- Northview seeking sectional championship berth -
Emotions and confidence are high this week for Friday night's football sectional semifinals at Northview High School.
The Knights come into tonight's game at 9-1 overall and are riding high after a big 17-14 victory over a Bloomington North squad that was much better than their record indicated.
Tonight's opponent, the Greenwood Woodsmen are no stranger to winning themselves coming in with an 8-2 record with losses to fellow sectional opponent Class 4A No. 3 Mooresville (10-0) and to unbeaten No. 6 ranked Columbus East. The Woodsmen dropped a 14-7 decision to the Pioneers and were one of only four teams to score on the Pioneers. Greenwood fell to the Olympians 17-10 in the opening game of the season.
After going 11-1 last year and losing in the sectional final to Mooresville last year, the Woodsmen are led by quarterback Jeff Geoghegan.
Geoghegan is the team's top rusher and passer with an average of 78 yards on the ground and slightly more than 100 passing yards per contest. He's scored 11 touchdowns on the ground and has 11 through the air.
Last week in their 14-7 squeaker versus a Whiteland team they had beaten 43-14 two week's previous, the Woodsmen had to come up with a big defensive stop in the game's final three minutes to hold on for the victory.
Whiteland had first down at the Greenwood seven-yard line in the closing minutes and gained two yards on a pair of running plays before Greenwood's Clayton Hooks knocked down a pass on third down and the Woodsmen picked up a sack on fourth down to end the threat.
Whiteland however intercepted three Geoghegan passes and limited Greenwood to just 98 yards on 40 carries. The Warriors also completed 15-of-28 passes for 159 yards in the game.
The Knights come into the game on a seven game winning streak and are unbeaten at home this year.
After progressing from just one win three years ago to four and five win seasons the past two years, this crop of seniors on the Knights are hungry to continue winning.
"This year has been great," commented leading receiver Michael Landry during practice last week. "It's been a lot of hard work the past couple of seasons but we've got a great team and a great coach who has turned around the program."
Indeed, in his third year at the helm of the Knights, head coach George Gettle, along with a staff that includes defensive coordinator Dan Mikesell and assistants Mike Ellis, Kevin Dean and Dan Hoover have instilled a winning attitude that has really taken hold this year.
"It's amazing to see the change in attitude the last couple of year's," noted senior Craig Trout. "We were a good team last year but the players have really come together this year."
The Northview defense has been especially tight-knit this year, allowing just 7.6 ppg. in nine victories this year. Especially potent has been Northview's big-play secondary that has preyed on opposing quarterbacks' mistakes all year long.
The Knights have picked off 19 passes this year, led by senior Brady Shoemaker who has a state-leading 10 interceptions. Aiding their efforts has been strong line play that has provided good pressure on team's quarterbacks. Northview's ability to contain Geoghegan on the ground Friday night will go a long way in determining the outcome.
The Woodsmen's explosive offense averaged nearly 45 points per game in the six games leading up to their sectional contest against Whiteland so Northview's defense will get a big test in the Knights quest for their 10th victory over the year.
However you can expect a raucous Northview crowd that has provided incredible support all season long whether at home or on the road. Playing at home is always an advantage and the crowd noise that Northview's fans provide could be a big intangible in Northview's favor tonight.
Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. with tickets available for $5.