BETTENDORF — Kings. What a fitting nickname on a night like this.

The Clinton High School athletic department has initiated a “Restore the Royalty” campaign. Wins like Friday's 28-10 triumph over No. 4 Bettendorf at TouVelle Stadium will help restore it much quicker.

“It's a great night to be a River King,” Clinton athletic director Gary Lueders said.

Clinton, which has started 4-0 for the first time in 24 years, had not defeated Bettendorf since 1991.

The Bulldogs entered Friday's showdown of unbeatens with a 35-13 advantage in the all-time series. They have not had a losing season since 1975. They hadn't lost a Mississippi Athletic Conference game since 2006. They own seven Iowa Class 4A championships — four more than any other 4A school.

None of it mattered.

“We came in and had the mentality of beating Bettendorf,” defensive tackle Austin Krick said. “I think that's why we pulled this off. We wanted it more.”

Clinton scored 28 points. Bettendorf had 10. That's what mattered.

Today, Bettendorf has not defeated Clinton since 2008.

“I heard all these Clinton people chanting 'Overrated,’ ” said former Clinton standout Matt Murphy, who walked the sideline with his ex-teammates. “But they should have been chanting ‘Underrated,’ because these guys proved they were underrated tonight.

“To be the best, you have to beat the top dog. This is an unbelievable win.”

Most classic games spawn a classic moment. An unforgettable run. A huge stop. Something that stands out.

What do you pick as the classic moment from Friday's game?

How about Clinton running back David Johnson's first touchdown, when he battled through four Bulldogs defenders and stretched the ball over the goal line?

How about his second touchdown run? Bettendorf had him bottled along the sideline, but he rocketed out of the pack and zipped 99 yards for a score that silenced the thousands wearing black and gold.

How about the play right before it, when in a 7-0 game the Clinton defense stalled a Bettendorf drive at the Clinton 1-yard line?

How about Mo Walker's 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown?

How about Bettendorf's fans filing out of the stadium with two minutes to go? Or what about the Clinton players slapping five with the entire first row of the visitors stands before heading to the locker room?

The River Kings rolled a highlight reel that showed they're ready to contend. Their 3-0 start was neither a fluke nor the product of a weak schedule.

They're for real.

“This is a huge stepping stone for the Clinton High program,” Krick said. “This proves to people that, hey, don't overlook us. We're not the underdog every week.”

What a night. What a game. What a performance.

If restoring royalty is the goal, Clinton just took a big step toward achieving it.

“The kids worked hard, and they deserve it,” Lueders said. “The coaches did a great job getting them ready, and the community did a great job supporting them.

“We have a lot to celebrate tonight.”

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