The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

High School Sports

September 21, 2013

Kings let opportunity slip against Muscatine

MUSCATINE — As the first half wound down in Clinton's 21-7 loss to Muscatine, it appeared that the River Kings had an excellent shot at taking control of the contest.

Clinton only led by one touchdown, but its defense had been rock-solid in the trenches from the beginning. Even better, the River Kings' offensive line was starting to gain the upper hand on the Muskies' defense, seemingly setting Clinton up to pull away from its host.

Then, disaster struck.

With the River Kings driving toward a second score, Clinton's Delante Chamberlain lost the handle on the football and Muscatine fell on it on its own 28-yard line. Three plays later, Muscatine quarterback Clayton Sloan hit Spencer Beatty down the sidelines for a 57-yard touchdown, a play that proved fatal to Clinton. The River Kings never recovered, as Muscatine took the momentum in the second half and pulled away on the strength of two Austin Moss touchdowns for a win Friday night at Muscatine High School.

“It's never one play, but that was where we started to fall apart,” Clinton coach Lee Camp said. “We dropped our heads, and you can't do that. Meanwhile, they get a touchdown to tie right before the half and they were able to regroup.”

While the Muskies (3-1 MAC) used that play as their spark and successfully regrouped, the River Kings (2-2) were never the same. Clinton spent most of the first half harassing Sloan in the Muscatine backfield, but when the teams came out for the second half, the aggressive, hungry River Kings defense that had forced two turnovers was gone.

Instead, Clinton played the second half without fire, which opened the door for Moss to take over. After holding him in check for a half, the River Kings forgot how to stop Moss, and the Muskies kept giving him the ball at every opportunity. Outside of punts and kneeldowns, Moss touched the ball on 30 of the Muskies' 32 second-half snaps.

The senior picked up 168 of his 209 all-purpose yards in the second half, including a 12-yard and 1-yard rushing scores in the third quarter that ended the River Kings' chances.

“In the second half, we just lost our momentum and weren't pushing hard enough,” Clinton junior Kristian Bahnsen said. “Our hearts just weren't in it in this game.

“I don't know what happened. In the locker room, we got a pretty good speech from Alex Caldwell, but when we came out there, I wasn't feeling the same. I don't know what it was, but I just felt it wasn't the same. The first half was pretty solid, but then we came out and we were a different team. We couldn't stop them. They had good blocking, but our guys should have just driven them back.”

That was exactly what Clinton did during the first half, almost to the point of forcing Sloan to give away the game. Throughout the first half, the River Kings easily won the battle in the trenches, leading to one interception from Caldwell and a Sloan fumble that Nate Harden fell on inside the Muscatine 5, leading to Dustin Caldwell's 4-yard score.

But that would be the high mark of the night for the River Kings, as from then on, in Camp's words, Clinton imploded and buried itself in a wave of mental mistakes.

“I think they just beat us mentally,” Harden said. “We didn't play right; we didn't make tackles. I think they just had the momentum coming out of halftime. We got down and weren't really excited that it was tied.”

The result was that instead of taking a 3-1 mark into their homecoming game against Davenport Assumption, the River Kings headed home with a .500 record and the feeling of a lost opportunity for a road victory.

“We definitely could have won,” Bahnsen said. “We had a real good chance of winning, and we just let that slip.”

Text Only
High School Sports
  • River Hawks win triangular CLINTON -- Cration Andresen claimed medalist honors and teammate Logan Wilhelm took second Thursday as they led Easton Valley to first place at a boys golf triangular hosted by Camanche at The Oaks Golf Course. Easton Valley finished with a 190-strok

    April 19, 2014

  • 4-19-14 1B-Photo, Fulton catch HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL Hall halts Steamers FULTON, Ill. -- Fulton knew it had its hands full heading into Friday's baseball game against Hall. After all, the Red Devils entered the game with an 8-1 record, and they had momentum after blanking Rockridge the day before. Fulton fell to Hall 5-2

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • River Kings light up the Day DAVENPORT -- Clinton continued its strong season in boys track and field, taking first place Thursday at the Jesse Day Relays on the final day of qualifying for the Drake Relays. The River Kings scored 138 points. Solon edged Davenport Central 120-11

    April 18, 2014

  • 4-18-14 3C-Photo, Rasche Clinton tennis splits with Muscatine CLINTON -- The Clinton tennis team faced Muscatine at Max Lynn Tennis Complex on Thursday where it was a tale of two duals. The girls' team won 9-0 over the Muskies while the River Kings fell 8-1. Queens sail in sweep In the six singles matches, not

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Panthers put the hurt on BV PROPHETSTOWN, Ill. -- The Erie/Prophetstown Panthers had an offensive explosion on Thursday to say the least. E/P defeated Bureau Valley 19-1 in five innings on 15 hits, 14 RBIs and seven walks. Three different Panthers -- Kylie Ackerman, Stephanie T

    April 18, 2014

  • Coppess finishes third at North Scott ELDRIDGE -- Clinton senior golfer Brittany Coppess finished third with a score of an 18-hole85 at the Lancer Girls Invitational Thursday while the River Queens finished 10th as a team. The meet medalist was Dubuque Senior's Maddie Hawkins with a sco

    April 18, 2014

  • Camanche slides past BETTENDORF -- All Kylie Vogel had to do was shake off the cobwebs. Vogel won her match, 11-9, after falling behind 6-0 to Bettendorf's Katie Melbourne in a dual that Camanche won, 6-3. It was Vogel's very first singles match of the season as she's ha

    April 18, 2014

  • Kewanee rallies MORRISON, Ill. -- Kewanee scored six runs in the top of the seventh inning Wednesday to defeat Morrison 10-8 in Three Rivers Conference baseball. Back-to-back three-run innings had given the Mustangs the lead. Justin Jensen had two hits, one a double

    April 17, 2014

  • 4-17-14 1B-Photo marcucci-1 Marcucci not fazed by expectations GOOSE LAKE -- Despite her age, Northeast sophomore Aleenah Marcucci still has the moxie to get back to the state track meet. Marcucci placed in both hurdle events -- sixth in the 100 and fifth in the 400 -- in Des Moines as a freshman last season. N

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Fillies one-hit Fulton Herald Staff Report Ackerman throws no-hitter for Erie/Prophetstown Fillies one-hit Fulton

    April 17, 2014

Sports Updates
Facebook