John McLaughlin is the workhorse on offense. He has run the ball 146 times for 1,049 yards this season and scored 10 touchdowns. Four other ball carriers have run for 200 or more yards on the season. Quarterback Cyle Cox also returned to the lineup. He was just 1-of-8 passing, but on the season he has completed 44 of 81 passes for 577 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Another area of concern for Camp is the size Bettendorf has on its lines, an advantage magnified with Clinton’s loss of injured offensive tackles DJ Bessellieu and Trent Hessing..
“Their defensive line gives their linebackers the ability to fly to the ball,” Camp said. “Their linebackers are not quite in (Pleasant Valley’s) class, but their defensive line is better. They occupy you up front and free up their backers.”
Clinton is coming off a 49-0 loss to second-ranked Pleasant Valley. About the only good thing to come from that, Camp said, was that “we came out of it with everybody we went into it with.”
“Not taking anything away from them (Pleasant Valley), we played an ugly game and gave them things that made it a long night,” Camp said.
So the Kings have turned the page from that one and know the importance of this Friday’s game if they want to make sure their season continues next week in the playoffs.
“We’ll play Friday night like it’s our most important game, then after it we’ll let the chips fall,” Camp said. “We need to take care of business here.”
The River Kings enter the final game ranked 16th in playoff points in the eastern part of the state. They have 290, 15 ahead of Dubuque Senior. But Senior finishes with 1-7 Cedar Rapids Jefferson, so its chances of becoming the 17th team with four or more wins looks promising. A win would give Senior 320 points, equal to Clinton’s total should it lose. But, point totals also can change based on the records of a team’s opponent. And, tiebreakers also could enter the picture.