Times Sports Editor
NASHVILLE -- Chalk up a fourth straight Western Indiana Conference championship for the Northview Knights who downed the Brown County Eagles, 40-3, to claim their 24th consecutive WIC victory to wrap the regular season.
The victory also propels the Knights into the postseason on a three-game winning streak.
"The kids played hard tonight and they knew what was on the line," commented coach George Gettle. "To win four straight conference titles and 24 straight, we talk about creating memories and these kids have created something that they can be proud of tonight."
The Eagles struck first when they got a 48-yard pass completion from Kirk Graber to Travis Arnold down to the Knights 11-yard line. But the Knights' defense stiffened to limit Brown County to a 27-yard field goal from Shane Hedrick.
That was the last time the Eagles would threaten in the game.
From that point the Knights seemingly moved the ball at will against the winless Eagles' defense.
The Knights started freshman Trent Lancaster at quarterback and he led his teammates in a 66-yard drive that resulted, strangely, in two touchdowns.
Northview moved the ball down to the 25-ayrd line where Lancaster pulled off a masterful fake handoff and then raced up the middle for an apparent touchdown. However, the fake was a bit too good as Brown County defenders tackled the running back and the officials whistled the ball down thinking the play was over. Meanwhile, Lancaster was running full tilt to paydirt with the pigskin.
After some confusion, the officials decided that their would be a replay of the down much to the dismay of Northview coaches and fans.
Lancaster responded by hitting Jered Timm for a 12-yard pass for a first down and Nick Lancaster would cap the drive with a one-yard TD run to give the Knights the lead.
Northview's offense continued their mastery in the second quarter as Nick Lancaster again found the endzone to finish off a one play drive after an interception by Kyle McCoy at the Eagles five-yard line.
Trent Lancaster would later find Timm on a beautifully pass to the corner of the endzone to give Northview a 20-3 lead at halftime.
Lancaster showed off both his legs and his arms in the game, efficiently throwing for 178 yards on 9-of-13 passing and two scores as well as running for 68 yards on 11 carries.
"It's not often that I bring up a freshman," said Gettle. "But I felt like (Lancaster) could handle it. Tonight was a culmination of a lot of hard work."
While the Knights' defense was limiting the Eagles to just two yards rushing in the first half and only 45 for the game, the offense continued to click in the second half.
After the Knights forced a punt from the Eagles on their first drive, Lancaster found Timm for 17 yards and Wes Sorlie finished off the drive with a 14 yard score.
Another Eagles punt gave the ball back to the Knights on their own 36-yard line and Northview struck quickly as Lancaster hit Timm again, this time for a 64-yard pass across the middle for a TD.
Timm would catch seven passes in the game for 151 yards and two touchdowns from Lancaster.
Sorlie would cap the Knights scoring in the fourth quarter when he busted through the Eagles' defense for a 43 yard run.
The Knights' defense finished off the performance as Kade Baker and sophomore Brock Potter picked off the Eagles' last opportunity in the closing minute.
The victory raises the Knights' record to 6-3 overall heading into the postseason where they will host Jasper on Friday at 8 p.m.
At Brown County
Northview 40, Brown County 3
BC -- Shane Hedrick 27-yard fieldgoal, 8:44
Nv -- Nick Lancaster one-yard run (Cody Crooks kick), 4:46
Nv -- Nick Lancaster five-yard run (kick blocked), 9:13
Nv -- Trent Lancaster 20-yard pass to Jered Timm (Crooks kick), 0:33
Nv -- Wes Sorlie 14-yard run (conversion failed), 4:57
Nv -- Trent Lancaster 64-yard pass to Timm (Crooks kick), 3:21
Nv -- Sorlie 43-yard run (Crooks kick), 6:09
Rushing -- Northview: T.Lancaster 11-68, N.Lancaster 10-57 2 TD, Sorlie 7-68 2 TD, Williams 4-27, Stevenson 3-14, White 1-(-1); Brown County: Hedrick 6-31, Graber 6-(-5), Arnold 5-10, Wilson 2-2, Carlile 2-7.
Passing -- Northview: T.Lancaster 9-13 178 yards, 0 Int. 2 TD; Brown County 7-19 113 yards, 0 TD, 3 Int.
Receiving -- Northview: Timm 7-151 yards 2 TD, Coltharp 1-4, Baker 1-23; Brown County: Davis 2-9, Arnold 3-59, Hedrick 1-41.