Times Sports Editor
Visiting Vincennes Lincoln tried its best to catch Northview napping while looking ahead to a potential conference title bout with South Vermillion next week, but the Knights scored plenty to send the Alices packing 54-17 on Friday night.
The Northview offense draws plenty of attention for its potency, but the Knights have a pretty opportunistic defense as well. Zac Niehaus and Sean Hauser each intercepted passes and Chance Talbot returned one 47-yards for a score. Brandon Mikesell also scooped up a fumble and rambled 72-yards for a TD of his own in the victory.
Afterwards, coach George Gettle pointed out that when his defense can add points to his high powered offense's numbers, the team is going to have plenty of success.
"Overall not a bad performance, I mean there are a lot of good things," Gettle said. "Offensively we were able to put some points on the board and defensively we had several turnovers and got some scores on defense. Statistics show that anytime you can score on defense, you're going to win games and we did it more than once tonight."
Lincoln came out quickly and proved that they weren't going to roll over despite an 0-5 record. Aaron Odum and Brendon Hardin combined to move the ball down the field via the run for Vincennes. Lincoln got the ball to the Knights' five-yard line where they were halted and had to settle for a 22-yard fieldgoal by Nathan Ballinger.
Northview moved quickly on its first possession, getting a 37-yard carry by Damon Hyatt and a very key fumble recovery by Jordan Allen on the following play. Trent Lancaster ran 19 yards to the one-yard line on the next play and Hyatt finished the drive with a TD run for the lead.
Lincoln's next drive lasted all of three plays, the third one was Talbot's interception QB Jake Stone. He gathered in the pick and outran Vincennes defenders for the score. Lancaster hit Drake Stevenson for the two-point conversion and the lead was 16-3. The barrage continued in short fashion after the Knights forced the Alices to punt as Lancaster ran for 27 yards to the 11-yard line and finished the drive with a TD run on the next play for a 24-3 lead.
Northview had scored three times in less than five minutes to essentially put the game out of reach after just one quarter.
Shortly after the beginning of the second quarter, Vincennes took over following a halted fake punt by the Knights.
The ball was fumbled on the first play of the Alices drive and Mikesell would pull the loose ball off the turf and zip down the sideline for the TD and a 32-3 lead after the conversion pass to Jon Bradshaw.
The teams traded scores in the second period as Vincennes continued to move the ball on the ground on the backs of Odum and Hardin. Hardin would score on a one-yard run with 4:39 left in the half as the team's headed to the locker room.
In the second half, the Knights got the ball first and converted a third-and-10 play on a pass to Hyatt for 18 yards. Lancaster then found Andrew Butts for 11 yards. Later, on fourth-and-three at the Lincoln 28-yard line, Lancaster got the ball to Stevenson on a screen pass and he rambled 16 yards for the first down to set up a six-yard pass to Niehaus for a TD.
Lancaster would get his second TD pass with just 31 seconds remaining in the third quarter as he found Andrew Butts for a six-yard TD and Sean Hauser converted for a 46-10 lead.
Niehaus' interception ended the third quarter and Hauser's came late in the fourth and set up a 21-yard TD run by Lancaster with 4:38 left. Joel Rector caught the conversion pass.
Gettle was pleased with how his defense gave the offense a short field and pointed out that it has already became one of the top performing groups in school history.
"I think coming into the game we had 22 turnovers, I think we've probably already broke the school record and we have four games left, so we're going to shatter the record for takeaways and defensive scores," Gettle said. "That's about the fourth or fifth time we've scored on defense alone. We are opportunistic and anytime you have an explosive offense like we have and you get extra opportunities you're going to put a lot of points on the board."
Vincennes' final score came on a TD pass from Gunnar Hutchins to Blaize Thais with less than two seconds left in the game.
The Knights (5-1 overall, 3-0 WIC) squares off with 6-0 South Vermillion on the road next weekend.
Vin -- Nathan Ballinger 22-yard fieldgoal, 6:55
NV -- Damon Hyatt one-yard run (Hyatt run), 5:30
NV -- Chance Talbot 47-yard interception return (pass to Drake Stevenson), 4:18
NV -- Trent Lancaster 11-yard run (Lancaster run), 0:54
NV -- Brandon Mikesell 78-yard fumble return (pass to Jon Bradshaw), 9:52
Vin -- Brendon Hardin one-yard run (Ballinger kick), 4:39
NV -- Trent Lancaster pass to Zac Niehaus (pass failed), 9:37
NV -- Lancaster pass to Andrew Butts (Sean Hauser run), 0:31
NV -- Lancaster 21-yard run (pass to Joel Rector), 4:38
Vin -- Gunnar Hutchison pass to Blaze Thais (Ballinger kick), 0:01
Rushing -- Nv 25-155 Lancaster 16-126 2TD, Hauser 1-(-5), Hyatt 3-34 TD, Stevenson 2-1, Flowers (2-(-7), J.Girton 1-6). Vin 41-179 (Odum 23-103, Stones 6-(-2), Hardin 11-56, Hammond 1-22).
Passing -- Nv (Trent Lancaster 13-23 169 yards, 2TD, 1 Int., Cole Dickison 0-0 0 yards), Vin (Stone 3-12 23 yards, 3 Int., Kotter 1-1 24 yards, 0 Int. 0 TD, Hutchison 2-6 36 yards, 1 TD, 0 Int.)
Receiving -- Nv (Bradshaw 3-50, Stevenson 1-16, Niehaus 3-56 TD, Hyatt 1-18, Butts 5-29 TD), Vin (Sprinkle 1-24, Hammond 1-3, Thais 1-13 TD, Odum 1-4, Gossman 1-16, Beaman 1-23).