Bulldogs deliver Spartans their first loss of year

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The Pleasant Valley varsity football team faced off against the Bettendorf Bulldogs Friday night at Spartan Stadium, but ended the evening with a tough loss to their crosstown rivals.

Led by junior quarterback, Ryan Mumey, the Spartans racked up 224 yards–124 yards in the air and 100 on the ground.

The Spartans found themselves in an early hole when Bettendorf tailback, Harrison Bey-Buie, capped off the 9-minute, first drive of the Bulldogs with a touchdown. Bey-Buie scored a long-rushing touchdown to end the first quarter and started off with two touchdowns in the first quarter, leaving the Spartans in a 14-point deficit.

As the hope for the Spartans began to drain, Brandon DePover shot the Spartans right back into the game with an interception return to the Bettendorf 37 yard line in the third quarter. The Spartans were given great field position, but were forced to settle for a field goal. 

The Spartans defense looked for a big third down stop in the 4th, but were drawn offsides that gave the Bulldogs a first down. Penalties played a crucial role in the game and the Spartans were on the wrong side too many times to get any momentum in the game.

Defensive coach Joe Youngbauer said small mistakes started at the beginning of the game. “We couldn’t quite corral the quarterback in the first quarter, we had chances to get off the field on third down but we just couldn’t,” he said.

Youngbauer was impressed about his defense’s effort in the second half. “Our guys kept battling, no matter what the score was…and that’s our identity on defense. We won’t give up.”

Cornerback Ali Francois said the run defense was their strong suit.  “D-line is the best part of our defense… AJ Tappa, Logan Collier, and TJ Brown all shut down the running game really well,” he said.

The Spartans ended up losing 20-6, but the young talent that shone Friday night gives the team the time to fix mistakes and correct them for the future. Quarterback Mumey, tight end Kellen Hornbuckle, running back Matt Mickle, and kicker Rhys Ward all provide PV with a great base to build upon offensively.

The score may not say the Spartans played well, but they fought hard to keep it close against a high-caliber Bulldog offense, keeping all-state hopeful Bey-Buie to minimal yards and proving Mumey has the potential to be an impactful player with skills that could lead the Spartans to their second straight playoff appearance.