The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

October 11, 2012

Tough test awaits upbeat Kings

CLINTON — There was a little added pep in their step this week when the Clinton High football players stepped on the practice field. That's just what you want when you have the best team in the conference coming to your house.

Re-energized by a 34-7 win last Friday at Davenport West, the River Kings (2-5) entertain unbeaten Pleasant Valley at 7 p.m. Friday at Coan Field.

"We had a long dry spell," Clinton coach Lee Camp said. "It's always a little better going to practice on a Monday after a win."

The victory against West — led by junior quarterback Eric Maddasion and the play in the Wildcat formation by juniors Alex and Dustin Caldwell — was Clinton's first since opening night against Davenport North. There had been some close calls and frustrating setbacks between the wins. Burlington beat Clinton on a last-second field goal, and the River Kings had leads against Muscatine and North Scott in the second half.

"I think we've been improving tremendously in some areas, considering the way the season has gone with the kids' injuries and situations we've been dealt," Camp said. "Our defense has really been playing better the last few weeks, and our offense is moving along."

Moving at all is getting tougher and tougher for some River Kings, however.

Senior quarterback Will Carr and senior defensive end Alex Smith remain sidelined, and last week linebacker Josiah Molina and wideout Tyler Thacker suffered shoulder injuries that will keep them out. Ryan Milroy will replace Molina, while Lucas Laufenberg and Jacob Espey will alternate in Thacker's spot.

The River Kings will need to keep those positive things going this week. The Spartans come to Clinton ranked third in the Iowa Class 4A state poll and have passed every challenge so far. They seemingly have no weaknesses.

"They do a nice job," Camp said. "Their offensive and defensive lines are both solid. Their quarterback does a nice job running the ball with the option, and he can run. They have good receivers. Their run definitely sets up the pass."

Led by junior quarterback Brady Letney, the Spartans have the top-ranked rushing offense in the Mississippi Athletic Conference and are tied for second overall. They lead the league with 296 points.

Letney has run for 712 yards and seven touchdowns on 84 carries and has completed 36 of 69 passes for 695 yards and eight touchdowns. Conor Bryant (13 catches, 240 yards) and A.J. Smith (12 catches, 202 yards) are his top targets.

Pleasant Valley's kicking game is solid. Sam Martin is 5-for-8 on field goal attempts with a 42-yarder his longest of the five. He also has missed just one of 40 extra-point tries.

Cole Picchiotti leads the defense with 58 tackles, and Devin Daly has 13 tackles for lost yardage and four sacks among his 40 tackles.

"Their defensive line is aggressive, and their linebackers can fly to the ball," Camp said. "They're really tough to run against."

The Spartans have punted just nine times all season, and Letney hasn't thrown an interception.

"They don't make a lot of mistakes, and they do a great job of taking advantage when somebody else makes theirs," Camp said.

Both teams have a lot to play for. The Spartans can clinch at least a share of the MAC title with a win, and they lead the eastern half of the state in playoff points. The River Kings, on the other hand, are trying to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. But they need a win against Pleasant Valley or next week against Bettendorf to have a chance.

1
Text Only
Top News
  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

    April 18, 2014

  • Taylorville couple wins $20M lotto jackpot

    A Taylorville couple has celebrated winning a more than $20 million Illinois Lottery drawing.

    Steve and Wilma Durbin were presented with their winning check Thursday afternoon at a grocery store in the central Illinois city where they purchased the ticket. The couple took a lump sum payment of $8.1 million after taxes.

    The Taylorville Breeze-Courier reports the Durbins hit the jackpot in the April 10 Illinois Lotto drawing. That was just two weeks after they were married.

    April 17, 2014

  • Branstad signs school radon bill into law

    The Iowa Department of Education must gather information from schools about whether they are testing for radon gas under a bill Gov. Terry Branstad has signed into law.

    Branstad signed the bill Thursday to require school districts to tell the department about radon testing by the end of this year. The department must then report to the Legislature by January.

    April 17, 2014

  • VIDEO: Boston bomb scare defendant appears in court

    The man accused of carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker near the Boston Marathon finish line on the anniversary of the bombings was arraigned Wednesday. He's being held on $100,000 bail.

    April 17, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Golf turns into snooze-fest without celebrities like Tiger and Phil

    The Masters lumbered on last week without two of pro golf's biggest names, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, and fans changed the channel. The PGA needs someone with star power if it's going to lure people back to the game.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • The case for separate beds

    The other night I slept on a twin bed in the guest room of the house I share with my husband and our two kids.
    It was the best night's sleep I've had in years.

    April 17, 2014

  • Raw oysters spike U.S. rise in bacterial infections, CDC reports

    Raw oysters, so good with hot sauce, increasingly can carry something even more unsettling to the stomach: A bacteria linked to vomiting, diarrhea and pain.

    April 17, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 17, 2014

  • Astronomers spot most Earth-like planet yet

    Astronomers have discovered what they say is the most Earth-like planet yet detected — a distant, rocky world that's similar in size to our own and exists in the Goldilocks zone where it's not too hot and not too cold for life.

    The find, announced Thursday, excited planet hunters who have been scouring the Milky Way galaxy for years for potentially habitable places outside our solar system.

    April 17, 2014

  • Defend 'Obamacare' unabashedly, some Democrats say

    With enrollments higher than expected, and costs lower, some Democrats say it's time to stop hiding from the president's health care overhaul, even in this year's toughest Senate elections.

    Republicans practically dare Democrats to embrace "Obamacare," the GOP's favorite target in most congressional campaigns. Yet pro-Democratic activists in Alaska are doing just that, and a number of strategists elsewhere hope it will spread.

    April 17, 2014

AP Video