For most of the first half, Bettendorf's offense was stymied.
A couple of fortunate bounces had the Bulldogs up by two goals, but they knew they weren't giving the game their total effort.
"Coach talked about how, in warmups we came out lackadaisical," senior Tyler Wellman said. "You could tell in the first half, we just weren't us, and he got on us at halftime and flipped a switch."
The flip of the switch led to four more goals and a 6-0 win for the Class 3A No. 5 Bulldogs over Class 1A No. 2 Assumption Thursday at TouVelle Stadium.
Wellman had two goals and an assist in a three-minute span in the final 10 minutes, helping Bettendorf (2-0, 2-0 MAC) break open the game. Keegan Schmidt also scored two goals in the second half, a beneficiary of Bettendorf switching from a 4-1-4-1 to a 4-4-2 formation at halftime.
"Having two center midfielders, we got to dictate the game more, and that's how we got to put more goals in the back of the net," Schmidt said. "We have quite a bit of depth on the team, especially with our center mids and our forwards, which, they make a huge impact coming on."
Bettendorf controlled possession in the first half but struggled to get the ball past Assumption keeper Gaige Ash, who made 11 saves in the game. Schmidt had a strike from 35 yards out ring off the crossbar, something that plagued the Bulldogs in their season-opening win over Central — close, but no cigar.
"At first, it's like you think it's a curse, but coming out in the second half, I was just goal hungry and everyone else was, too," Schmidt said. "Obviously with the result, we did what we needed to do."
George Elias put the Bulldogs up 1-0 in the 37th minute, taking advantage of a ball that came off Ash's hands. Alec Lank put Bettendorf up 2-0, getting behind the Assumption defense and Ash for a goal in the 40th minute.
Assumption is trying to find its offense after getting shut out in its first three games. The Knights graduated a pair of four-year starters in Sam Moore and Trent Fitzpatrick, who were big offensive keys to getting the Knights to the last two state tournaments.
"We're building through the back and tonight, we finally got into the midfield. Our back line is pretty solid, our midfield's coming together and we'll get scoring by the end of the year," Assumption head coach Greg Zeller said. "Sam was a big presence in the middle of the field, and we don't have anybody that's filled his shoes yet but we're holding our own.
"What's hurting us is Trent was such a go-to-guy last year that we haven't decided who's going to shoot this year. Nobody has that fire in their belly that Trent did. ... Somebody will step up eventually, but it's a feeling out phase right now."