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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Knights lying in wait for struggling Owen Valley

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Northview's Michael Landry (#2) is currently seventh in the state in receiving yards per game (97.0)

The Northview football team hopes that Friday night is a chance for a little retribution versus the Owen Valley Patriots.

The Knights have never beaten Owen Valley since the inception of the Western Indiana Conference. That streak encompasses five straight defeats including last season's 20-14 loss on the Patriot's home turf.

This season by all accounts, Owen Valley is going through a bit of a rebuilding period after graduating nine returning lettermen from last year's 5-5 squad. The Knights however are loaded with experience and some talented youth on their current 2-2 team that is unbeaten (2-0) in the WIC.

The Knights are coming off a 35-7 defeat of Sullivan last week while Owen Valley was whacked at home versus Edgewood, 32-14.

That fact could be even more promising news for Northview who, three weeks ago, blasted the Mustangs 41-12 in front of the Knight's home fans. That fact could mean a group of happy fans this Friday for Homecoming.

The Patriots will return only about half (11 letterwinners) from last year which means this season will be full of some growing pains for Owen Valley.

Gone from last year are starting running back Tim Roberts who gained 127 yards versus the Knights. He is replaced by Josh Rubeck (6'1, 160) pound senior who ran for nine yards versus Northview last season. Also gone is Eli Deckard, the steady, experienced quarterback that threw for 61 yards and a touchdown last season against the Knights . Only three lettermen return on the line for the Patriots which could spell trouble against an aggressive Northview front.

Senior Kale Culp (5'11, 197), Ryan Truax (5'10, 253) and Kyle Culp (5'10, 200) will attempt to stave off the Knights group of Craig Greenwood (6'1, 204) at defensive end, Anthony Megali (6'0, 201) at other end along with Jeremiah Allen (5'9, 194) and John Hendrix (5'9, 224).

If the Patriots can't withstand the Knights pass rush, don't be surprised to see Northview stack up their linebackers in Jordan Garrison, Doug Porter, Kyle Nees and Cory Grigsby and force Owen Valley into uncomfortable passing situations with their inexperienced quarterback.

The Northview secondary showed their ability to make plays last week as Matt McCluskey and Austin Staley each gained interceptions and will be thirsting for the ball again this week.

On offense, the Knights are once again forging one of the best passing attacks in the state.

Quarterback Logan Whitman is currently 10th in the state in yards per game at 208 per contest. He has a total of 833 yards on 44-of-98 passing. His top target is Michael Landry who is the state's seventh leading receiver according to yards per game with 97.0. He has pulled in 15 catches good for 387 yards and a touchdown and complements tightend Greenwood and receiver T.J. King nicely in the offense.

The three targets were aligned with Whitman nearly to perfection last week, hauling in 12 passes in the first half alone on the way to their win over Sullivan.

However, in the second half, the Knights showcased a burgeoning running game as Grigsby carried 12 times for 72 yards to with Whitman's 122 yards and Garrison's 38. Northview put together 270 rushing yards as part of a total of 488 yards of offense while allowing just 135.

If the Knights can put together another performance like that, there will be plenty of reason to dance at Homecoming Friday night. Expect Northview to come out thirsty for a victory to remain unbeaten in the WIC. With a first time win over Owen Valley at stake the Knights should be fired up and ready to take on the Patriots.

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