Times Sports Editor
ELLETSVILLE -- The Northview Knights were expecting to get a heavy dose of Edgewood's senior quarterback, Josh Collier, on Friday night. What they weren't counting on was losing four turnovers.
The combination was too much to overcome as the Knights lost their first Western Indiana Conference game in four years, 35-14.
"It's tough," said coach George Gettle when asked about the WIC defeat. "I'd like to think the kids understand how important (conference games) are. Conference titles are hard to win."
Collier, a four-year starter for the Mustangs, is doing everything he can to make sure the Mustangs capture their first ever title since the WIC was formed in 1999.
He ran for 132 yards and four touchdowns, two in the fourth quarter to hammer in the final points in the Northview defeat.
"The Collier kid is a great athlete," said Gettle. We knew all about him coming in."
Collier exerted his influence on the game immediately, taking the opening kickoff and racing more than 70 yards to the Northview five-yard line before rambling the final yards for a score just one minute into the game.
The Knights didn't have much success on their opening drive, going four plays and punting, but got a reprieve when Corey Crowder a fumble by Edgewood's Kyle Williams at midfield.
The second time around the Knights got untracked and put together a seven-play drive that featured a pair of eight-yard runs by quarterback Trent Lancaster. His rushes, and a 15-yard reception by Zac Niehaus, set up a one-yard blast by Kade Baker with 1:36 remaining in the opening period.
Edgewood drove deep into the Knights territory on its following drive as Collier found senior Hayden DuMond on a seven-yard pass on 2nd-and-11 and Collier followed with a 15-yard rush to the Knights' 24-yard line.
Kyle McCoy ended the Mustangs' drive when he stepped in and picked off Collier's pass to set up the Knights at the 25-yard line.
The turnover bug chose that drive to rear its ugly head and bite Northview just six plays into the drive and immediately after a momentum shifting 12-yard Lancaster scramble and pass to Niehaus for a first down.
The turnover ended the Knights' potential threat and seemed to set a trend.
The Knights defense forced a midfield punt from Edgewood, but on the following drive, Lancaster was hit while driving for extra yards on a scramble. The ball popped loose and Edgewood scooped the ball up on the Knights' 28-yard line. Four plays later, Collier scooted in from 12-yards out to give the Mustangs a halftime lead, 14-7.
The second half began much better for the Knights who were forced to punt from their 34-yard line, but the kick was touched by a Mustang blocker and recovered by the Knights.
Lancaster found Baker on a screen pass that went for 39 yards down the sideline to the 11-yard line. Lancaster then found John Bradshaw for a nine-yard TD on a fade route to knot the game.
From there however, it was Edgewood that seemed to gain a stranglehold on the momentum.
Collier ripped off a 20-yard run on first down the next drive and the officials tacked on a 15-yard personal foul penalty on the Knights. Suddenly at the Knights' 31-yard line, fullback Shane Wagner converted a fourth-and-three situation with a 15-yard run. Two plays later it was a familiar face in the endzone as Collier scored from three yards out for a 21-14 Mustang lead.
The Knights' offense stalled on the next two possessions, punting once and a fumble gave the Mustangs a short field that they converted for a 28-14 lead on a 30-yard Collier run with 7:28 remaining in the game.
Playing from behind, the Knights were forced to go for a fourth down conversion the following series, but an incompletion on fourth-and-two returned the ball to Edgewood.
Collier scored his fourth TD three plays later to cap the scoring.
Despite the defeat, Gettle maintained his confidence in the team.
"Too many turnovers. You'll never win when you turn the ball over that many times," said the Knights' coach. "I'm not blaming the offense or defense. Trent (Lancaster) ran hard and ran over some people. He's young, I've got confidence in him. He's good."
The Knights (0-2 overall) travel to Terre Haute North next Friday.
Edgewood 35, Northview 14
EW -- Josh Collier five-yard run (Finch kick), 11:00
Nv -- Kade Baker one-yard run (Baker kick), 1:36
EW -- Kyle Williams 12-yard run (Finch kick), 0:49
Nv -- Trent Lancaster nine-yard pass to Jonathan Bradshaw (Baker kick), 9:05
EW -- Collier three-yard run (Finch kick), 4:34
EW -- Collier 30-yard run (Finch kick), 7:28
EW -- Collier four-yard run (Finch kick), 4:47
Rushing -- Northview: Baker 7-12 TD, T.Lancaster 16-39, Stevenson 6-8, Smith 2-57, Crowder 2-3, Sorlie 4-11; Edgewood: Collier 14-132 4TD, Wagner 3-21, Williams 10-68 TD.
Passing -- Northview: T.Lancaster 9-18 109 yards, 1 Int., 1 TD.; Edgewood: J.Collier 5-11 24 yards, 1 Int.
Receiving -- Northview: Boetjer 1-9, Niehaus 4-42, Baker 2-37, Bradshaw 1-9 TD, Stevenson 1-12; Edgewood: Dumond 3-12, Finch 1-9.