With Week 8 rolling around came games with huge playoff implications for a lot of local teams.
Overtimes, halftime deficits and lead exchanges littered the area, but a lot of teams saw the end results fall in their opponent’s favor.
DeWitt downs Clinton
CLINTON – The Sabers jumped out to an early lead and held it on Friday night in a 52-14 win over the Clinton River Kings.
The very first possession of the game the Saber scored. The offense was super patient, picking up small yards here and there before Zach Hinkle eventually punched it in from four yards out at 7:59.
DeWitt was having a slow possession until a big pass play from quarterback Henry Bloom four Lucas Burmeister to pick up big yardage.
Clinton’s defense, though, was putting in the work. The line forced two fumbles on the second possession by the Sabers, although DeWitt picked both of them back up. Eventually the Kings forced them to third down and still 12 yards out from the goal line.
The eventual field goal was no good.
Clinton’s offense was quiet for the entire first quarter.
The Sabers started running away with the game quite literally. In the second quarter, Caleb Pace broke free for a 41-yard run to put them in Clinton territory. Pace then ran twice more to complete the series with a 13-yard touchdown run and 63 total yards on the possession. Pace would end the game with a team-high 116 rushing yards.
The River Kings got the ball back just under eight minutes but saw the ball slip from their hands. The Sabers’ Tyson Belk jumped on it, recovering the fumble at the 32-yard line. Less than two minutes after scoring they found the endzone again, this one an 11-yard run from Landon Peterson.
The Clinton defense did their best to stop the Sabers from tacking on another score before heading into the locker rooms, including a huge tackle by Mitch Metzger on the one-yard line, but Bloom managed to fake the handoff and find a huge gap for the short run, allowing the Sabers to take a 35-0 lead into halftime.
Clinton’s offense came out of the halftime break revived, getting some help from the defense to start. After Central DeWitt fumbled the ball, senior Jasper Luckritz was the one to find it first, recovering it at the Saber 27 with the continuous clock rolling.
A pass play to Treveon Bailey from quarterback Jai Jenson was good in the corner, putting the River Kings on the board a 8:28 and sending it back to game clock with the Saber lead cut to 35-6.
The River Kings were unable to hold off the Sabers’ next drive, with a pass play to Tucker Kinney putting them on the 4-yard line and giving Kaiden Muhl and easy TD run. The River Kings came back and worked their way downfield, senior Ulysses Patterson eventually crossing the goal line with a 1-yard score. That sent the clock back to game clock with the Kings pulling within 42-14.
That would be the last scoring play from Clinton with the Sabers tackingo n another field goal and a touchdown.
The Sabers ran over the Clinton defense a lot of the night, running for 307 yards as a team on 48 carries. Henry Bloom threw 14 times for 148 yards.
The Clinton offense picked up 116 rushing yards, 76 coming from the quarterback spot.
Jensen was also 15-28 in the air, throwing for 82 yards total.
The River Kings said goodbye to 12 seniors from their varsity roster: Zach Hoffman, Ulysses Patterson, Jasper Luckritz, Zavion Moses, Trevor Bitner, Lucas Tornow, Casey Shannon, Jamie Miller, Hunter Randall, Noah Howard, Charles Burrows and Dylan Snyder.
Clinton (0-8) will end it’s 2019 campaign on the road, taking on their final district opponent in Iowa City Liberty.
Central DeWitt (3-5) plays on the road as well, taking on Clear Creek-Amana in Week 9.
Camanche falls in OT
WEST LIBERTY – In what was a big game for the Indians ended in woe as a failed two-point conversion in overtime left them trailing West Liberty 21-19.
In overtime, the Comets were the ones to break the ice with a touchdown, jumping to a 21-13 lead. Camanche brought their own score in, but the two-point conversion attempt was no good, leaving them two points short of the crucial district win.
The Comets were the ones to jump out to the lead after one quarter, scoring the only touchdown of the first twelve minutes for the 7-0 lead. By the halftime break, Camanche had the 13-7 advantage.
West Liberty tied the game up with two minutes left, and that led to the overtime.
Camanche (5-3) will end their regular season on the road next week at West Burlington, Notre Dame.
Fulton drops game late
SPRING VALLEY, Ill. – With a handful of lead exchanges in the second half, the Fulton Steamers couldn’t muster enough offense in the end to take the lead back, falling to Hall 33-32.
The battle saw five different lead changes. Fulton jumped out to an 8-0 lead after going for it on a fourth down, Conner Barnett finding hands in the endzone.
The Red Devils then scored twice while holding the Steamers to take a 14-8 lead. Fulton took the lead back before haalf with another touchdown pass and conversion.
Eventually, the Steamers were trailing 33-24 less than three minutes to go in the game. On a kickoff return, the Steamers went 75 yards to cut the lead to just two and 2:27 left to play.
Both would hold before the final horn sounded.
The win placed Hall in the playoffs for certain, while Fulton’s fate is still up in the air. Fulton (5-3) ends their regular season on a Saturday instead of Friday, taking on the ranked Sterling Newman Comets on the road for a matinee game next week.
Morrison downs Rockridge
TAYLOR RIDGE, Ill. – The Morrison football team couldn’t shut out their foes for a third week in a row, but still did enough to take the 27-13 win over Rockridge on Friday and stay undefeated.
Morrison led 20-0 at the half and held that all the way until the third quarter. With ten minutes remaining, the Rockets managed to find the end zone twice.
Morrison scored off of three different athletes. Nate Helms found Hunter Newman halfway through the first quarter for the first touchdown.
Riley Wilkens punched it in from the 1-yard line in the second and then Hunter Newman broke free for a 93-yard kick off return with under a minute to go in the half for the 20-0 lead.
The final points came from Ryan Kennedy, who intercepted a ball and ran it back 80 yards.
The Mustangs (8-0) have one of their toughest battles of the year next week, taking on No. 9 Orion at home to close out the regular season.
Northeast falls to Bellevue
GOOSE LAKE – A tough battle on Senior Night ended out of the Rebels’ hands, with Bellevue ousting Northeast 21-19.
The Rebels had everything tied up with the Comets at the half at 7-7 before falling late.
The Rebels (1-7) will aim for their only district win in Week 9, taking on North Cedar (4-4) on the road.
Easton Valley takes first L
TURKEY VALLEY – In what was a battle for the district, No. 6 Easton Valley fell to No. 3 Turkey Valley 72-62, giving the Trojans the outright district title and the River Hawks their only loss of the year.
The offensive shootout started with a fast lead from Turkey Valley, the Trojans jumping out to a 40-28 lead at halftime.
They scored again before the River Hawks could, going up 48-28.
Quarterback Nate Trenkamp threw four touchdowns on the night, finishing with 358 yards on 32 complete passes.
Braydin Farrell and Trenkamp both punched in two touchdown from just a couple yards out, Farreell finishing with a team-high 44 rushing yards.
Cade Jargo caught two of Trenkamp’s passes, his longest scoring play 36 yards. He ended with 214 receiving yards.
Logan House and Porter Fuegen also each caught a scoring pass. Fuegen ended with 74 receiving yards while Farrell added another 55 and House 24.
The River Hawks (7-1) end their season in Preston next week, taking on West Central.