A Mississippi Athletic Conference showdown features second ranked Bettendorf at home against sixth ranked Pleasant Valley. Bettendorf coach Aaron Wiley calls this a “neighborhood” rivalry. Wiley says Pleasant Valley High school is actually in Bettendorf and probably half of the team lives in Bettendorf.
Wiley says the key for the Bulldogs will be slowing down Pleasant Valley’s veer offense. “It’s the old school option deal where you’ve got a give, a quarterback threat and a pitch, and you’ve got to take care of all three of those,” Wiley says.
Pleasant Valley coach Rusty Van Wetzinga says players from both teams are very familiar with each other. “You could darn near drive a golf ball from Pleasant Valley or Bettendorf and hit the other school, and it was always kind of deemed the HyVee bowl as there is a HyVee that sits kind of right on the border. So it’s kind of fun,” Van Wetzinga.
The rivalry started when Pleasant Valley joined the MAC in 1986, and he says it has spread across all sports. Van Wetzinga says Bettendorf may have 10 new starters on defense this seaason but the blue print remains the same.
In 4A, fifth ranked Dowling plays its fourth straight rated foe when the Maroons host eighth ranked Urbandale. Both teams possess big play threats on offense but success starts with the ground game. Urbane coach Sam Anderson. “One think you know about coach Wilson, he does an outstanding job of getting the ball to his athletes,” Anderson says.
Urbane junior receiver Allen Lazzard has eight catches in three games, five of them for touchdowns. “He gives us that opportunity that if you’re not going to put two over to his edge, he can get the ball and really make some things happen,” Anderson says. And he says if you do double-cover Lazzard, it opens things up for others.
Both teams are used to playing demanding schedules. In fact, four of the teams in the Radio Iowa top ten were members of the CIML Central Conference until the western part of the state switched to divisional play this season.
Urbandale is 3-0. Dowling is 3-1.