Times Sports Editor
SPENCER -- If you're a Northview football fan and your looking for Friday's game tape against Owen Valley, your likely to find it somewhere in the Horror Section.
The Knights have to look no further than the bathroom mirror to see the culprit who beat them in Friday night's Western Indiana Conference battle against the Patriots.
Northview lost five fumbles and two other bad snaps cost them a safety and set up a short field for Owen Valley's first touchdown in a 24-20 defeat.
"We made too many mistakes," said coach George Gettle. "We turned the ball over too much. If you count the bad snaps, we gave them six or seven extra opportunities. For us to be ahead at halftime, we were very fortunate."
The Patriots had eight drives in the first two quarters, consisting of a total of 24 offensive plays. Amidst those plays were, two interceptions, a safety, two blocked punts and a single-play drive that resulted in a score.
Owen Valley's first drive ended quickly after one play led to a Zac Niehaus interception to set up the Knights at the Patriots' 17-yard line.
Northview drove to the doorstep with a second-and-goal at the one-yard line, but Trent Lancaster coughed up the ball in a situation that would prove to be way too common.
Instead of a potential seven points, the Knights did grab two, when Mitch Haviland and Corey Crowder broke through to halt Mike Turley in the endzone for a safety.
After the ensuing free kick, the Knights marched down the field and completed a 46-yard drive with a two-yard Wes Sorlie touchdown run for an 8-0 lead.
The Patriots went four plays and punted on their next drive and the Knights had a shot at adding to their lead. However, three straight incomplete passes led to a punt at the 42-yard line for the Knights.
The snap sailed over Kade Baker's head and Owen Valley recovered at the nine-yard line. One play later, the momentum firmly shifted as Andrew Hershberger scampered in for a score to narrow the gap to 8-6.
Special teams set up the Knights with another chance to extend the lead after Drake Stevenson blocked a punt and Baker recovered at the Patriots 15-yard line.
Sorlie's fumble on the first play of the drive was recovered by the Patriots and another chance went by the wayside
Northview's defense remained stout in the first half, allowing only a 35-yard run by Hershberger that kept them from allowing just 2.0 yards per carry.
The Knights fumbled away the first play of their next offensive drive as well, nullifying a 30-yard pass reception when Niehaus fumbled the ball away.
Owen Valley couldn't take advantage and had a punt blocked again to set up the Knights.
This time around the Knights capitalized on a 29 and 14-yard run by Lancaster that leads up to a five-yard TD run by Stevenson for a 14-6 lead at break.
The second half was full of more mistakes for the Knights who allowed Owen Valley to string together a nine-play 50-yard drive for a Hershberger score. Quarterback Jeff Wilson scored on the two-point conversion and the game was knotted a 14-apiece.
The wheels continued to wobble for the Knights who started their next drive by losing 13 yards on a bad snap. They ended the possession with another that cost them two points as the ball skipped into the endzone for a safety.
Now trailing 16-14 near the end of the third quarter, the Knights got a full dose of Hershberger on the next drive.
The 5'6 senior speedster ran three times to the Knights 15-yard line before Wilson took the ball the rest of the way on a quarterback keeper and a 24-14 lead.
The Knights fumbled the ensuing kickoff, which looked like it might effectively dash any hopes of a comeback for Northview.
However, the Knights made a last run, scoring on a six-yard pass from Lancaster to John Bradshaw.
Northview held the Patriots on a fourth down and five play at their own 35-yard line to get one last opportunity, but four incomplete passes finished off the Knights loss.
"Hats off to them," said Gettle about the Patriots. "Sooner or later we'll play our best game."
The Knights (1-4 overall, 1-2 WIC) travel to Vincennes Lincoln on Friday night.
At Owen Valley
Owen Valley 24, Northview 20
Nv -- Andrew Hershberger stopped for safety, 5:25
Nv -- Wes Sorlie two-yard run (kick failed), 3:12
OV -- Hershberger nine-yard run (run failed), :53
Nv -- Drake Stevenson five-yard run (kick blocked), 1:59
OV -- Hershberger seven-yard run (Wilson run)
OV -- Northview punt snap in endzone for safety), 47.5
OV -- Wilson nine-yard run (Hershberger run), 9:46
Nv -- Trent Lancaster pass to John Bradshaw (kick blocked), 3:27
Rushing -- Northview: Baker 4-10, Lancaster 17-82, Sorlie 5-3 TD, Stevenson 1-5 TD; Owen Valley: Hershberger 23-139 2 TD, Shedd 7-2, Turley 4-(-4), Wilson 9-41.
Passing -- Northview: T.Lancaster 11-23 141 yards, 1 TD, 0 Int.; Owen Valley: Wilson 2-6 20 yards, 2 Int.
Receiving -- Northview: Bradshaw 1-6 TD, Baker 2-9, Niehaus 6-110, Stevenson 2-16; Owen Valley: Drescher 1-9, Warner 1-11.