Jamie Bays (#35) hauls down a Salem runner in the Knights win versus the Lions on Friday.
SALEM -- Battling through a wave of heat related cramps the Northview Knights blasted the home standing Salem Lions in each team's football opener, 57-18.
The third quarter was rough for both teams as players began to suffer from leg cramps during a period that lasted for nearly an hour. The Knights did control much of the play in the quarter, extending a tenuous 28-18 halftime advantage into a 30-point lead heading into the final quarter. With a sizable advantage and the effect the heat and humidity were having on players, the fourth quarter was played with a running clock.
"This is as bad as I've seen in my 15 years," commented head coach George Gettle on the cramping on both sidelines. "In the second half, you had kids cramping on any given play. The third quarter took over an hour and a running clock was the right thing to do."
In the second half the Knights seemed to wear down the Lions defense as Jamie Bays galloped for 107 of his game-high 112 yards in the third quarter, including touchdown runs of 65 and 27 yards to put the game away.
"Jamie ran the ball really well in the second half," said Gettle. "I think our offensive line did a pretty good job."
Northview got off to a strong start aided by some Salem miscues.
In the first quarter, Salem fumbled a punt that was recovered by Jamie Bays at the Salem 20-yard line. Three plays later, Brian Walden scored on a one-yard run and the Knights were off and running.
The Lions fumbled on their next series and Aaron Bays gathered in the ball to return the ball back to the Knights who got another touchdown from Walden, this one a four yard blast with 1:09 remaining in the first period. The Knights got another gift from the Lions on their next possession as Cody Shipmen picked off a Salem pass setting up the Knights on the first play of the series.
The Lions would get on the board courtesy of a Trevor Shell 25-yard run but the extra point attempt was blocked.
"I think the fumbles and the early interception really hurt them," said Gettle of the momentum changing plays.
Chase Yocom would extend the Knights lead on the kickoff, returning the kick 91 yards for a touchdown for a 21-6 advantage and Broc Miller would power home a two yard TD run with 2:04 left in the half before Salem finished off the half with a 57 yard drive that ended with a tipped TD pass from Matt Hudson to Seth Wynn.
In the third period, Northview put together a three minute opening drive that resulted in a touchdown pass from Miller to Jared Timm.
Salem answered with a score from Hudson on a one yard dive over the line, but it was the last time the Lions would see the endzone.
Jamie Bays found the endzone twice in a three minute span to go with a late touchdown from Aaron Bays and Neil Vanatti slammed the door with authority when he sacked Hudson for a safety in the closing minutes to seal the deal.
"We dealt with the adversity of the 95-degree heat on a two-and-half hour bus ride. We overcame a lot just to get down here," said Gettle of his Knights who begin the year at 1-0 and host WIC foe Edgewood next Friday.
Nv -- Walden one yard run (M.Crooks kick), 2:46
Nv -- Walden four yard run (M.Crooks kick), 1:09
S -- Shell 25-yard run (kick failed), 9:36
Nv -- Yocom 91-yard kick return (M.Crooks kick), 9:22
Nv -- B.Miller two yard run (M.Crooks kick), 2:09
S -- Wynn 15-yard pass from Hudson (pass failed), :13.6
Nv -- Timm three yard pass from Miller (M.Crooks kick), 9:02
Nv -- J.Bays 65-yard run (kick failed), 6:41
Nv -- J.Bays 27-yard run (M.Crooks kick), 4:13
Nv -- Miller one yard run (M.Crooks kick), 10:00
Nv -- Safety (Vanatti sacks Hudson in endzone), 5:00
Rushing -- Nv 30-298 (J.Bays 6-112, J.Clancy 3-57, B.Miller 10-35, A.Dean 2-32, A.Bays 4-27, B.Walden 4-21). Salem (Huls 8-81, Shell 13-50, Overshiner 6-40, Hudson 7-27, Dixon 3-(-14), McDonald 1-(-1).
Passing -- Nv (B.Miller 9-14-0 109 yards 1 TD). Salem (Hudson 1-5-1 15 yards, Int.)
Receiving -- Nv (J.Bays 3-21, D.Chamberlain 2-40, Yocom 2-37, White 1-18, J.Timm 1-3 TD). Salem (Wynne 1-15 TD).