CLINTON – Ah, Week 3.
Friday is the one-third checkpoint of the high school football calendar. At this juncture, teams start to forge an identity while coaches and players alike deepen their understanding of the personnel with two games in the rearview.
Last week, area teams turned in an impressive 4-3 record, as Fulton, Camanche, Easton Valley and Morrison claimed victories. The Indians, River Hawks and Mustangs are each 2-0 this season while the River Kings and Rebels continue to search for their first victory.
Clinton River Kings (0-2)
Of all the statistics gathered from Clinton’s trip to Davenport to take on West Thursday, one especially stands out.
The River Kings were penalized 19 times for 107 yards, many of which were false starts. That doesn’t seem like a winning formula, and it wasn’t Thursday, as Clinton fell to the Falcons for the first time in the past 11 meetings.
“We have spent a lot of time looking at the mistakes we made,” Clinton coach Jon Wauford said. “It’s frustrating because we ran 127 plays over the course of the week on offense and didn’t false start on any of them. Hopefully we have identified the problems, and the kids are working hard to try and correct them.
Clinton will look to enter the win column with another road game, this time traveling to take on Burlington, who has also dropped its first two games of the season.
“They [Burlington] look good up front on both sides of the ball,” Wauford said. “They have big kids and a talented running back and also have a young quarterback.”
Fulton Steamers (1-1)
Last week, the Steamers jumped out to a 20-0 lead against St. Bede, appearing primed to run away with a lopsided win. Then, Fulton coach Patrick Lower admitted the team may have been a bit complacent as St. Bede quietly pulled back into contention.
Until the Steamers slammed the door late with a key defensive stop, that is.
“At times, we were maybe a bit complacent but I thought we made enough plays down the stretch,” Lower said. “Our kids didn’t really flinch, just kept fighting and fighting.”
Fulton will seek its second win of the season this week against Bureau Valley, who is without a victory after yielding 80 combined points in the two contests.
“On tape, they [Bureau Valley] don’t look like a team that is 0-2,” Lower said. “They have some speed and do a lot of good things both offensively and defensively.”
Camanche Indians (2-0)
Following a blowout victory in the season-opener, the Indians were tested by a sneaky Bellevue team Friday night. After the lead changed a couple times, a slew of defensive interceptions eventually helped seal a 19-14 win.
Camanche coach Dustin Coit was pleased with the playmaking ability of his defense, acknowledging the burden it can remove from the other side of the line of scrimmage.
“I said at the beginning of the year that our defense was going to be much-improved and it has shown so far,” Coit said. “It just helps your offense when you know you can rely on your defense to make plays and stops.”
The Indians will take on North Cedar Friday.
Central DeWitt Sabers (1-1)
Following a tough loss in Maquoketa, Central DeWitt coach Ryan Streets said the team is ready to move on.
“We just put it behind us,” Streets said. “We really felt like we played well but it just seemed like everything went the wrong way. It was just one of those games.”
Through two games, Streets said the coaching staff is starting to determine roles and defining the personnel.
“We’re finally getting people in spots and getting them comfortable,” Streets said. “If we can just get healed up and find some depth that will really help us.”
The Sabers host Dubuque Wahlert Friday.
Northeast Rebels (0-2)
It is not every day a team loses a game by 34 points and sees its roster numbers increase. But that is the case in Goose Lake, where Northeast coach Mark Lee said six fresh faces joined the team after a Week 1 loss to Camanche.
“I felt really good about that,” Lee said. “They are kids that can definitely help us be successful. We are getting them in rhythm and caught back to everything.”
The Rebels will play their first road game of the season Friday against Wapello.
“They are a very good team,” Lee said. “They can run and throw the ball... they are just a diverse football team.”
Easton Valley River Hawks (2-0)
The River Hawks are off to a running start this season with back-to-back wins, including last Friday’s 44-12 dissection of Lone Tree.
Easton Valley will be favored to pick up another win this Friday in a district-opening battle with Central Elkader, who has stalled to an 0-2 start this season and have been outscored by opponents 114-22.
Morrison Mustangs (2-0)
The Mustangs are turning heads with their start to the season, picking up a pair of wins in convincing fashion over St. Bede and Sherrard.
Perhaps more impressive than the wins themselves are the manner in which Morrison is conducting the offense in, as the team scored 41 points in the season-opener and racked up 54 more last week. The defense? Allowed 13 combined points.
Morrison will put its clean record on the line with a trip to take on Riverdale, who is 1-1 on the season.