SULLIVAN -- Sullivan high school students will have to create their fond memories of Homecoming 2003 at their dance this year as the visiting Northview Knights dominated their Golden Arrows on Friday night, 35-7.
"I'm real proud of the kids tonight," said Northview head coach George Gettle. "They battled all week and came out without letting down. We've had some injuries and some cases of mono but to execute as soundly as we did tonight gave us some confidence."
The Knights controlled the contest from the beginning, striking first blood after receiving the opening kickoff less than four minutes into the game.
Quarterback Logan Whitman completed all five passes he threw on the drive, the final one going to Craig Greenwood in the endzone for the touchdown. Greenwood's grab, a nice reception after tipping the initial throw was one of four for him in the game. The score was just the tip of the iceberg for the Knights.
The Northview defense gave Sullivan's option offense little room to roam all night long, especially in the first half.
The Golden Arrows didn't earn a first down until their final drive of the first half which ended in a Matt McCluskey interception. The Knights held Sullivan to just 35 yards rushing in the first two quarters on 14 carries.
"Defending the option requires the defense to assignment defense," said Gettle. "Coaches (Dan) Mikesell and (Blake) Lindsay did a good job of having the kids in the right spots tonight."
Meanwhile the Northview offense was hitting on all cylinders.
Their second drive of the evening opened on their own 20-yard line which was no problem as Whitman hit T.J. King for a 10-yard catch and then Michael Landry for a big 48-yard catch to the Sullivan 17-yard line. From there, Kyle Nees carried once for seven yards before Whitman scrambled around end for a 14-0 Knight's advantage.
King was the recipient of a Whitman pass on a "waggle" pass that went for 37 yards and a score beginning the second quarter. The reception was one of four on the night for King who had 73 receiving yards.
The Knights didn't waste any time pushing their lead back to 14 points after Sullivan's lone touchdown, as the offense marched 84 yards on nine plays, the biggest a 53-yard scamper by Whitman that set up a three-yard TD run by Jordan Garrison. The touchdown would leave the halftime score at 28-7.
Sullivan came out determined in the second half, moving the ball to the Knight's 22-yard line before Northview's defense stood tall on a fourth down pass that gave the ball back to the Knights. From there Northview methodically moved the ball back down the field on the back of Cory Grigsby's power running.
Grigsby would carry seven times on the drive for 42 yards as Northview worked time of the clock. "We wanted to establish the running game in the second half and at the same time use the clock too," said Gettle.
Grigsby would pick up 72 yards on the ground, all in the second half. His total was second only to Whitman's 122 and was part of 270 total yards on the ground by the Knights.
Northview's defense continued to hold tight in the second half even when backed inside their own 20-yard line with time running out in the third quarter.
A tackle for a loss after a fumble coupled with a sack that netted a 13-yard Sullivan loss, left the Golden Arrows with a third-and-goal play from their 30-yard line. The ensuing pass from Hamilton was picked off by Austin Staley.
The Knights later capped the scoring after Zach Godsey recovered a Sullivan fumble on the Golden Arrows' 15-yard line. Whitman scrambled in for a 15-yard touchdown run to put the finishing touches on the second Western Indiana Conference win of the season for the Knights.
"We're going to get right back to the drawing board," said Gettle. "We've got a big game next week (Owen Valley)."
The Knights (2-2 overall, 2-0 WIC) host the Patriots next Friday at 7:30 p.m.