PV Football ends seven-year drought against cross-town rival

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Michael VanDerSchaaf, Sports Editor

For the past seven years, the Pleasant Valley Spartans football team has succumbed to the defeat of the Bettendorf Bulldogs. However, the Spartans changed this narrative on Sept. 25 after a monumental 23-6 victory to advance to a 5-0 record.

Having started their 2020 season with wins over Iowa City Regina, North Scott, Muscatine and Davenport Central, the team was looking to extend that record with a big win against Bettendorf. 

Senior captain Parker Suthlerland was amped about the team’s big challenge. “We knew going into the week that Bettendorf was going to be a tough opponent,” said Sutherland. “We knew about the losing streak but we were determined to beat those guys.” The team had a good week of practice and felt well prepared for Friday night.

Initially, both teams focused on defense, with neither team scoring in the first quarter. It was not until midway through the second quarter the Spartans were able to score, after a 30 yard punt return from running back Matthew Meyer put them in good field position. 

Right before halftime, the Spartans put two more points on the board after tackling Bettendorf running back Ryan Cole for a safety with only 30 seconds left. Senior Matt Mickle was in on the play and knew how important that moment was. “That play was huge for us,” stated Mickle. “It gave us a lot of momentum going into the half which is important against good teams.” This left the team feeling good about themselves going into halftime with the lead.

The Spartans went into halftime leading the Bulldogs 9-0. However, the team knew they needed to continue to score throughout the remaining two quarters and stay solid on defense if they wanted to win the game.

Midway through the third quarter, Bettendorf was faced with a fourth down and needed one yard. Bettendorf Head Coach Aaron Wiley elected to go for it, as Bettendorf needed a score. As they handed the ball off to Cole, he darted 55 yards to the end zone, making it a two point ball game. “That was definitely a punch in the gut,” confessed Sutherland. “We knew we were still in the driver’s seat though and continued to play our game.” The Spartans knew what they had to do.

Determined to win, Pleasant Valley immediately answered with junior quarterback Barrett Lindmark, who scampered 61 yards for the score and the next possession. “That was a huge play for us,” stated Lindmark. “Right when they got an ounce of momentum we ripped it from them with a big play of our own.” The longest touchdown of the season put the Spartans in a good place.

The Spartans were able to hold off the Bulldogs and score once more late in the fourth quarter to make the score 23-6. The team was ecstatic to have this monumental victory under their belts after seven years of continual defeat. Following the game, the team celebrated their win in the locker room and at Buffalo Wild Wings. 

Despite the Spartan’s seven year drought, the team has defied the trend and brought something monumental not only for the team, but all of Spartan Nation.