DEWITT – The starting quarterback played injured. The leading rusher was in street clothes. The loss on the road last week stung.

No problem for the Sabers.

The Central DeWitt defense pitched a shutout in the second half, and Henry Bloom led the Sabers on a gritty game-winning scoring drive in the fourth quarter to beat Dubuque Wahlert 16-14 in a homecoming battle Friday night.

Bloom, playing on “one leg,” found Caleb Pace on a 24-yard pass to move the chains on third-and-7 in the middle stages of the fourth quarter. Later on the decisive drive, Bloom connected with Logan Paulsen on a fourth-down conversion, which ultimately set up John McCohony’s go-ahead score from a yard out.

Streets acknowledged the challenges injuries have presented the Sabers this season, especially considering the early stage of the schedule and the skill positions affected. Fullback Zach Hinkle was sidelined Friday night, as was Kaiden Muhl, whose injury has not allowed him to see the field yet this fall.

“We just made big plays,” Streets said. “It’s just frustrating because at the beginning of the season, we thought we were going to be pretty good. But the injuries have really hurt us.

“We have to get healthy but it is great to win.”

Central DeWitt scored the game’s first touchdown, as Tucker Kinney reeled in a 22-yard pass from Bloom to take a 7-0 lead in the opening four minutes. But the Golden Eagles wasted little time responding, as Jake Brosius capped a long drive with a 4-yard score to knot the game 7-7 after one period.

Dubuque Wahlert scored again before halftime to claim a 14-10 lead. The Golden Eagles, who ran an identical offense to Central DeWitt (well, when the Sabers are healthy, that is) rushed for 75 rushing yards and accrued 171 total yards before the intermission.

Streets wasn’t necessarily thrilled with those figures.

“There is no reason they should be running the ball like that up the middle with an offense that we run,” Streets said. “We should make them do something out of the ordinary, like throw it, but we kind of shut down their passing game in the second half.”

And while Streets said he didn’t feel his team played “tough” enough in the first half, the Sabers quickly changed his mind after the break, especially on the defensive side, which held Dubuque Wahlert from the scoreboard for the final 24 minutes.

“They proved [their toughness] a lot. In the first half, I didn’t think we were very tough,” Streets said. “They were having their way with us, doing anything they wanted.”

Matt Roling made a critical interception to save a touchdown before halftime and Jeff Fuller ended a Golden Eagles’ third-quarter drive with one of his own.

Central DeWitt (2-1) will travel to Camanche Friday.

Clinton football loses tight game

BURLINGTON – The Clinton High School football team played its most competitive battle of the young season Friday night but ultimately fell 33-26 to Burlington in a back-and-forth battle at Bracewell Stadium.

Ulysses Patterson, who led the team in rushing last season, delivered two touchdowns (including a 70-yard scamper) to help push the River Kings to a 20-14 lead at halftime. There were four lead changes in the contest.

Jai Jensen linked with Treveon Baily on a slant route for the game’s first touchdown in a high-scoring opening quarter. After the Grayhounds answered with a touchdown of their own, Patterson then hoisted the River Kings to a 14-7 lead with a rushing score from inside the 1-yard-line.

Trailing by six points, the River Kings traveled into Burlington territory in the final minute of regulation. Jensen rushed for a first down but suffered an apparent leg injury and was subsequently removed. Zach Hoffman entered in relief and was sacked on his first play from scrimmage.

Hoffman was intercepted on the second play to seal the outcome.

Clinton (0-3) will host Dubuque Wahlert Friday.

Morrison remains undefeated

RIVERDALE – Behind Morrison’s 3-0 start to the season, hidden beneath a potent offense that nearly registered 100 points in the first two weeks, is a defensive unit performing at an elite level.

The Mustangs smothered Riverdale throughout the course of a Three Rivers Athletic Conference meeting Friday, and the offense came alive late to help Morrison take a 16-3 win over the Rams Friday night.

Morrison’s defense has now held its opponent to seven points or less in each of the team’s first three games of the season, all of which scratched the ‘W’ column.

But it wasn’t easy.

The Mustangs stalled with the ball in the first half, and, as a result, Riverdale led 3-0 at the intermission. Morrison returned to form in the second half, as Nathan Helms connected with TC Ottens for a 12-yard touchdown to claim an 8-3 lead.

Nick Allen added to the advantage with a 3-yard score with eight minutes left in regulation.

Morrison (3-0) will put its undefeated record on the line in the annual Wooden Shoe Bowl with Fulton Friday.

Camanche misses chances, falls on road

STANWOOD – The Indians found the end zone just one time on Friday night, leading them to their first loss of the season in a 21-7 defeat at North Cedar.

An early interception, thrown by Jordan Lawrence, led to an early North Cedar lead. The Knights jumped ahead 7-0 in the first and added another touchdown with no answer from the Indians.

Camanche would fumble and throw another interception, the second one in the endzone, before halftime hit.

Early in the fourth quarter was when the Indians found the board. On a fumble by the Knights, Ethan Buckley grabbed it and held on at the North Cedar 14. Cade Everson capped it off, capitalizing on a 5-yard run for the first and only score by Camanche.

The Indians (2-1) return home next Friday for their homecoming game, bringing it local foe Central DeWitt for a matchup.

Northeast loses battle 28-23

WAPELLO – The Rebels battled on the road on Friday, but couldn’t pull out their first win, falling to Wapello 28-23.

Northeast had the 10-7 lead at halftime after striking early in the first quarter.

The Rebels return home for their homecoming game next week, taking on Alburnett (0-3) in Goose Lake, still looking for their first win.

Easton Valley dominates 85-0

PRESTON – Staying perfect, the River Hawks impressed in an 85-0 win over Central Elkader on Friday night.

The River Hawks ran right through Elkader, with three separate athletes (Porter Fuegen, Carson Fuegen and Braydin Farrell) scoring touchdowns of 48 yards or more. Farrell ran in three total scores, finishing with 100 yards on four carries.

Porter Fuegen had two interceptions for the River Hawks while Hayden Felkey had a fumble recovery.

Easton Valley will now protect their 3-0 record on the road, traveling to a ranked Midland team next Friday night.

AREA SCORES: IOWA

Beckman, Dyersville 48, Clayton Ridge, Guttenberg 0

Cascade,Western Dubuque 27, Maquoketa Valley, Delhi 16

Clear Creek-Amana 35, Fort Madison 13

Keokuk 21, West Burlington/Notre Dame 6

Mid-Prairie, Wellman 40, Wilton 6

Muscatine 13, Davenport, West 7

Solon 44, Marion 0

Tipton 21, Durant-Bennett 13

West Branch 39, Williamsburg 33

ILLINOIS

Sterling 34, Rock Island Alleman 6

Princeton 49, St. Bede 7

Orion 19, Rockridge 0

Lena-Winslow 48, East Dubuque 12

Lanark (Eastland)-Pearl City 8, West Carroll 0

Hall 35, Monmouth-Roseville 12

Freeport (Aquin) 42, Milledgeville 14