BETTENDORF — A season ago, the Muscatine football team rallied to find victory in two of three games after starting 0-3.
While it remains to be seen if the 2021 Muskies can pull after another string of success, the team finds itself in a similar place after Week 3's 27-6 loss at Bettendorf High School to the host Bulldogs.
The Muskies are a different squad than in 2020, when moving all-state receiver Eli Gaye to quarterback solved several of Muscatine's offensive issues. The Muskies also had school rushing leader Tim Nimely. Both are now at Grand View University.
While the Muskies looked improved against Bettendorf on Friday night over the first two weeks the most recent campaign, that effort proved to fall well short, as Bettendorf rode a 20-point second quarter to the win.
Isaiah Martinez, who entered the game as back-up to Bulldog starting running back Terry Dunn III, ended with 142 yards on 18 carries and three touchdowns for Bettendorf (1-2).
The first score came on the first play of the second frame, after Martinez replaced the injured Dunn III.
Muscatine (0-3) found the end zone in the third, when quarterback Landon Battey crossed the goal line from a yard out.
Battey, a junior, has his most productive day of the season through the air, going 15 for 18 for 83 yards, 44 of which went to junior Paul Henry on four catches. Muscatine also rushed for 84 yards, led by 77 from sophomore Ty Cozad.
Bettendorf quarterback Christian Kautz also added a rushing touchdown for the Bulldogs.
Muscatine hosts Class 5A No. 10 Pleasant Valley next Friday.
Wilton wins again: The Wilton Beavers enjoyed a homecoming win in defeating Highland 39-14.
Wilton is now 3-0 to start the season.
Caden Kirkman starting the scoring with a 48-yard touchdown reception from Aidan Walker with just over 10 minutes left in the first quarter.
Highland (1-2) tied it at seven when quarterback Conner Grinstead connected with Logan Bonebreak for a 22-yard score, but the Beavers answered in the form of a Jackson Hull run from 53 yards out that ended in the end zone.
The Beavers ended with 235 yards rushing and 208 passing.
Grinstead would give the Huskies a brief 14-13 lead early in the second, but it was all Wilton after that.
Hull added scores from 33 and 19 yards out. The 19-yarder coming on a pass from Walker. Hull ended with 158 yards rushing on 15 carries. Kirkman's six catches for the game ended up going for 78 yards.
Tyrell Hughes scored a defensive touchdown for the Beavers on a fumble return and Mason Ormsby crossed the goal line from two yards out on the game's final score.
The Beavers are at Durant in district play next Friday night.
Wapello lays it on Columbus: Wapello Indians quarterback Tade Parsons competed 14 of 16 passes for 280 yards as Wapello scored a lopsided 52-21 win over Columbus.
Columbus (1-2) got a Kaden Amigon touchdown with just over four minutes remaining in the first quarter to pull the Wildcats within one at 8-7 after Parsons and Macuen West connected for the game's first score and Wapello added the two-point conversion.
Wapello (2-1) controlled the game from there on, though.
After Amigon reached the end zone, Wapello's Maddox Griffin returned the ensuing kick for a touchdown before the Indians would score 22 points in the second quarter.
Columbus' other 14 wouldn't come until the fourth, after the Indians had built a 45-7 lead.
Jake Gustison scored three times for Wapello, two on passes of 38 and 85 yards from Parsons, the second on a 25-yard run. The senior Parsons took off for a 13-yard score as well, that coming in the third quarter.
Gustison's half-dozen receptions were turned into 205 yards. He also had one run for 25 more.
In the fourth, Amigon would score again, the final from eight yards out, and Grant Watson would catch a Jeff Hoback pass for Columbus' final score from 25 yards out. Amigon ended with 190 yards rushing on 27 totes.
Both teams will be in district play next week, Wapello at Pekin and Columbus at Lisbon.
Durant can’t capitalize on DeLong’s big night: Despite getting 251 yards rushing and three touchdowns from junior running back Nolan DeLong, the Durant Wildcats fell to Northeast, 42-28, at Durant High School.
DeLong’s last score gave the Wildcats a 28-21 lead in third, but couldn’t hold off a Rebel comeback, as Northeast was able to tie it with just under eight minutes left in the fourth and then go on to secure the victory over the final minutes.
Durant (0-3) also got a receiving touchdown from Ethan Gast, who ended with five catches for 79 yards. That came on a throw from sophomore Charlie Huesmann. Durant completed 13 of 19 passes for 189 yards, though Northeast (1-2) was able to intercept four Wildcat passes between Huesmann and Tysen McKinley.
The Wildcats play Wilton at home next Friday in district play.
Defensively, Brady Meincke was able to come up with an interception for the Wildcats and Drake Shelangoski led the team with 4 ½ tackles.
Van Buren County dismantles Louisa-Muscatine: Though the Falcons were able to put points on the board in the fourth quarter, it did little to put a dent in the lead the Louisa-Muscatine football team had already surrendered to Van Buren County, who ended up 57-12 winners.
All dozen Louisa-Muscatine (0-3) points came in the final frame, but Van Buren County (2-1) assmassed 50 points over the first three periods of play. Still, it represents the highest scoring output of the season for the Falcons, who were shutout in Week 2 and scored six in an overtime loss to Columbus in the season opener.
L-M had won the previous five meetings between the two sides prior to Friday night.
The Falcons are at district opponent West Branch for Week 4.
Big first half spurs Independence rout of West Liberty: All but six fourth-quarter points were piled on the scoreboard by Independence, as the Class 3A ninth-ranked Mustangs moved to 3-0 on the season with a 45-0 home win over the West Liberty Comets.
The defeat drops West Liberty to 0-3.
The Mustangs were led by running back Marcus Beatty, who ended the contest with 279 rushing yards on 25 carries and three touchdowns. Quarterback Mitchell Johnson connected with receiver Brady McDonald for another of the Mustang scores. Johnson also added a touchdown on the ground.
West Liberty is on the road again in Week 4 at district foe Camanche.