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Vikings hault Northview's four-game winning streak

Friday, October 10, 2003

The West Vigo versus Northview game was all it was hyped to be for at least one half of action, but in the end it was the Vikings who made the biggest key plays in a 34-21 victory Friday night.

In the first half of action the Knights couldn't get untracked offensively and the Vikings controlled the first half clock with a powerful ground play led by junior Shawn Sullivan.

He would scamper for 246 yards on just 23 carries for the Vikings and provided 92 percent of West Vigo's total yardage in the game.

"They didn't do anything that we weren't prepared for," commented Northview coach George Gettle. "We just didn't have anyone step up and make the plays. Give all the credit to them, they are a good football team because I know we're good and they beat us."

Sullivan would be the biggest thorn in Northview's side all night long beginning on the Vikings first offensive series.

He would get the ball seven times in the opening drive, making a key third down reception for 21 yards and a first down and picking up 15 yards on a fourth-and-one play at the Knight's 31-yard line. His plays would lead to a one-yard touchdown run by Bryan Archer with 4:14 remaining in the opening quarter.

Sullivan would be the key to all of West Vigo's scoring drives on the night as Northview couldn't handle the Viking's sweep plays.

He would gather 99 first half yards on 12 carries and scurried 66 yards on a sweep to set up the Viking's second score with 6:04 left in the half. Sullivan would end the drive with a three-yard scoring run to put West Vigo up 14-0 at the break.

"We worked all week on their sweep plays," said Gettle. "They kept running it and we couldn't stop it."

The Knights would have two trips into West Vigo territory in the first half with the first ending on the 24-yard line after a fourth down incompletion and the second, an interception at the Viking 30-yard line by Matt Mundell.

Things didn't get much better to open the second half as Sullivan carried the ball for 25 yards on the opening play and tacked on another 15 yards due to a Northview penalty. Sullivan would eventually score from four yards out to put West Vigo up 21-0 with 9:26 remaining in the third period.

The Knights didn't move the ball on their first possession and punted but the Vikings would turn the ball over on practically their lone offensive mistake of the night when their quarterback, Archer, fumbled and Northview's Joran Ferris recovered the ball.

The turnover sparked the Knights into action as Northview took to the air for four Logan Whitman completions down to the one-yard line where Jordan Garrison punched in the first Northview score with 1:37 left in the period.

Northview would get the ball back after a punt and promptly moved the ball down the field with an interference call, a 10-yard catch by Michael Landry as well as a big third down conversion catch by T.J. King in West Vigo territory.

Garrison would narrow the gap to 21-14 with 5:14 left in the game on a one-yard run.

"Give our kids credit. In years past we would have given up, but we kept fighting tonight. We just have to get back to practicing and getting better."

But the Vikings would come right back on the strength of a 63 yard sweep play by Sullivan leading to an Archer one-yard run. The kick was blocked leaving the Vikings leading 27-14.

Again the Knights responded.

Starting from their own 35-yard line, Landry hauled in a pair of passes good for 24 total yards and a first down at the West Vigo 36-yard line where Brady Shoemaker hauled in an acrobat touchdown grab with just 1:55 left and the Knights trailing 27-21.

The Vikings recovered the ensuing onside kick and another 15-yard Northview penalty put West Vigo at the Knight's 36-yard line where, once more, Sullivan came up big with a 38-yard run on a third-and-14 play setting up a Matt Mundell touchdown that finished the Knights.

"It was a hard fought game tonight," said Gettle. "We have to get ready for next week because we have another tough team (Brown County)."

The Knights (5-3 overall, 4-1 WIC) will face Brown County on the road next Friday night.

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