IOWA CITY — The rematch looked nothing like the the first time around with one exception — the same team got the win.
When Bettendorf downed Iowa City West in the regular season, it was a defensive battle, with the Bulldogs winning 10-7 in Week 2 at home. Friday night in the Class 4A quarterfinals at Trojan Field, the offenses came to life.
The Bulldogs spotted the Trojans an 11-0 lead, before their offense took control and their defense settled in. They scored the next four touchdowns of the game and held on for a 43-28 victory.
Bettendorf (10-1) advances to the semifinals next Friday in the UNI-Dome. West, which beat Bettendorf 23-0, in last year’s semifinals, closes at 9-2.
West sophomore quarterback Marcus Morgan saw limited action in the first meeting in Week 2, but he was front and center right from the start in this one. He connected with Jalen Gaudet for a 70-yard strike on the first play of the game. Four plays later, he hit Tate Crane on a 2-yard scoring pass. A 2-point run by Justin Thomas put West up 8-0.
The Trojans defense forced a turnover, recovering a fumble in Bettendorf territory. That set up Josh Jasek for a 43-yard field goal, giving the hosts an 11-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
From that point on, it was pretty much all Bettendorf until the game was safely out of reach. Carter Bell hit Darien Porter with a 36-yard scoring strike on a fourth-and-long play late in the first quarter. An Austin Kalar PAT run cut the lead to 11-8.
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The Bulldogs defense then began to frustrate Morgan. He rushed some passes and when he did hit his receivers, several passes were dropped. At one point, he had 13 straight incompletions. Morgan finished 14-of-40 for 247 yards and two touchdowns, mostly coming in the fourth quarter. Morgan also carried 20 times for 126 yards
Kalar put the Bulldogs up 15-11 on a 3-yard run and when Bell snuck in just before half, Bettendorf led 22-11 at the break.
Bell and Porter hooked up on a beautiful 25-yard scoring strike early in the third quarter, extending the lead 29-11.
West got a 25-yard field goal from Jasek make it 29-14, but the final blow for the Trojans’ hopes came when Brandan Tillman picked off an overthrow from Morgan and took it 42 yards for a score.
Gaudet, who finished with five catches for 169 yards, hauled in a 25-yard scoring pass from Morgan early in the fourth quarter but on the next play after the kickoff, Kalar, who rushed for 184 yards on 21 carries, went 80 yards right up the middle for a score.
Bell passed for 170 yards and two scores for Bettendorf. Porter had seven catches for 120 yards.