Bulldogs look to take down cross-city rival
Travelling to Kingston Stadium in Cedar Rapids last Friday, Sept. 8, the Bulldogs were gearing up for a top of the state showdown against Cedar Rapids Washington that sat just outside the top ten in AP polling. However, the game was not as competitive as expected. The Bulldogs scored mere plays into their opening drive and the complete domination of the game followed. By the end of the game, Bettendorf shutout Cedar Rapids Washington 56-0.
Standout players for the Bulldogs include quarterback Carter Bell who once again had an outstanding Friday night. Bell combined for three rushing touchdowns (including a 71 yarder in the opening drive) and two passing touchdowns. Bell went just about even on rushing and passing yards, with 114 and 115 respectively.
Behind Bell, a multitude of seniors led the rushing offense against the Warriors. Seniors Nijel McIntosh, Mason Morris, and Joe Tyson combined for 201 total rushing yards and each scored a touchdown. The receiving core was strong once again, with senior Ben Wilson racking up 73 yards and junior Darien Porter behind him with 38.
The 56 points scored is quite a feat, but the zero on the other side of the scoresheet is just as impressive. Dominating the Warrior offense the whole night, the Bulldogs did not allow a single point to be scored against them. Five different players picked up three or more total tackles, and seniors Dustin Harris and Mason Morris each had an interception.
The Dogs breezed through the so-called top team Cedar Rapids Washington, but Bettendorf turns around and plays its hometown rival Pleasant Valley this Friday, Sept. 15, at TouVelle Stadium. Pleasant Valley is currently undefeated, yet sits behind Bettendorf in the AP polls at no. 11. as the Bulldogs moved up to the no. 6 spot this week after their win against CRW.
PV has dominated every game they have played so far this season, winning by a margin of at least 21 points in each game. PV is coming off a huge Homecoming victory against Muscatine 63-6. In that game, over half of Pleasant Valley’s points came from rushing; the team combined for 349 total rushing yards.
When comparing the two teams statistically, the QC Metro powerhouses are generally even in rushing, receiving, and defense. Senior PV running back Arthur Braden leads his team with six rushing touchdowns and has 352 yards on the season. On the other hand, Bettendorf’s McIntosh has five rushing scores and has only 305 yards, but averages more yards per carry with 10.5 compared to Braden’s 9.5. On the receiving side, Bettendorf has more reception yards with 387 compared to PV’s 328; however Pleasant Valley has brought in five receiving touchdowns to Bettendorf’s four.
The defenses for the two teams are contrasted greatly. Pleasant Valley has totalled nine interceptions in just three games this year, while Bettendorf had its first interception last week. Bettendorf has PV beat on tackling, however. The Bulldogs have over 143 tackles while Pleasant Valley has only 103.
One crucial area of the game, however, stands out as Bettendorf’s upper hand to Pleasant Valley: passing. Bettendorf’s Bell sits at a 187.2 QBR and has a 70.6 percent completion rate. PV starting quarterback Max Slavens currently sits with a 150.4 QBR and has a completion rate of only 43.8 percent. Slavens, despite the blowouts of games that PV has amassed, only has 249 passing yards on the season while Bell sits at 354.
This game is an anticipated matchup by thousands of fans in the Quad Cities and has strong implications of the AP standings for the rest of the season. The Bulldogs will look to stop a rush-dominated offense in Arthur Braden and face off against a skilled secondary defense in Pleasant Valley. The clash of two of the best football programs in eastern Iowa is set for TouVelle Stadium this Friday at 7 p.m..
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Arthur Braden (RB), PV
Braden not only leads PV in rushing statistics but leads the team in overall scoring from his rushing dominance. PV’s offense will heavily rely on Braden to outperform the Bulldogs and get points on the board. He barely missed a 1,000 rushing yard season last year and is pacing himself to eclipse his previous season’s yardage. Braden will be a pivotal role for PV this Friday in its attempt to take down Bettendorf
Nick Jordahl (FS/WR), PV
Senior Jordahl is a dominant player on the defensive side of the ball and is a middle-of-the-pack receiver among the PV receiving core. Jordahl has three interceptions this season and 8.5 total tackles. In the 2016 season, he was a close second in total receiving yards with 111 but did not see the end zone for any of the yards and has not made a huge impact for PV’s receiving quite yet this season. Jordahl can make a play on both sides of the ball and can greatly affect the game this Friday with his ability.
Carter Bell (QB), Bettendorf
Bell has been on a roll this season, controlling the Bulldogs offense across the board. His passing is consistent and has an amazing completion rate. He is mobile in the pocket and escapes danger quickly, as well as takes his chances in rushing. Bell is second on the team behind running back McIntosh for rushing yards with 180. Bell will need to be efficient with his rushing and passing this Friday to defeat a PV defense with a top secondary.
Ben Wilson (WR), Bettendorf
Wilson has become Bettendorf’s most consistent receiving threat. While Wilson has yet to reach the end zone this season, he has amassed the most receiving yards with 125. Bell targets Wilson more than most of the other receivers and Wilson has the most experience on the team. He is already nearing his receiving yardage from last year and will surely pass it within the next few games. Wilson sat behind the now UNI football player Suni Lane for receiver last season and looks to take over this year. Wilson will need to make catches in some skilled traffic against PV to pick up yardage this Friday, and it is key to the Bulldogs’ success that he does so.