Times Sports Editor
When the defense and offense show up at the same time for the Northview football Knights, it provides quite a lethal combination.
Just ask visiting South Vermillion's Wildcats.
With homecoming as the backdrop, the Northview defense didn't allow a first down over the opening 15 minutes of game time and the starters allowed just nine yards of Wildcats' offense in a 61-6 pounding of South Vermillion.
That impressive defensive effort and an excellent return game, set the stage for a record-tying performance by senior quarterback Trent Lancaster on Friday night.
Lancaster tied four other players for the most touchdown passes thrown in a single-game with eight and he completed them to four different receivers.
The most recent player to achieve the statistic was Martin Chastain of West Washington in 2008 with Michael Perkins of River Forest, Casey Gillin of Indian Creek and Mike Vlahogeorge of Lafayette Jefferson also tying the mark.
"Obviously our return game did a nice job. Any time we had a punt return or a kickoff return, we were able to get good field position and obviously our defense, up until we started subbing, I don't think (South Vermillion) had much going yardage-wise," Northview coach George Gettle said. "I thought once again that the defense played better and that is two weeks in a row it's gotten a little better each time."
The Knights got going early as a 67-yard punt return by Damon Hyatt set up a one-play drive as Lancaster found Zac Niehaus for a six-yard score just three minutes into the game.
The defense forced a quick punt and the Knights took over at midfield where a two-play drive resulted in a 37-yard scoring strike to Andrew Butts.
Following the punt return, South Vermillion's next drive lasted just one play before Tyler Wilson intercepted South Vermillion quarterback, Adam Crouch.
Northview's drive started from the Wildcats 39-yard line and Lancaster tore off a 32-yard run into Wildcats' territory. The next play was a three-yard pass to Hyatt for a 33-0 lead.
South Vermillion would turn the ball over twice more in the first half as Taylor Pinnick recovered a fumble and Hyatt also picked off a pass at the Knights' own three-yard line.
The final drive of the half for the Knights looked to be going in reverse as four penalty flags set the Knights up with a third-and-31 situation from their own 12-yard line. Lancaster found Butts for a 22-yard pickup, but the Knights still faced a fourth-and-10 with under 25 seconds left in the half. That's all the time it took for Lancaster to find Butts zipping down the sideline for a 65-yard connection and a 40-0 lead at halftime.
The Knights' defense had held South Vermillion to just 15 yards in the first half and forced a four-and-out from the Wildcats to start the second half.
From there, Northview picked right up where it left off as Lancaster ran for 18 yards over two plays and then found Daniel Kimball for a 10-yard gain before Butts caught a 13-yard score.
Both teams agreed to a running clock midway through the third quarter.
Kimball would haul in a 14-yard TD with 4:50 left in the third quarter, one of two TD catches he had in the game. The Knights began to sub liberally on defense in the third quarter and made wholesale changes in the fourth period before South Vermillion got a 31-yard scoring run from Josh Vaughan.
Kimball would catch the final score of the night, a four-yarder to build the final margin.
Lancaster was fairly efficient with his scoring touches as he was actually below his per-game average for passing yards with 209 on Friday. He completed 14 passes with eight of them going for scores. Butts had five total TD's in the game for the Knights.
Afterwards, Gettle was happy with the win, but knew that the Knights must get back to work for next week's battle with West Vigo.
"We're not quite there, but it's a good thing when you are able to put points on the board and we came out of the game healthy and with no major injuries," Gettle said. "We're happy, we won homecoming and the seniors won their last game on this field, depending on the (sectional) draw. We also closed out our home season unbeaten."
Nv -- Trent Lancaster six-yard pass to Zac Niehaus (Trey Boor kick), 9:02
Nv -- Lancaster 37-yard pass to Andrew Butts (kick blocked), 6:40
Nv -- Lancaster five-yard pass to Butts (Boor kick), 0:22
Nv -- Butts 55-yard punt return (kick failed), 10:53
Nv -- Lancaster three-yard pass to Damon Hyatt (Boor kick), 9:32
Nv -- Lancaster 65-yard pass to Butts (Boor kick), 14.4
Nv -- Lancaster 13-yard pass to Butts (kick good), 7:26
Nv -- Lancaster 14-yard pass to Daniel Kimball (kick good), 4:50
SV -- Josh Vaughan 31-yard run (kick blocked), 9:36
Nv -- Lancaster four-yard pass to Kimball (kick good), 6:38
Rushing -- Nv (Hyatt 8-34, Lancaster 11-73, Shaffer 3-28), SV (Vaughan 27-165 TD, Crouch 4-(-9), Johansen 6-0, Chambers 3-(-4).
Passing -- Nv (Lancaster 14-24 209 yards, 8 TD, 1 Int., King 0-0 0 yards), SV (Crouch 2-13 12 yards, 2 Int.)
Receiving -- Nv (Niehaus 2-18 TD, Butts 5-142 4 TD, Hyatt 3-17 TD, Kimball 3-28 2 TD, Dickison 1-4). SV (Vaughan 2-12).