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Muskies miss opportunities in PV loss

Muskies miss opportunities in PV loss

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An encouraging first half by the Muscatine football team was undone by a discouraging third quarter in the Muskies' 42-10 loss to the Pleasant Valley Spartans at Muscatine High School on Friday night. 

Muscatine continued to take steps forward as the on-field product has gotten better with each passing week, but the Muskies still find themselves at 0-4.

The game was just 14-3 at the halftime intermission. But that was turned into a 35-3 deficit by the time the fourth quarter started.

"That first half, we felt like we were there," Muscatine head coach DJ Hawkins said. "But then, a penalty, or blown assignment where they get big yards. But rolling into halftime, we felt really good."

Caden McDermott sparked Pleasant Valley by rushing for over 120 yards on 16 carries plus 67 yards passing and three total touchdowns.

McDermott didn't start at quarterback, but took most of the snaps for the Spartans behind center as head coach Rusty VanWetzinga tried several at the position throughout the game after losing starter Barrett Lindmark in Week 2. It was a bounce-back performance for McDermott, who committed several turnovers in PV's 18-7 loss to Linn-Mar in Week 3.

He did have one tonight, which left the door open for Muscatine to seriously get in the game when a pitch attempt on a PV option ended up in the arms of Muskie sophomore defender Aiden Lopez, who took it down to the Spartan 16.

"Adian did a heck of a job out there," Hawkins said. "He's an undersized kid that came in and make a huge play for us."

It was the second fumble recovery of the night for the Muskies, after a muffed punt by the Spartans gave it back to Muscatine and set up a 25-yard field goal by senior Sophia Thomas to make the score 7-3 with eight minutes left in the second quarter.

That came after Pleasant Valley (2-2) junior running back Rusty VanWetzinga scored the game's first touchdown from three yards out on the Spartans' first drive of the game.

It proved to be the first of six drives Pleasant Valley would start inside Muscatine territory.

The third of those came with just under eight minutes left in the second quarter, when McDermott did everything on a four-play scoring drive in which he had carries of 27, 8, 16 and two, the final one reaching the end zone.

The Spartans finished with over 300 yards rushing and 71 through the air. Muscatine had 158 total yards on offense.

Sophomore running back Ty Cozad went for 30 yards on 11 carries, but the Muskies' featured back left in the third quarter and didn't return.

In Cozad's stead, senior Mason Crabtree went for 25 yards on eight carries and Muscatine got nearly 60 yards of offensive production from Nolan Recker on 13 touches.

"With our numbers being down and guys being out, at one point we had three guys at positions they've never played before in a game," head coach DJ Hawkins said. "But guys stepped up and were willing to go in."

Muscatine (0-4) did find some degree of success through the air, though, as junior quarterback Landon Battey completed 10 of 16 passes for 78 yards, including a 19-yard score to Brayden Lane with just over five minutes left to play.

But that came after PV had opened up a 42-3 lead.

McDermott's second rushing touchdown and a 34-yard passing score highlighted a 21-point PV third. Wilson also scored on a run from 16 yards out in the frame.

Additionally, the Spartans started the fourth at the Muskies' one-yard line, setting up Kael Amerine to run in the final score of the night.

Muscatine's homecoming week caps off next Friday with a game against Class 5A seventh-ranked Cedar Falls at MHS.

"We went into halftime proud," said Hawkins. "A play here or there in the first half ... Our guys battled. (But) we have low numbers. We shot the bullets we had but ran out. I loved the heart of our guys."


Pleasant Valley 42, Muscatine 10



Scoring plays

First quarter

PV -- Rusty VanWetzinga 3 run (Carter Spangler kick good)

Second quarter

MUS -- Sophia Thomas 25 FG (7:45)

PV -- Caden McDermott 2 run (Spangler kick good) 6:36

Third quarter

PV -- McDermott 1 run (Spangler kick good) 8:17

PV -- Makhi Wilson 16 run (Spangler kick good) 4:57

PV -- McDermott to Wilson 34 pass (Spangler kick good) 3:26

Fourth quarter

PV -- Kael Amerine 1 run (Spangler kick good) 11:57

MUS -- Battey 19 pass to Brayden Lane (Thomas kick good) 5:10

Team stats


First downs;21;10


Passing yards;71;78

Total yards;376;158





Individual stats


PV -- Caden McDermott 16-124, Tyge Lyon 9-70; Dakota Drieling 6-22, Aidan O'Donnell 2-14, Rusty VanWetzinga 2-3, Ryan Doyle 2-11, Makhi Wilson 2-27, Ethan Boland 2-27, Kael Amerine 1-1

Muscatine -- Ty Cozad 11-30, Nolan Recker 9-27, Mason Crabtree 8-25, Sawyer Zeck 1-3


PV -- McDermott 5-6-67, O’Donnell 1-2-4

Muscatine -- Landon Battey 10-16-78


PV -- Wilson 1-34, Doyle 2-22, Lyon 1-11, Coy Kipper 1-4

Muscatine -- Recker 4-30, Paul Henry 2-31, Matt Keener1-10, Cozad 2-7, Zeck 1-3


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