sideline watching my team play (PV) last time," McIntosh said. "I was really anxious to get out there, and I was happy to contribute."

The coldest night of the football season, coupled with a stiff wind of 15 to 20 miles per hour, made it a busy night for the tailbacks.

McIntosh, in his second year with the program, carried the ball 26 times, and quarterback Carter Bell compiled 15 rushes as Bettendorf (9-1) accumulated 265 yards on the ground.

"That's playoff football," said Bettendorf coach Aaron Wiley, who earned his 99th career win as head coach. "It was a physical game on both sides. Hats off to PV because that's a good team.

"We found a way to grind it out."

Bettendorf plays host to North Scott, a 50-0 winner over Davenport Central, next Friday for a trip to the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls.

Since a season-opening loss to West Des Moines Valley, the Bulldogs have reeled off nine straight wins — all by double figures.

"We've got some momentum going," Bell said. "We're on a roll right now."

Just like the regular-season meeting, Bettendorf jumped on PV early.

McIntosh capped a 10-play, 78-yard drive on the opening series with a 2-yard touchdown plunge.

On the next possession, Bell hooked up with Ben Wilson on a 73-yard crossing route for a score.

Bettendorf had a 14-point advantage after the first quarter.

"When you get behind the eight-ball against a team like Bettendorf or any good team, it is hard to come back," PV coach Rusty VanWetzinga said. "You add in the wind dimension, it makes it really tough."

The Spartans (7-3) pulled within a score on two occasions.

Max Slavens had a 1-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit in half at intermission.

The Bulldogs answered on the first series of the third quarter. Highlighted by a 36-yard run from McIntosh, Bell finished the drive with a 7-yard score.

"To come back every time after they scored, they don't get as much momentum going," Bell said. "It was great."

Arthur Braden, who finished with 111 yards on the ground in his final high school game, brought PV within seven points on a 10-yard run with 3:47 left in the third quarter.

Once again, Bettendorf retaliated with a 14-play drive — 13 of them on the ground — to make it a two-score advantage. McIntosh capped it with a 16-yard scamper.

The Bulldogs leaned on their offensive line of Jax Dormire, Griffen Deere, John Cavins, Joe Moffitt, Cole Buhman and tight end Jaron Shook.

"With a lot of patience, I was able to follow the holes my line opened up for me," McIntosh said. "They made big plays for us."

That Bettendorf offensive line features three juniors, a group that has progressively improved since the start of the year.

"They really took steps forward tonight," Wiley said.

"We couldn't get off the field, and that's a credit to them," VanWetzinga noted. "Those guys up front played well, and they don't have to hold on to blocks too long when they've got Bell and McIntosh. They're a good combination."

After missing the playoffs a year ago, PV returned with a second-place finish in its district. Its three losses were to Bettendorf (twice) and North Scott.

"I couldn't be more proud of our guys, a good group," VanWetzinga said. "We got the ship back going in the right direction after a tough year last season. It says a lot about our seniors and their leadership."

Cold weather aside, McIntosh had a big smile on his face afterward.

"This is a night," he said, "I'll probably (remember) for the rest of my life."


Sports Editor

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.