Members of Northview's offensive line, Kyle Pestoff (#58), Evan Moore (#57) and Adam Phipps (#70) protect their quarterback Broc Miller (#10).
By CAREY FOX
Sitting at 2-0 and coming off a landslide 69-26 victory over Sullivan, Northview heads to Spencer for an important matchup with another Western Indiana Conference foe in Owen Valley on Friday night.
The Knights will be facing a wounded animal, with the Patriots coming off an upset 20-19 loss to rival Edgewood that had to be hard to swallow. The loss was just the second in the past eight meetings between the two schools for the Patriots.
Northview will be charged with nabbing the early momentum and sucking the wind from the Patriots' sails from the opening kickoff. Owen Valley has always played well at home and was unbeaten on their home turf last season.
In last week's lopsided victory, the Knights were able to rest a few injured starters who should be ready to return to the starting lineup against the Patriots. One benefit to those injuries could be some added depth on the lines for the Knights. After getting significant playing time versus the Arrows, Chris Wools, Adam Phipps and Tyler Chew proved they are certainly capable of adding quality minutes on the field.
Northview will need to corral the dynamic quarterback of the Patriots, Jared Maners, a talented athlete who chalked up 167 total yards last week along with two touchdowns. He threw for a 50-yard touchdown to Gabe Bault in the game.
Halfback Brian Jones is a solid performer for the Patriots and on defense and Owen Valley also boasts one of the state's top tacklers in Jake Feltner, who also does double-duty at fullback. The IHSAA lists Feltner as the state's second-leading tackler at nearly 16 combined solo and assisted tackles per game.
Last season the Knights garnered a 34-15 home win against Owen Valley and another win this year will keep the Knights unbeaten in both the WIC and on the season.
The Knights were led by several powerful performances against Sullivan.
Receiver Chase Yocom rang up more than 400 total yards and scored three touchdowns in the game. He grabbed six passes from quarterback Broc Miller for 151 yards, all in the first half. But Yocom certainly wasn't Miller's only target. Jered Timm caught four passes, including a touchdown and both Zach Sanabria and Tyler Coltharp each had four more catches apiece.
However, the Knights will need to prove they can run the ball as well. The Knights had a slightly over 100 yards against the Arrows, though they certainly weren't pressed to run the ball.
Edgewood quarterback Josh Collier had 347 total yards against the Patriots last week, including 150 yards rushing on 24 carries. So Miller's legs could prove to be just as valuable to the offense as his arm on Friday night.
The Northview defense will be interested in gaining back their swagger of a couple of weeks ago after a shutout of Edgewood. The Arrows went for some big plays against the Knights, a fact that was most certainly brought up this week in practice for the Northview defense.
The Knights hope to contain Maners running ability and make the Patriots go to the air where Northview can use their athletic advantage.
Both teams have plenty to be pumped up for in Friday's showdown. The Knights are looking to keep their unblemished records intact and the Patriots will be trying to defend their turf and stay afloat in the conference race.