Terre Haute North picked off the opening pass from Caleb Whitman and the Knights got a heavy dose of running back David White, who ran the ball three times for 28 yards and a touchdown just 2:11 into the game.
But if the Patriots relaxed after that quick score, it was the wrong thing to do.
The Knights gave visiting North all they could handle before succumbing by a 35-28 score.
"We'll be fine. Our kids played hard and the effort was definitely there. We'll get some guys back healthy next week," commented coach George Gettle of his squad. "Two silly mistakes cost us, but these kids played hard and that's all I want."
There was no shortage of great efforts from any number of Knights who came right back at the Patriots when they caught a break when Josh Loudermilk fumbled a punt from Kade Baker.
Dylan Kruse pounced on the fumble that helped change field position and keep Northview's energy level elevated. That momentum swung fully in the Knights favor when their defense held North and forced them to punt from their own 27-yard line. Northview's Cory Crowder broke free, blocked the kick and then scooped it up for a touchdown that tied the score.
And that's where the real battle began.
North fired their next volley on the careful passing of senior quarterback John Garvin who found tightend Billy Sisson for a 36-yard pass on a third-and-seven play before finding him for another 10-yard pass to the Knights' 26-yard line.
After two incompletions, Garvin hooked up on another big third down play for an 18-yard first down pass to Brandon Dorsett.
White finished the drive on back-to-back runs to give the Patriots a 14-7 lead with just 2:57 remaining in the half.
Northview went three-and-out on their next possession, but North decided to throw on two passes from their nine-yard line and were forced to punt again.
A short kick gave the Knights a last shot starting from the Patriots' 34-yard line.
Jered Timm made a leaping 30-yard reception across the middle to the six-yard line and Whitman found Tyler Coltharp in the corner of the endzone to tie the game with just seven seconds remaining.
The Patriots could have knocked the Knights out on the first drive of the second half when they opened with a 21-yard run from White and and Garvin hit a wide open Frank Willis down the sideline for a 46-yard score less than two minutes into the second half.
The Knights have grown so much over the first few weeks and showed their rising maturity on their next drive by putting together a 10-play, 67-yard drive that included a pair of pass receptions by Zach Kirby and a 23-yard catch by Timm that set up Coltharp's second TD reception.
Each team traded interceptions, one by the Knights' Coltharp and the second by Ian Smith that helped set up the Patriots next score.
North took over at the Knights' 46-yard line and quickly got a 15-yard catch from Dorsett and a 20-yard run from White to setup his 16-yard TD catch shortly into the fourth quarter.
The Patriots seemingly took control for good when their defense forced a three-and-out from the Knights and, on the first play from scrimmage, White rambled around the left side for a 52-yard score and a two TD lead with 10:32 left.
The Knights had one more bullet left for the Patriots on the next drive, going 14-plays over 80 yards.
Kade Baker got into the Knights' backfield and ran for 33 yards on the final drive on eight carries and Whitman crept in from the one-yard line to narrow the gap back to one touchdown.
Terre Haute North was faced with running out the final 3:54 and were able to do just that despite having White leave the game with an injury during the drive. He ran for 159 yards in the contest and scored four of North's TD's.
Fullback Miguel Miller came in and was able to grab one last first down to enable the Patriots to run out the clock.
"We're not used to losing," commented coach Gettle. "The days of North walking all over us are gone. We had some kids banged up tonight and they kept asking to come back in and that's a good sign."
The Knights (1-2 overall, 1-0 WIC) will travel to Sullivan next Friday at 7:30 p.m.
T.H. North 35, Northview 28
THN -- David White 10-yard run (Lentz kick), 9:49
Nv -- Cory Crowder 27-yard punt block return (C.Crooks kick), 5:46
THN -- White five-yard run (Lentz kick), 2:57
Nv -- Caleb Whitman six-yard pass to Tyler Coltharp (C.Crooks kick), 0:07
THN -- John Garvin 46-yard pass to Frank Willis (Lentz kick), 10:28
Nv -- Whitman nine-yard pass to Coltharp (Crooks kick), 5:11
THN -- White seven-yard run (Lentz kick), 11:18
THN -- White 52-yard run (Lentz kick), 10:32
Nv -- Whitman one-yard run (Crooks kick), 3:54
Rushing -- Northview: Timm 5-11, Whitman 15-44, Sorlie 4-4, Baker 8-33; T.H. North: White 21-159, Garvin 4-30, Miller 3-32, King 2 (-2).
Passing -- Northview: Whitman 13-27 159 yards, 2 Int. 2 TD; T.H. North: Garvin 14-25 228 yards, 1 Int. 1 TD.
Receiving -- Northview: Timm 6-84, Coltharp 2-15 2TD, Kirby 4-44, Hakman 1-16; T.H. North: Willis 1-46 TD, Dorsett 5-69, Sisson 5-71, White 1-16, King 2-26.