The running game will be a very important aspect of the Knights offense as the season begins.
The 2005 football season kicks off on Friday night with Northview making a long road trip to Salem to take on the 3A Lions.
Salem struggled to a 3-7 mark last season and a first round sectional loss to Edgewood (16-6) that came on the heels of an 8-3 mark in 2003.
Fans in Salem are already pumped up about an opportunity to beat a larger, 4A school after scrimmaging this summer against 5A Jeffersonville. The Knights meanwhile will be looking to carve out their own identity with a wealth of new starters getting the chance to see the bright lights of Friday night football.
The Lions will be led by their talented quarterback, senior Matt Hudson whose got the size (6'6, 230) and the talent to have drawn interest from several MAC schools along with a brief look from Tennessee. Northview's defense should get a solid test from an offense that was about 60/40 running to pass last year.
At running back will be Trevor Shell (5'11, 171), a talented sophomore that missed time last year with injury but will take over the reigns once more this year. Backing him up will be senior Travis McDonald (5'9, 170) and A.J. Ingram (5'9, 170).
"(Salem) is pretty much a typical 3A team in that they count on their running game," said Northview coach George Gettle. "They've got a nice big, tall quarterback and I believe he is one of the state's Tremendous 26. I look for them to be pretty well coached."
At receiver, the Lions have Isaac Stockrahm (6'0, 143) along with Will Deaton (6'0, 150) and tightend Seth Wynn (6'2, 244) who is a three year starter for Salem.
Over on the defensive side of the ball, Alan Spurgeon will anchor the line with his 6'5, 293 frame and Scott Quinlin (5'7, 168) will be a linebacker. In the defensive backfield, junior Darren Overshiner (6'2, 180) will be the leader and Ingram will also get some time at linebacker or corner.
The Knights should get a pretty solid test out of this contest, breaking in some inexperienced players. While Northview is the bigger squad, Salem has nothing to lose in this contest and will likely come out swinging. Controlling Hudson will be the biggest key for Northview and the Knights will need to establish their running game early on the road.
"This is going to be a tough ball game," agreed Gettle. "Anytime you go on the road its tough. We're faced with our longest trip of the year. It'll be a huge challenge."