BELLEVUE — Three close games. Three wins.
The Bellevue football team has faced down-to-the-wire contests in each game this season. But the Comets have persevered.
They sit at 3-0 and have the look of a playoff team.
"The kids have had a good sense of the situation," Bellevue coach Rick Pogemiller said. "They know what they're supposed to do. They've made the plays they've needed to make and haven't made costly mistakes."
Bellevue has defeated three opponents by an average of four points.
The Comets held on for a one-point win over North Cedar in Week 1, defeated Camanche on a deep pass in overtime the following week and topped Troy Mills North Linn 14-6 on Friday night.
Pogemiller insisted the Comets defense deserves most of the credit.
"They've kept us right in it," he said. "They've kept them from getting key first downs in key situations."
The Bellevue defense has not allowed an opponent to gain 10 first downs in a game this season. Nor has it surrendered 200 total yards to an opposing offense.
Rebels O-line coming together
GOOSE LAKE — A Northeast offensive line with several new pieces has started to fuse.
The Rebels rushed for a season-high 310 yards and six touchdowns in Friday's 50-0 win over Alburnett. The ground dominance came on 53 carries, giving Northeast a 5.8-yard average.
Mitchell Bielenberg and Tanner Loots each rushed for 100 yards. Michael Packham ran for 52 yards, and Michael Alexander added 42.
"The offensive line did a superb job," Northeast coach Jeremy Mosier said. "They're coming together like we hoped.
"We needed (Friday's game) to go the way it did, after losing last week. It was a great team effort. The kids really came out and played with a purpose."
Old faces in new places for Indians
CAMANCHE — Camanche has rearranged its offensive skill players in hopes of jump-starting a unit that scored just nine points through three games.
The Indians moved running back Mortiz Mueller to quarterback to utilize his strong arm. Former starting quarterback Taylor Grim shifted to tight end. Former tight end Brett Johnson moved to halfback, and running back Brad Maxwell will split time at fullback and tight end.
"We're not taking off athletes off the field; we're just putting them in different spots," Camanche coach Steve Dougherty said. "We're rearranging. We're just rearranging the furniture."
Camanche unveiled its new offense in Friday's loss to Iowa City Regina.
Mueller completed 3 of 8 passes for 34 yards, Grim caught one pass for 12 yards and Johnson had seven carries for 16 yards.
Thunder gain experience
Racking up a 40-point lead at halftime means a continuous clock for the second half. For Thunder coach Dave Baisden, it was a chance to get his reserves some playing time in Friday night's 40-14 victory over Warren/River Ridge.
That time came with a twist as well for West Carroll (2-1 in both Northwest Upstate Illini, Northwest Division play and overall).
"What we want to do is filter in our second-level, our third-level players, in with our starting players. We want to get them up to game speed, but with the starters. If we have an injury, we don't want to bring somebody in and have that be their first time with the first team at game speed," Baisden said. "As the game starts to wear on a bit, eventually we'll get a full second unit in there. The other team can score, I'm OK with that, but it's really important to get them on the field."
Panthers play a shootout
High school football players don't play the indoor arena style of the game, but one would not have guessed it from Erie/Prophetstown's 71-48 victory over winless River Valley. The Panthers jumped to a 50-point first half but led by only three scores at halftime.
The number of points River Valley scored, however, concerned Panthers coach Chuck Milem much more than his offense's 71-point explosion satisfied him. No River Valley team had ever scored that many in a single game before.
"A lot of our things we do defensively are geared to shutting down the run. We play in a run-dominated conference ... double tight (end) wishbone, double tight, double wing," Milem said. "So we're really focused on stopping the run, and River Valley came out and threw."
That was expected, but the fact that River Valley rolled up nearly 600 yards wasn't. "That's what we prepared for. I told our kids their quarterback was a good player and he's only a sophomore, and his receivers are all juniors. Offensively, they've made some real good strides," Milem said. "We came in a little more relaxed than we should have. And pass defense is definitely a weakness for us. We weren't banking on their routes like we should have."
But the Panthers were never in serious danger of losing the game, thanks to their amazing offensive effort.
"It was a track meet out there," River Valley coach Aaron Davis told a local newspaper Friday night. "Nobody could stop anybody."
Around the area
MAQUOKETA: Coach Kevin Bowman continues to be pleased by the play of his defense. The Cardinals (3-0) have given up 34 points, but he said that was deceiving because not all were against the first team.
“In the past we haven’t played very well against smash-mouth teams,” he said. “But the past to weeks we went from a Power-I team (Waukon) to a wishbone (Vinton-Shellsburg) and played well against them.”
CENTRAL DEWITT: Despite seeing a 17-game regular-season winning streak end Friday in a 49-21 loss to Marion, Sabers coach Kurt Kreiter isn’t concerned with the harm done. “We can’t win an undefeated district title; that’s the only thing it takes away from us,” he said. “I don’t think this has to hurt us in the long run if we improve. (The game) gave us the chance to evaluate kids in a pressure game, and we didn’t perform well. There are some glaring issues we saw when we watched film.”
BELLEVUE — Three close games. Three wins.