RIVERDALE — Clinton coach Lee Camp told his team its only true chance to upset the Pleasant Valley football team was to stake an early lead.
Instead, the River Kings coughed up a pair of first-quarter turnovers Friday and fell behind quickly as PV ultimately won 49-0 to remain unbeaten.
“It’s hard to bounce back,” Camp said of yielding 22 unanswered points in the opening quarter. “You’re not going to come from behind on a team like that.”
Indeed, the No. 2 Spartans (8-0) were rolling offensively, piling up 234 yards and 35 points by halftime. But their defense made things equally difficult on the Kings (4-4), who mustered only 49 first-half offensive yards and 109 for the game.
Clinton quarterback Eric Maddasion found himself sacked multiple times and found only little room to move the ball via ground or air. Running backs Alex and Dustin Caldwell had little more success, and the Kings tallied just six first downs.
“I thought we tackled really well, not many missed tackles,” PV coach Rusty VanWetzinga said. “It’s nice to get those three-and-outs, get that offense back out there and really accelerate that scoreboard as quick as we can.”
In total, the Caldwells each ran for 31 yards, while Maddasion completed 9 of 17 passes for 38 yards.
Coming off of consecutive victories in which they totaled 71 points, the Kings knew full well the tall task that stood ahead of them to close the regular season. Pleasant Valley has now notched three shutouts this season, and Week 9 brings another road contest, at 6-2 Bettendorf.
Still, in spite of not getting into the PV end zone, Clinton takes something positive from Friday’s setback.
“It’s always good to play a team of that caliber,” Camp said. “We did make some good plays defensively and were able to slip in and stop the quarterback.