Photo: Northview players serenade their fans with the school's fight song following a 26-0 win over Brown County that clinched the WIC title for the Knights.
It might have taken a little bit, but Northview has their first Western Indiana Conference football title.
The Knights picked a good night to cement the WIC title, defeating Brown County 26-0 on Senior Night in front of a capacity Northview crowd.
"I'm really proud of these kids," said third year head coach George Gettle. "They've really come a long way. Now we've got to refocus and get ready for the tournament."
While the Knights did pitch a shutout against the Eagles, there was plenty of room for improvement in a game that was a bit sloppy for both squads.
Michael Landry got the Knights started in a big way after the defense stifled Brown County, three plays and out on their first possession. Landry hauled in the punt at the Northview 35-yard line and raced around the left side and went untouched down the Brown County sideline. The 65 yard touchdown just 1:30 into the game gave Northview a 6-0 lead after the extra point failed.
"Our offense wasn't really able to get into a rhythm tonight," said Gettle. "After Michael's (Landry) touchdown our defense went right back out onto the field and they were able to get some first downs. But our offense was a little out of sync."
Brown County did march the ball down to the Northview 27-yard line where they were forced with a fourth down-and four. Remy Heller was stopped short of the first down and the Knights took over on downs. The Eagles never really threatened again.
Northview marched the ball into Brown County territory on the next possession with the big play being a 39-yard strike to T.J. King from Broc Miller. Facing second-and-seven from the Eagles' 20 yard line, Miller threw into double coverage and his pass was intercepted to halt the Knights' scoring drive.
The Eagles couldn't sustain their own drive and punted the ball to the Knights who quickly hooked up on a 25 yard touchdown pass to Landry for a 12-0 lead.
The Knights got one final score before the halftime break when they took over with 51 seconds on the clock after a big sack from Zach Godsey forced the Eagles to punt from their own 12-yard line. Northview would get the ball on the 49 yard line and Miller went back to the air.
He found Godsey on a 14 yard pass and followed that with a 15-yarder to Landry. Miller would spike the ball to halt the clock and on the next play he fired a sideline strike to Landry who wisely stepped out of bounds to stop the clock with Northview at the one-yard line. On the next play Miller found a wide open King for the score and a 19-0 halftime lead.
"We were trying to spread the ball around tonight," said Gettle. "In the tournament your going to have to throw the ball. We ran the ball earlier in the season and we want to work on our passing game."
The Knights have certainly did a solid job of that lately with Miller posting 650 yards on 49-of-82 passing in the last three games along with 13 touchdowns through the air.
Northview would put the icing on their victory in the third quarter as Miller found a diving Brady Shoemaker in the endzone for a six yard score. Miller's pass was tipped by a Brown County defender and Shoemaker made an excellent second effort to haul in the score that capped the scoring.
While Gettle was happy for the win and the title, he notes that his team isn't satisfied with their 8-1 mark overall. "Being undefeated at home and winning the WIC were two of our goals this year, but a football team really proves itself in the tournament. I'm extremely happy for the kids, you've got to be happy to win 26-0 and post a shutout when you don't play your best."
The Knights will travel to Bloomington North for their sectional opener next Friday night.
Nv -- Landry 65 yard punt return (kick failed), 10:34
Nv -- Miller 25 yard pass to Landry (pass failed), 9:42
Nv -- Miller one yard pass to King (kick good), 0:05
Nv -- Miller six yard pass to Shoemaker (kick good), 2:42
Rushing -- Northview (23-124): Godsey 6-28, Rissler 5-32, Miller 6-10, Bays 1-19, Sanabria 1-3, Shipmen 3-20, Hyatt 1-12. Brown County (37-124): Heller 23-49, Benge 9-59, Jacobs 4-10, Willoughby 1-6.
Passing -- Northview (15-28-2 Int., 3 TD): Miller 15-28 182 yards, 2 Int. 3 TD, Sanabria 0-0 0 yards). Brown County (3-14 19 yards) Jacobs 3-14 19 yards, 0 Int. 0 TD.
Receiving -- Northview: Landry 7-106 TD, King 4-47 TD, Shoemaker 2-9 TD, Godsey 1-14, Chamberlain 1-6. Brown County: Barr 2-25, Heller 1-0.