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Throw out the dual records and state rankings. Toss aside how many state-ranked wrestlers are on the mat for each school.

Bettendorf and Davenport Assumption are not among the top dual teams in the state like some recent seasons, but the wrestling matchup between Quad-City rivals still provides plenty of competitiveness, drama and intensity.

Wednesday night was another example.

The Bulldogs capitalized on three early falls, and then received a pin from freshman heavyweight Griffin Liddle to pull out a 36-31 victory over the Knights at Assumption High School.

"It is still exciting whether you got all-staters or freshmen going at it out there," Bettendorf coach Dan Knight said. "There is a ton of pride in each program, and that comes out in this dual."

In a meet rescheduled from Jan. 11 because of inclement weather, Bettendorf soared to a 27-6 advantage. Logan Adamson (120), T.J. Cole (126) and Mason Morris (152) had falls while Will Jefferson (138) collected a forfeit victory.

"We knew it was going to be a tight dual," Knight said. "Us getting some pins early really helped our cause."

Bryce Schutters (170) recorded a 3-0 win at 170 over Ethan Sandoval. Schutters tallied a takedown in the final 20 seconds of the second period and made it hold up.

"First of all, I just knew I couldn't get pinned," said Schutters, who had beaten Sandoval 4-0 at the Midwest Shootout earlier this month. "I got that one takedown, and he didn't do much after that."

By the time the Knights could make up ground, they were staring at a 30-9 deficit.

Julien Broderson (182) and Seth Adrian (195) had first-period falls to shrink the margin to 30-21. Nate Hempel followed with a decision win at 220, but Liddle extinguished the rally with a fall in 1 minute, 10 seconds against Henry Martens.

Liddle had a takedown in the first eight seconds of the bout and eventually set up a cradle for the fall. It was his 28th victory of the season.

"It feels good to take the stress off the rest of the team," Liddle said. "We wanted to be the aggressor as much as possible and put as many points as possible on the board."

Assumption needed falls from Trenton McDonough (106) and T.J. Fitzpatrick (113) in the final two weights to draw even. Both won, but accumulated just one bonus point between them.

It was Bettendorf's ninth dual win in the last 12 meetings against Assumption.

"We're right there," Liddle said. "We're not one of the top teams in the state yet, but we're in that top 25. We just need to keep getting better."

With sweat dripping from his brow, Assumption coach Pete Bush was visibly frustrated afterward.

"It is painful," Bush admitted. "We're far from where I thought we'd be at this point in the season."

The Knights were without two starters.

Bush was not discouraged with his team's fight.

"For the most part, most of our guys fought," he said. "We're not doing smart things at certain times of the matches.

"It is knowing how to battle, which is a special quality. We've got some guys that are still trying to figure that out."

Bettendorf wrestles Clinton tonight in a conference dual before both teams gear up for Saturday's Mississippi Athletic Conference tournament at Davenport West.

"This weekend, we can let it fly," Knight said. "We can throw the whole kitchen sink because we're wrestling as individuals.

"This, though, was a good dual win for us with a bunch of young kids."


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.