By CAREY FOX
The 2006 football season began much the same as last year's campaign did for the Northview Knights.
Except this time, instead of making the long drive south to visit the Salem Lions, the Knights played the rather rude host this time around, roaring away with a 46-7 win that their guests might choose to forget.
"It's always nice to get a win in front of your fans," commented coach George Gettle. "We had a nice crowd here tonight."
Few things went right for Salem in the first half, including fumbles the first two times members of the Lions' backfield touched the ball. Couple that with a Northview offense that chugged along and did what it needed to do in capitalizing on the Salem handling problems and Salem likely wished it could have snuck out at halftime.
Northview took the opening kickoff and converted a 4th-and-1 situation at their own 47-yard line before misfiring on another fourth down opportunity at the Salem 21-yard line.
The Lions however played the gracious visitors and promptly fumbled the ball right back to the Knights as Dylan Kruse fell on the loose ball at the Salem 7-yard line.
The Knights quickly converted the gift as Jered Timm plowed in for the firs score of the evening.
Salem took over after the opening kickoff at their own 34-yard line and once more, gave the ball back after a mishandled handoff in the backfield.
Northview took over in good position again at the 31-yard line and quarterback Broc Miller found Chase Yocom for a 14-yard completion following a five yard penalty and then hit the senior receiver for a seven-yard TD score to push the first quarter lead to 13-0 after a missed conversion attempt.
On their next possession, the Lions were able to hold onto the ball, though they were able to do little with it. Three plays later they punted the ball back to Northview.
In fact, Salem didn't achieve a first down in the opening two quarters while adding up just 18 yards of total offense before the intermission.
The Knights didn't have the same problem.
After the Lions' punt, Northview ground their way down the field on back-to-back seven yard runs from Albert Dean and a 15-yard scamper from Timm into Salem territory. Miller then found Zach Sanabria for a 25-yard pass that setup an 18-yard strike to Yocom in the corner of the endzone that gave Northview a 19-0 lead at the break.
Northview's defense didn't let up in the early stages of the third quarter, getting a big quarterback sack from senior Chris Dean, forcing a punt on the Lion's opening drive.
Northview responded by driving back down the field on a 26-yard pass to Yocom followed by a 15-yard run by Albert Dean, who went over the century mark (116 yards) in just 14 carries. Miller would finish off the scoring drive himself with a three-yard plunge and a 26-0 advantage.
Salem finally got a brief spark in the third quarter when, facing a 4th-and-23 from their 12-yard line, punter Tyler Huls mishandled the snap, but picked up the loose ball and scooted for a 33-yard gain and a first down. But as was the case much of the night, the wind promptly was sucked out of their sails when Ryan Brown picked off an Andrew Katt pass two plays later.
With Miller on the bench with some cramping in his hamstring, Sanabria stepped behind center and guided the Knights down the field, showing great poise in hitting Timm for a 22 yard pass and later following it with a 16-yard TD pass to tightend Tyler Coltharp.
Leading 33-0, the Knights had a brief letdown in their defensive focus, and the Lions took a swipe at them with a 68-yard TD run by Trevor Shell to get on the board.
Again, however, the Knights answered right back, Yocom would complete a three touchdown evening with a 78-yard kickoff return with 10:23 remaining.
Heath Wells would cap the scoring for the Knights, zipping in for a 16-yard TD run with 43 seconds left in the game.
With most of their experience lying in the passing department, the Knights went to the ground for the majority of the game and got a pair of 100 yard efforts from Dean and Timm (118 yards).
"We felt that we needed to get our backs and line in unison," commented Gettle of some of his inexperienced players. "They ran the ball better as the game went on and I think we wore them down a little bit. I was a little disappointed in some of our seniors," Gettle noted. "I don't think they seized this opportunity as much as some of the underclassmen did. We'll celebrate tonight and then get back to work tomorrow."
The Knights (1-0) will travel to Edgewood next week for a 7:30 p.m. contest.
Nv -- Jered Timm four-yard run, Cody Crooks kick; 5:05
Nv -- Broc Miller seven-yard TD pass to Chase Yocom, 2pt. conv. failed; 1:15
Nv -- Miller 18-yard TD pass to Yocom, kick failed; 6:50
Nv -- Miller three-yard TD run, Crooks kick; 6:21
Nv -- Zach Sanabria 16-yard TD pass to Tyler Coltharp, Crooks kick; 10:40
Salem -- Trevor Shell 68-yard TD run, kick good; 10:23
Nv -- Yocom 78-yard kickoff return, kick failed; 10:11
Nv -- Heath Wells eight-yard TD run, Crooks kick; :43.4
Rushing -- Nv 37-234 (A.Dean 14-116, Timm 12-118 TD, Miller 8-5 TD, H.Wells 1-8 TD, C.Dean 1-3; Misc. 1-(-6); Salem 25-155 (Katt 4-(-14), Shell 8-101 TD, Holstine 3-13, Sama 2-0, huls 5-6, Zink 2-(-1).
Passing -- Nv (Miller 10-14, 129 yards 2 TDs; Sanabria 3-3, 51 yards TD; H.Wells 0-0 0 yards); Salem (Katt 0-3, 0 yards, 0 TD, 1 Int.).
Receiving -- Nv (Yocom 7-95 yards 2TD, Timm 2-39, Sanabria 2-27, Coltharp 1-16, Brown 1-13). Salem (None)