As the high school football postseason continues in the state of Iowa, the Bulldogs will not be a participant in it due to a 17-24 loss to Iowa City West last Friday, Oct. 28, at TouVelle Stadium. This marks the end of the road for Bettendorf football in this crazy 2016 season.
The Bulldogs were the first seed out of district 7, considered to be the most challenging district in the state this season. Bettendorf drew the two seed from district 8, Iowa City West. Before last Friday’s game, West was 7-2 and the team was well known for their diverse offense with a plethora of names on their scoring sheets for both receiving and rushing points.
Ranked fifth in the state, Bettendorf was a favorite to win against a non top-10 team, even though Iowa City West received votes to be on that list. While both of the teams’ records were the same, the Bulldogs defeated teams above them consistently through the mid season.
The loss on Friday was that of heart, with the Bulldogs playing an impressive game even though their season was cut short. Scoring for the Bulldogs came from senior receiver Suni Lane on a 23-yard play from senior quarterback JMichael Young. With Lane, senior Keegan Glaus picked up a rushing touchdown on the night. Kicker Seth Ward scored both PAT’s as well as a 33 yard field goal.
The Bulldog defense once again had a great game, with multiple players racking up over five tackles in the game. However, the stat that stands out the most is Glaus, with an impressive 11.5 tackles.
While the Bulldogs played well, the Trojans of Iowa City West were the better team last Friday. West had a dynamic offense with multiple players capping over 50 yards in scrimmage. The star of yards for the Trojans was junior Traevis Buchanan with 130 receiving yards.
The game ended in heartbreak, as the Bulldogs, down 24-17, fumbled the ball on their march down to the endzone to end their season. That error and other ones throughout the game cost Bettendorf its hopes for the dome for the 2016 year. Iowa City West moves onto the next stage in Iowa’s postseason as it takes on Cedar Rapids Prairie (9-1).
The Dogs went 7-3 throughout the season, with losses from top-ten ranked West Des Moines Valley and Cedar Rapids Washington early on in the season, and then Iowa City West last Friday. With the losses also came victories, with Bettendorf defeating teams ranked above them like Muscatine and Iowa City High.
Seniors drove the team to success this season leading the stats across the board. Senior quarterback Young totaled the season with 1073 passing yards, 10 passing touchdowns, and 8 rushing touchdowns as well. Senior receiver Lane led the Bulldogs in receiving across the board with 686 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns.
Glaus was a power horse for Bettendorf this 2016 season with 15 touchdowns, 1,138 rushing yards, and 50 solo tackles on defense, tying fellow senior Jacob Durkin for most tackles. Overall, Glaus lead the team in scoring this year with 104 total points, in front of Lane (54) and Young (48).
While the Bulldogs had a strong offense this season, its defense was reliable and efficient as always. The defense was led by senior Cameron Maxfield, who led the team in tackles for loss with 11 and sacks with 5. Durkin lead the team in total tackles with 64.5 and was near the top of every statistic.
While all of these players finished their final season as Bulldogs, next year’s roster will be filled with promising individuals. Junior Ben Wilson was behind Lane in receiving this year and looks to be a key player next season, along with junior Nijel McIntosh who ran in four touchdowns this season.
On the defensive side, juniors Jatten Kuhrt and Mason Morris will be aggressive tacklers in the 2017 season, with both of them racking upwards of 24 tackles on this season. Lastly, juniors Josh Licata and Blake Rollinger are promising defensive backs who will rule the air next season, both having interceptions in the 2016 year.
While the Bulldogs were downed by the Iowa City West Trojans, a team that will move onto the round of playoffs against Cedar Rapids Prairie, the team had an excellent season with multiple top-ten showdown victories and a district championship under its belt. Bettendorf looks towards next season with the skilled group of young athletes returning to its program and eyes set on returning to the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls.