The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

October 24, 2013

Football preview: 'Must win' for River Kings

CLINTON – Every fall when talk of the Class 4A football playoffs comes along, Clinton coach Lee Camp professes ignorance. He says he doesn’t join the thousands of fans, players and coaches who check out the state web site and try to figure out playoff scenarios.

This year is different, but he still isn’t sure about his team’s chances on the eve of the regular-season finale at Bettendorf.

“Believe it or not, for the first time I looked at it,” Camp said Wednesday. “It is so confusing.”

Camp said he checked the web site because of talk that four wins might not be enough for the River Kings to advance to the postseason this fall. In most years, four wins are a lock to get in, but heading into this week’s games, 16 teams have four or more wins and another, Dubuque Senior, is 3-5 with a game against a 1-7 team remaining on its schedule.

“A 4-5 team might not make it,” Camp said. “If it comes to a tie, there’s a possibility we could be out.”

For that reason, the River Kings (4-4) aren’t treating Friday night’s game at Bettendorf as a formality, a precursor of a trip to the postseason.

“We’re approaching it as, ‘We need to win and assure we’re in,” Camp said.

Clinton likely will face a Bettendorf team that, despite having a safe 6-2 record, won’t come into the game in a good mood.

The Bulldogs are coming in off a 9-3 loss to Davenport Assumption that knocked them out of the top 10 in the 4A rankings. The Knights limited Bettendorf to 154 total yards.

That was atypical for the Bulldogs. They had scored at least 14 points in their previous seven games and had 49 or more in four of them.

“Offensively, they want to use multiple sets, but they like to run the ball,” Camp said. “They like to pull the guard and hammer at you.”

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