Times Sports Editor
There might be some difficulty getting to sleep for Northview fans, players and coaches this evening. Running through their minds will likely be haunting thoughts of what might have been as they let a victory slip through their grasp against visiting Vincennes Lincoln, falling 16-14.
The Knights dominated play in the first half, scoring with apparent ease on their first drive on a five-yard jaunt by Nathan Williams. The drive took six plays and went 56 yards for a 7-0 lead.
Northview's defense also intercepted Vincennes quarterback Doug Roberts on the first play of the Alices' next drive and recovering two more fumbles on the first plays of Vincennes drives.
"We're disappointed. We controlled the football game early and we should have put more points on the board," said Northview coach George Gettle. "But credit Vincennes, they played a good second half."
The resulting great field position should have put the Knights right where they needed to be to quickly put Vincennes away.
But somehow the Alices doggedly stuck around.
After the interception by Dylan Kruse, Northview took over on the Vincennes 33-yard line. But a fumbled snap set up a 2nd-and-17 and though Nick Lancaster gained 13 yards on the next play. The Knights could not convert on a 4th-and-seven play as Caleb Whitman's pass was incomplete.
Northview was stopped on a 4th-and-1 play their next drive, but Vincennes fumbled the ball right back after a 14-yard run by Justin Duncan. The Alices' junior back fumbled at the end of the run and Jered Timm recovered.
Northview would drive to the Vincennes 16-yard line on a 13-yard run by Whitman and several shorter runs by Baker.
This drive would end without another score as well on a missed 33-yard fieldgoal by Cody Crooks.
Following the kickoff, Vincennes fumbled the pitch on an option play and Kruse recovered the ball to set up the Knights' second score, a six-yard TD pass from Whitman to Tyler Coltharp to take a 14-0 lead.
Despite leading, the Knights had to feel a bit unfulfilled after Vincennes gained just 54 total yards at the half and had three turnovers.
Those 14 points would turn out to not be enough for the Knights.
The Knights received the football to begin the second half but fumbled away their opening drive at midfield.
The Alices did take advantage of the Knights' mistake as Justin Duncan parlayed a strong final drive of the first half into a second half start.
Duncan made the most of his carries, scampering for a five and 12-yard gain to start the drive. He then broke free for a 36-yard score with 6:27 left in the quarter.
For much of the second half, Northview couldn't get any sort of field position to begin their drive, starting from their own 18, 20 and 22 their final three drives of the game.
The Knights would gain just one first down on their next drive and punted the ball back to the Alices.
After the Knights dropped Roberts for an 11-yard loss on a scramble to start the drive, Roberts found Brad Crismore open on a key 3rd-and-18 play. The senior wideout cut back across the grain and towards the sideline for a61-yard reception to the 11-yard line. Roberts would move the ball to the four-yard line where Garrett Schirmacher kicked a 21-yard field goal to get within 14-10 just 50 seconds into the fourth period.
The Knights made a march into Vincennes territory looking to clinch the game. Kade Baker had runs of 15, five and 25 yards around Nathan Williams' run of 10 yards to set up a first down at the Alices 25-yard line.
The Alices' defense would toughen up there as Jered Timm lost three yards on a run and Whitman missed on back-to-back passes to turn the ball over on fourth down.
Lincoln would go back to Crismore on a pass play that went for 46 yards to the Northview 23-yard line. From there, Crismore hauled in a 14-yarder and then Duncan ran in from 10 yards out to give the Alices a sudden 16-14 lead after the extra point missed.
The Knights would get their final chance from their own 23-yard line following the kickoff, but couldn't pull off a first down after three runs set up a 4th-and-14.
Forced to punt, the Knights kicked straight into a large wave of controversy in the final couple of minutes.
Baker booted the punt to Vincennes' receiver who waved for a fair catch, as the ball hit him in the chest, a whistle from he sideline official on the Alices' side of the field blew. The ball however bounced off the Alices' receiver's chest and the Knights recovered the loose ball.
However, the officials ruled that the inadvertent whistle, negated the play and the down was replayed though, since no change of possession had officially occurred, the Knights should have retained the ball.
To no avail, the Northview coaches argued the decision, but the Knights were forced to re-kick the ball and Vincennes ran out the clock to end the game.
"I felt that we should have had the ball (following the whistle), but we don't know if we would have scored or not, but I would have liked to have had a chance to kick a game-winning field goal."
The loss evens the Knights' record at 3-3 overall with a trip to the RCA Dome looming next Saturday for a WIC matchup against South Vermillion.
Vincennes Lincoln 16, Northview 14
Nv -- Nathan Williams five-yard run (Cody Crooks kick), 6:37
Caleb Whitman six-yard pass to Tyler Coltharp (Cody Crooks kick), 6:30
VL -- Justin Duncan 36-yard run (Roberts kick), 6:27
VL -- Garrett Schirmacher 21-yard fieldgoal,
VL -- Duncan 10-yard run (kick failed), 4:21
Rushing -- Northview: Timm 2-1, Whitman 7-18, Lancaster 8-53, Williams 3-28, Baker 10-59, Stevenson 3-8, Keller 1-0, Kruse 1-1. Vincennes: Duncan 15-17, Bouchie 6-35, Roberts 4-(-22), Mott 1-0.
Passing -- Northview: Whitman 5-8 54 yards, TD. Vincennes: Roberts 7-13 133 yards.
Receiving -- Northview: Timm 3-44, Coltharp 1-6 TD, Kirby 1-4. Vincennes: Crismore 3-66, Blue 3-75, Duncan 1-2
Next game: Northview (3-3 overall, 3-0 WIC) travels to the RCA Dome to face South Vermillion on Saturday at 7 p.m.