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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Big hopes for Northview football Friday night

Thursday, October 23, 2003

A whole new season begins for high school football teams across the state this weekend.

For Northview, they'll attempt to end a two-game losing streak when they face off with the Mooresville Pioneers on Friday night at Northview High School at 7 p.m.

That losing streak comes on the heels of a four-game winning streak that the Knights enjoyed through the middle portion of the season. "We haven't been playing lately, the way we were playing when we were 5-2," said Northview head coach George Gettle. "But what we can't lose focus on is the fact that we have our first winning season since 1996 (5-4 overall). I think that shows that we're making the necessary steps as a program to be successful."

This week, everyone in the state might as well be 0-0 since regular season records go out the window when the post-season begins around the state on Friday evening.

The Knights will host the 7-2 Pioneers who are currently receiving 14th place votes in Class 4A.

"They're a well-coached team," said Gettle. "Coach (Mike) Bless used to be one of my coaches and was an All-American defensive lineman. He's been (at Mooresville) about five or six years and he's always had a winning season. I think they are a program we would like to emulate."

The Pioneers have had four consecutive above-.500 seasons and feature a veteran lineup led by their backfield of Josh Jones (6'0, 200) and Cliff Gentry (6'0, 210).

"They are definitely a running team," commented Gettle about the Pioneers. "But they throw the ball enough to keep you honest. They've got a couple of big backs (Gentry and Jones) but I don't feel like they've got blazing speed. We're just going to have to tackle them and have good pursuit."

Those two aspects were lacking over the past two weeks in losses to West Vigo and Brown County with the Vikings piling up 259 yards rushing and the Eagles also having a great deal of success on the ground.

"I think (Mooresville) is comparable to West Vigo," noted Gettle. "Their backs are a little bigger, but their line isn't as big across the front (as West Vigo). I think, as football teams, we're pretty comparable to them."

"They run a lot of isos, power and sweeps. They're fundamentally sound. I wouldn't expect anything less from they. It should be a good old-fashioned sectional football game," said Gettle.

The Knights have had turnover and penalty problems of late which will be a big key in this game.

Northview had a pair of interceptions and lost a fumble versus the Vikings and had an interception returned for a touchdown as well as a lost fumble versus Brown County which had a lot to do with their losses.

"Offensivly we need to come out aggressive and get a lead," forecasted Gettle. "We need to make them work from behind. On defense we have to make them one-dimensional. Stop their run and force them to throw the ball on third downs."

With the rest of the season becoming a one and your done scenario, the Knights will need to be on top of your game and find the drive and passion that they were playing with through the Sullivan, Terre Haute North and Vincennes games. There is no doubt that this group of athletes has the ability, its just a matter of which team shows up on Friday night.

Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. at Northview High School. The IHSAA has set ticket prices at $5 per person. Northview Super Tickets will not be honored at this contest.

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