[The Brazil Times nameplate] Light Rain ~ 58°F  
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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Knights start season with victory against Franklin

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Damon Hyatt (No. 21) keeps his balance as he crosses the goal line for the Knights' first touchdown of the game. Cary Fox Photo. [Order this photo]
FRANKLIN -- The Northview Knights braved both the elements and a potentially disastrous opening couple of series before rallying to blast Franklin by a 33-8 score on Friday night.

In a contest that was three-quarters football game and one-quarter monsoon, the Knights survived a safety on their first possession when quarterback Trent Lancaster was sacked in the endzone. Franklin then received the following kickoff and marched 50 yards to score on an 11-yard run by Junior Ortega to take an 8-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the game.

From there however, it was all Northview as the defense didn't allow another first down throughout the entire first half and the offense began to gel.

The Knights got on the board in the second quarter after setting up on a short field after a strong punt return.

Lancaster found tightend Jonathan Bradshaw on a 10-yard pass on a third-and-six play and then Damon Hyatt found paydirt with a four-yard TD run.

The defense forced another punt from the Grizzly Cubs and the momentum completed its swing as Lancaster hit Drake Stevenson for a 16-yard gain deep into Franklin territory.

Facing a third-and-12 situation on Franklin's 27-yard line, Andrew Butts broke free of his defender down the sideline and was held, drawing a pass interference call that gave the Knights a first down at the Franklin 13-yard line.

After a pair of incomplete passes, Lancaster did the rest of the work himself, rolling out and slipping by the defense to the corner for a 13-yard TD score to give the Knights the lead. Lancaster found Bradshaw for the two-point conversion pass and a 14-8 lead at halftime.

A steady drizzle began to fall minutes into the third quarter and rapidly transitioned into a full-scale tropical storm.

With the rain and win combining to blow every direction imaginable, moving the ball for either team became nearly impossible on offense.

Northview faced what became a pivotal third down in its own territory and the coaching staff made perhaps the call of the game to quick kick the ball. Lancaster received the snap and punted the ball, which rolled deep into Franklin's own end and pinned the Grizzly Cubs deep.

"When the rain came it basically made the field unplayable and the ball unplayable," coach George Gettle said. "We got some lucky things that went our way, but I think what really changed the game was when we quick kicked the ball and put the ball down in there territory and they didn't expect that. When the rain came we didn't think we could get off the punt so we probably gained 50 or 60 yards (of field position) when we quick kicked. Then we basically played the rest of the game in the monsoon in their territory. Everybody played hard and played good, but I think that quick kick turned the game around."

Scott Wheeler (No. 77) congratulates teammate Jonathan Bradshaw (No. 83) following a pass completion in the first half of Friday's win over Franklin. Carey Fox Photo. [Order this photo]
Indeed it did as Northview kept great field position the remainder of the way and made some key plays to recover an onside kick and a pair of fumbles in Franklin territory.

The Knights had the ball on the six-yard line facing a fourth down with eight minutes remaining in the game and Lancaster rolled out and found Bradshaw for a 20-8 lead.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Knights sent a wobbling kick that was recovered by Northview and set up another score.

On Franklin's 20-yard line and facing another fourth and long position, Lancaster rolled out and hurled a pass to the endzone that skipped off Drake Stevenson's hands and into the waiting Zac Niehaus' arms for a score and a 26-8 lead.

The Knights' defense came up big again on the next series, recovering a fumble, which led to the final tally, a two-yard score by Damon Hyatt.

"I'm real proud of the kids, good effort. I think the two-platoon on our offensive and defensive lines really became valuable in the second half," Gettle said. "(Franklin) had a couple of two-way players and I think their kids got tired where our kids remained fresh. With the rain it became kind of a ground and pound ballgame.

"I thought that running the ball, as the game went on, we got better at it. I'm proud of the kids effort and we talked about starting 1-0 this year and we accomplished that goal. So now, we'll try and go 1-0 again next week."

The Knights travel to Lucas Oil Field next Saturday to face Edgewood at 2:45 p.m.

At Franklin

Northview 33, Franklin 8


First quarter

FR - Safety (Lancaster sacked in endzone), 11:06

FR - Ortega 11-yard run (kick failed), 5:21

Second quarter

NV - Damon Hyatt four-yard run (kick failed), 4:34

NV - Trent Lancaster 13-yard run (Lancaster pass to Jonathan Bradshaw conversion), 0:20

Third quarter


Fourth quarter

NV - Lancaster six-yard pass to Bradshaw (kick blocked), 8:24

NV - Lancaster 20-yard pass to Zac Niehaus (pass incomplete), 3:23

NV - Damon Hyatt two-yard run (Niehaus kick), 1:44

Note: Full statistical information will be available in Monday's edition of The Brazil Times.