By Nick Mance
For the Herald
On a rain-soaked Friday evening, Bettendorf’s Alex “Bubba” Hernandez rushed for 140 yards helping to lead his team to 30-3 win over Clinton.
The crushing run came in the beginning of the second quarter when he ran for 55 yards and followed with a touchdown run moments later. He went over 1,000 yards for the season.
“I didn’t even know I did,” Hernandez said of going over 1,000 yards. “I just stayed focused the entire game, and played hard, but boy it feels good.”
Clinton (2-7) started well, kicking a field goal in the last minute of the first quarter to take a 3-0 lead. Bettendorf answered by rallying behind Hernandez and quarterback, Cyle Cox to begin their comeback.
Cox threw for over 90 yards, and completing 8 out of his 12 passes, Cox offered another front to the offense which was already running full steam ahead with Hernandez.
In the second quarter, the Bulldogs (6-3) scored twice with a rushing and passing touchdown, making the score 13-3 at the half.
“The team played hard, but it has just been a tough year with injuries and such,” Clinton coach Lee Camp said. “I don’t make excuses, but we all struggled and need to improve.”
“This is a hard loss, but we have to come out with our heads held high, looking at what we have accomplished, who we are, and how we have united as a team. That is something to be proud of, and we will keep battling to get better.”
In the third quarter, the Bulldogs blocked a punt by the Kings and recovered it in the end zone to take a 20-3 lead. Both teams then fought up and down the field with little headway until the fourth quarter came around.
The fourth quarter sealed the deal with Bettendorf putting away a field goal and another rushing touchdown. Hernandez was given a well-needed rest in the fourth and Bryson Owens-Johnson proved to be more than capable of running the ball, as the Bulldogs wound the time down.
In the end, the Kings and the Bulldogs looked like they had fought a battle in the trenches. Both sides were covered in mud and looked exhausted.
“I am proud to coach these guys,” Bettendorf coach Aaron Wiley said. “Bubba is pound-for-pound one of the toughest players I have ever had, and with a team like this we are ready to fight.
“Our defense stepped up, and kept following through, and we fought hard through this game.”
BETTENDORF 30, CLINTON 3
Clinton 3 0 0 0 — 3
Bettendorf 0 13 7 10 — 30
RUSHING — Bettendorf, Bryson Owens-Johnson 8-28 yards, Alex Hernandez19-140 yards, Cyle Cox 2-7 yards, Malique Hudson 4-4 yards; Clinton, Ryan Driscoll 7-13, Will Carr 16-70, Jaylen Broadenaux 6-33, Dustin Caldwell 8-22, Alex Caldwell 3-5.
PASSING — Bettendorf, Cox 8-12, 92. Clinton, Carr 2-12, 17 yards; A. Caldwell 0-1, 0.
RECEIVING — Bettendorf, Malique Hudson 2-31, Nick Heimendinger 3-26, Kris Klabunde 2-17, Jordan Bonner-Lowry 1-18; Clinton, Tyler Thacker 1-6 yards, Jaylen Broadenaux 1-11 yards.