For the Brazil Times
The Northview Knights were well into their week of practice before they could shake off the loss last week to Terre Haute North. Coach George Gettle said the Knights lost some confidence in that game.
Northview regain that confidence Friday night in stunning fashion, pounding the Sullivan Golden Arrows for the ninth straight year, 44-7.
Offense, defense and special teams contributed to the Knights' second Western Indiana Conference win in as many games.
"That loss (to Terre Haute North) lingered around a little bit and kind of deflated our kids some. We talked about getting on the right side of things, getting our confidence back up. We love the group of kids we have, we feel like we've got a really good group, but kind of lost some confidence," Gettle said.
"All we wanted to do tonight was come out and execute. We didn't do a lot of stunting on defense. We just said you're going to line up, you're going to read your keys and you're going to fly to the football, tackle the ball carrier and lets' play football that way rather than trying to trick people. Let's just settle down and play good defense. We were able to do that and that carried over to the offense and collectively as a team."
The Knights rebuilt their confidence en route to a 34-7 halftime lead. Quarterback Trent Lancaster completed 17-22 passes for 253 yards, including touchdowns to Daniel Kimball, Zac Niehaus and Andrew Butts. All three touchdown passes came in the first half.
Northview opened with a different kind of attack. The Knights used nine plays to cover 56 yards on their opening touchdown drive. Instead of throwing deep, Lancaster dumped short passes for gains of 14, 7, 15, 4 and so on to Damon Hyatt, Larry Shaffer and, finally, to Kimball for the 10-yard touchdown.
"[We were just] trying to get into a rhythm a little bit. Our first three opening drives of our first three games we've ended up having to punt the football. So we made an emphasis today in our team meeting we really need to drive the ball. That was kind of the emphasis going into it," Gettle said.
Northview's special teams played a big role all night. With the Knights ahead 7-0, after the defense forced the first of five Sullivan punts, Hyatt returned the line-drive punt 55 yards for the touchdown a 14-0 lead.
On their third possession the Knights went ahead 20-0. Again the Knights used short passes and runs on a 10-play drive. Lancaster scored from the 1-yard line.
"We've been practicing the last couple of weeks on throwing the ball underneath (coverage) because after those first couple of games we threw the ball deep a lot. We knew teams were going to try to take that away. I think we took advantage (of Sullivan's deep coverage). We had good protection up front again," Lancaster said.
Northview's defense, holding Sullivan to 19 yards of total offense in the first quarter and a half, forced a third punt. On the second play from scrimmage, Lancaster unleashed a 43-yard touchdown bomb to Niehaus.
The Northview lead reached 34-0 when Lancaster burned the Sullivan defense deep again, this one a 43-yarder to Andrew Butts.
Sullivan got on the scoreboard in the closing minutes of the first half when a 28-yard fake punt run ignited a scoring drive.
Northview went ahead 37-7 on its first possession of the second half. Senior Levi Pollard capped a 12-play, 72-yard drive with a 26-yard field goal.
Hyatt scored the Knights' last touchdown with a double move. On third down and five, Lancaster gave the Knights' drive new life with a 30-yard run. On the very next snap, Hyatt ran right, cut back inside, then cut back inside again for a 17-yard touchdown and 44-7 Northview lead.
Coach Gettle pulled the No. 1 offense with just over nine minutes to play in the game.
N -- Daniel Kimball 10 pass from Trent Lancaster (Trey Boor kick) 7:39 1Q.
N -- Damon Hyatt 55 punt return (Boor kick) 5:03 1Q.
N -- Lancaster 1 run (Boor kick) 11:43 2Q.
N -- Zac Niehaus 43 pass from Lancaster (kick failed) 9:56 2Q.
N -- Andrew Butts 45 pass from Lancaster (Boor kick) 8:35 2Q.
S -- Dylan Day 36 run (Derek Andre kick) 3:54 2Q.
N -- Levi Pollard 26 field goal 3:31 3Q.
N -- Hyatt 17 run (Pollard kick) :07 3Q.
Rushing -- Sullivan: Hiatt 19-19, Vernelson 6-42, Weszely 4-26, Hollifield 1-36, Day 1-3, Love 2-12. Northview: Hyatt 12-55, Lancaster 10-37, Shaffer 5-24, Dickison 6-27, Toney 3-19, McKee 3-(-3).
Passing -- Sullivan: Vernelson 4-14-0--39. Northview: Lancaster 17-21-1--253; Dickison 0-1-0--0.
Receiving -- Sullivan: Hiatt 2-19, Johnson 1-19, Love 1-1. Northview: Butts 5-87, Hyatt 6-55, Niehaus 3-82, Shaffer 1-15, Kimball 1-10, Dickison 1-4.
Next game -- Next Friday, Northview (3-1, 2-0 in WIC) travels to Owen Valley for a 7:30 p.m. game and Sullivan (0-4, 0-1 in WIC) plays at Edgewood.