Times Sports Editor
SULLIVAN -- The Sullivan Golden Arrows might want to re-think inviting the Northview Knights to their homecoming party each season. The Knights picked up their eighth-consecutive win over the Arrows on Sullivan which celebrated homecoming, but little else.
The Knights scored early and then plenty late on the way to a 62-30 that wasn't even that close.
Northview pooch kicked the opening kickoff and pounced on the loose ball to catch the Arrows off guard and take over possession. The Knights took to the air for much of the first half by design and though it didn't start smoothly as Trent Lancaster air mailed a couple of early passes, he still found Zac Niehaus for an 18-yard completion and then Drake Stevenson hauled in a 16-yard TD pass for a quick 6-0 lead.
The Arrows first offensive possession didn't go much better as Niehaus picked off a pass by Sullivan's Tyler Cox and the Knights had another short field to work with.
Northview was unable to score on the possession and though Sullivan did little on offense, the Knights couldn't capitalize due to their own penalty issues and some mistakes. Officials flagged the Knights for 11 first half penalties, most of them holding calls that helped stall the Northview offense.
"Penalties really stopped a lot of momentum, every time we got something going we'd get a holding or a block in the back," Northview coach George Gettle said. "So we weren't very sharp in the first half, we weren't very into it for some reason. But obviously when we settled down at halftime we came out and played much better in the second half."
Though Northview dominated play in the first half, outgaining the Arrows 272 to 32, Sullivan was still very close.
Lancaster had 256 of his 328 passing yards in the first half on 17-of-29 passing with a score. Gettle mentioned after the game that the air attack was by design and that the coaching staff had hoped to build a lead and give some starters a rest.
"That was the idea, we've got a couple of guys banged up and I didn't want to ground and pound tonight," Gettle said. "I wanted to go to the air and get a lead and take some of the pressure off the guys running the ball. It didn't quite work as well as we wanted it to early on, but we finally settled in and it worked. A win's a win, anytime you put 62 on the board you have to be happy."
What also made him happy was the way his team performed in the final two quarters after a sloppy first half.
Lancaster went to the ground for a 52-yard TD run as he wound his way through defenders and faked one to the ground on the third play of the second half.
Sullivan answered right back as Cox found Hiatt on a 67-yard pass and Smith found paydirt on a five-yard scamper and the score was tight again at 28-14.
From there however, the Knights stepped forward on both sides of the ball.
The Knights marched the ball 75 yards on its next drive, running nearly seven minutes off the clock before Lancaster found Jon Bradshaw for a 10-yard score on fourth and goal with 3:28 remaining in the third quarter.
Sullivan punted on its next drive and the Knights got a 22-yard run from Lancaster, who rushed for 108 yards and three touchdowns in the game. Hyatt then ripped off a slashing 16-yard run before Lancaster finished the drive with a nine-yard run and a 42-14 lead.
Things went from bad to worse for the Arrows, who fumbled the kickoff as Andrew Butts recovered for the Knights. Hyatt took the first handoff for 10 yards and then Hyatt scored from a yard out.
"We've done a really good job this year when the defense gives us an extra opportunity or possession," Gettle said. "We've done a good job of taking advantage of that. If the offense gets an extra chance from the defense and can score off it then it's just a feather in the cap for both sides."
Hyatt would add an 18-yard TD run with 7:50 left in the game and Rocky Flowers would recover a fumble by the Arrows and Junior Hubbard would score on a six-yard run to cap the Knights scoring.
Hyatt had just eight carries in the game, but ran up 108 yards and two touchdowns with some nifty footwork and some hard finishes, which Gettle remarked on following the game.
Once we got ahead comfortable and started running the ball (Hyatt) made some great runs out there, some cuts and a lot of being patient. That's why he's the starting running back for us because he's patient and sees the field and lets people get in front of him," Gettle said. "He's got some pretty good wheels too and when he gets in the open field he can make some people miss and you saw him on that one run, I didn't think he was every going to go down."
Sullivan added a couple of late scores against the Northview reserves as Arrows' backup QB Ryan Vernelson found Zachary Willis for a short TD pass and later hit Trent Moody for a 39-yard TD with 23 seconds remaining.
The Knights are now 3-1 and host Owen Valley in another WIC battle at 7 p.m. Friday.
Northview 62, Sullivan 30
Nv -- Trent Lancaster 16-yard passs to Drake Stevenson (kick failed), 10:41
Nv -- Lancaster 16-yard pass to Zac Niehaus (Lancaster run), 3:53
Nv -- Lancaster five-yard run (Pass to Jon Bradshaw), 4:03
SL -- Tyler Cox four-yard pass to Dakota Hiatt (pass fail), 34.9
Nv -- Lancaster 52-yard run (run failed), 11:23
SL -- Johnny Walker five-yard run (Tyler Cox run), 10:16
Nv -- Lancaster 10-yard pass to Bradshaw (pass to Damon Hyatt), 3:28
Nv -- Lancaster nine-yard run (pass failed), 35.3
Nv -- Hyatt one-yard run (pass failed), 11:58
Nv -- Hyatt 18-yard run (Lancaster run), 7:50
Nv -- Junior Hubbard seven-yard run (run failed), 5:36
SL -- Ryan Vernelson three-yard pass to Zachary Willis (pass to Trent Moody), 2:18
SL -- Vernelson 39-yard pass to Moody (pass to Willis), 23.1
Rushing -- Nv 29-236 (Lancaster 19-113 3TD, Hyatt 8-108 2TD, Hauser 1-8, Hubbard 1-7 TD), SL 32-32 (Tyler Cox (2-(-4), Hiatt 14-46, Jed Cox 7-2, Walker 3-(-18), Vernelson 5-1, Smith 1-5 TD.
Passing -- Nv (Trent Lancaster 24-42 328 yards, 3 TD, 1 Int.), SL Tyler Cox (2-12 85 yards, 1 TD, 1 Int.) (Vernelson (9-25 132 yards, 2 TD).
Receiving -- Nv (Stevenson 5-81 TD, Bradshaw 5-41 TD, Hyatt 1-52, Butts 2-37, Niehaus 11-117 TD)