Tonight's 7:30 p.m. football game is noteworthy for a lot of reasons for the Northview Knights.
Not only is it Homecoming, but also a chance for the 2004 Knights to reach the school record for wins in a season with six. Northview comes into tonight's game with a 5-1 mark overall, including 3-0 in the Western Indiana Conference.
The South Vermillion Wildcats come to town this evening on a four game slide after winning their season opener against Brown County. However, according to head coach George Gettle, the Knights aren't overlooking the Wildcats.
"They've got a new coach this year and he's got them playing with a lot of enthusiasm," commented Gettle. "They are a much improved football team. We've beat them the last two years so they'll be gunning for us."
The Knights have posted back-to-back shutouts on the Wildcats, 46-0 last season and 40-0 in 2002 and with the defensive talent that Northview possesses this season, they'll be looking for the shutout trifecta tonight.
"Our kids have great pursuit to the football," Gettle said during a Thursday interview. "The kids have really grasped what we're trying to do defensively. We don't have any superstars, but we have a lot of kids who have bought into what we're trying to do."
What the Knights have done is allow just 7.6 points per game in five wins this season with a powerful line and a talented linebacking corp. When you toss in the state's leading interceptor in Brady Shoemaker, who has nine interceptions, and you have a recipe for frustration for opposing offenses.
On the other side of the ball, Northview has been rolling along on the legs of running back Zach Godsey who has over 800 yards rushing this season along with four touchdowns combined with Eric Rissler who has scored six times this year.
At quarterback, Broc Miller has shown poise beyond his years in running an offense that has averaged nearly four touchdowns per game. He has thrown for 535 yards on 43 completions, good for a 61 percent completion percentage. "Broc (Miller) has done a good job of leading the team," noted Gettle. "He's gained the confidence of those around him. He's doing a nice job for us. Sometimes people forget that he's just a sophomore."
Miller has a talented receiving corp led by Michael Landry who has 23 catches and three touchdowns. T.J. King has contributed 12 catches and Shoemaker has also picked up eight passes on offense to give Norvhview a triple threat.
Confidence is brimming at an all-time high according to Gettle after a 21-7 victory on the road at always-tough Vincennes last weekend. "You can really see (the confidence)," commented Gettle. "You can see it in the way (the players) carry themselves in the hallways. You can see it in how hard they work in the offseason and on the practice field."
All that practice has led Northview to the brink of a school, single season record for wins with key conference matchups the remainder of the regular season.
With a Homecoming battle with the Wildcats tonight before a trip to the RCA Dome in Indianapolis for a battle with 5-1 West Vigo and a final game matchup with Brown County who downed Northview on the road last year. The work is hardly done for the Knights.
However, Gettle expects the atmosphere to be electric at Northview High School tonight as his Knights return from a two-game road trip.
"It always feels good to come and play in front of our fans. The crowd was fantastic at Vincennes. We're expecting a great game (tonight). The kids have really worked hard for this."
Kickoff for tonight's game with South Vermillion will be at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are also still available for WIC Day at the Dome next Saturday night, Oct. 9 as the Knights take on the Vikings in the finale of a four-game day. Tickets will be available at the game this evening and at the high school for $10 in advance. Each school's marching band will also compete as Sullivan will take on South Vermillion at 11 a.m. and Owen Valley will face Cloverdale at 2 p.m. and Edgewood meets Brown County at 5 p.m. with the Knights taking the field for the final contest.