Northview Senior Forward John Latta was the difference maker in Tuesday night's 7-3 soccer victory over the South Vermillion Wildcats.
Latta made a steal and scored the game's first goal with 34:30 left in the first half, but it was just the start of a magical half for the Knights.
Only a minute-and-a-half later Zach Childs scored a crazy goal as the ball bounced off the crossbar, then Wildcats' Goalkeeper Zack Naylor, then again off the crossbar before going into the net.
Latta scored his second goal, this time on a breakaway, only a couple of minutes later off a lead pass from midfielder Brandon Hathaway, giving the Knights a commanding 3-0 lead with more than 30 minutes to go in the half.
The score remained that way until the last few minutes when Latta knocked in two more goals in the last 2:31 of the half, assisted by midfielder Levi Pollard and forward Ken Wright, respectively, giving him four goals on the day.
Latta also knocked one in just before the first half buzzer sounded, but it was negated as Latta was offsides, sending the Knights into halftime with a 5-0 lead.
For Coach Don Bryan, the first half performance showed how the team has been playing better since conference play started.
"We've steadily been increasing our ability throughout the season, and it is really showing now," Bryan said. "They (South Vermillion) have a good goalie, but it can be difficult to beat a team playing as well as we are."
Bryan emphasized staying focused in his halftime speech, but it took a few minutes to sink in.
Three minutes into the second half, the Wildcats got on the board off a Tom Norberg goal, which was quickly equaled by Northview's Michael Gallion scoring off of a steal, putting the Knights back up 6-1 with 34 minutes to go in the game.
Following a Moritz Grieger goal with 32 minutes remaining that pulled South Vermillion within a 6-2 deficit, Coach Bryan pulled Goalkeeper Cainan Reeves for a variety of reasons.
"We weren't really with it coming out of the half, but with a big lead and a couple more games left, it was nice to give our regulars some rest," Bryan said.
Latta pitched in an assist on Northview's last goal, courtesy of Brandon Hathaway, pushing the Knights' lead back to five at a score of 7-2 with just under 24 minutes left to go.
"It was great to get everyone some playing time," Bryan said.
Norberg knocked in a penalty kick past Matt Trout, the Knights third goalkeeper of the game, with 2:30 left to go sealing the final score of 7-3.
The win improves the Knights' record to 4-1 within the Western Indiana Conference (4-8 overall) and knocks the Wildcats down to a 1-4 WIC record and 1-8 overall.
With two games left, the Knights boys' soccer team still has a chance to take home a conference title.
"We have two games left in the season, with our conference finale coming at Sullivan next Tuesday," Bryan said. "If we can win that one, it will put us in a tie for first in the conference."
Coach Bryan also said it is important for the players to keep their heads in the game as sectionals approach.
"We came out a little slow in the second half, but we pulled it together for the win and hopefully can keep the winning streak alive," Bryan said.
The Knights are on a three-game winning streak and next face Guerin Catholic in a non-conference game at Northview Saturday starting at noon.
Northview 7, South Vermillion 3
Note: John Latta had 4 goals and an assist for Northview
Next game: Northview faces Guerin Catholic at noon Saturday at Northview.