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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Quick strike Knights head to Lucas Oil's fast track

Friday, October 15, 2010

(Photo)
Northview senior Zac Niehaus (No. 4) dodges a West Vigo defender last Friday night. Niehaus went over 100 receptions for his career in the win over the Vikings.
By CAREY FOX

Times Sports Editor

The Northview football team will hit the road for its home away from home this evening as the Knights will take on Brown County in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Field at 7:15 p.m. While the Knights haven't played at Lucas Oil before, Northview has compiled a pair of wins at the RCA Dome under head coach George Gettle. The most recent win was a 63-26 pummeling of South Vermillion in 2007.

The first game of the day is Sullivan vs. West Vigo at 11 a.m. followed by Edgewood vs. South Vermillion at 1:45 p.m., Owen Valley vs. Greencastle at 4:30 p.m. and the Knights follow in the nightcap.

Tickets are $15 at the door.

This year the 6-2 Knights will face a Brown County team that has gone 2-6 and one of those wins was against a winless South Vermillion team.

The Eagles have given up nearly 40 points per game.

The Knights have been unrivaled in their explosive strike capability this season having scored a remarkable 16 times on plays of more than 30 yards this season. Five times Northview has scored on plays of 50 yards or more.

The Brown County Eagles haven't produced much on offense this season with quarterback Dillon Boknecht completing just 46-of-118 pass attempts for 461 yards and four touchdowns. He has been picked off eight times this year.

The rushing game has been marginally better for the Eagles and the quicker artificial turf at Lucas Oil Field will certainly help out both teams' quickness tomorrow night. The Eagles have been led by Konnor Graber with 371 yards on the ground. However, he's averaged less than four yards per carry over 98 rushes. Lach Sweeney has been the most explosive runner for Brown County with a more than eight yards per carry average. He's run the ball 26 times for 219 yards this season. Cody Bechtel has run the ball 26 times for 117 yards.

(Photo)
Northview's Damon Hyatt hauls in a punt during a game earlier this season.
On the positive side for the Eagles, Brown County is riding some momentum after winning a wild rivalry game against Edgewood last weekend, 45-42.

The Eagles were able to convert five, second half turnovers into 38 points in the team's biggest scoring outburst of the season.

Sweeney ripped off a 55-yard TD run, Bechtel had a 35-yard scoring dash and Boknecht found Quincy Robinson on an 11-yard scoring strike. On special teams, Graber booted a 43-yard fieldgoal in the fourth quarter to push the lead to 45-35.

The Knights, who have plenty of big strike capability, could see plenty of opportunities for the big play tonight too.

Add the extra burst that comes with the sure footing of an NFL playing surface and the fact that Brown County gave up a 73-yard TD pass in the first quarter against the Mustangs as well as an 80-yard strike in the fourth quarter. The Mustangs quarterback, Grant Pederson, threw for 270 yards in the loss.

Northview's senior quarterback, Trent Lancaster, is in the stretch run of his high school gridiron career and it's been a prolific one as the Knights' signal caller.

Lancaster, who became the starter late in his freshman year, has thrown for an unofficial 5,542 yards and ran for another 2,183 yards. All told, he's accounted for 65 passing touchdowns and has run for another 29 scores.

Over his career, Lancaster has completed 369 of his 652 attempts, good for a 57 percent clip. He's also approaching the 2,000-yard mark for the second straight season as he has completed 101-of-173 passes (58 percent) this season and has 1,802 yards with 24 TD's and 10 interceptions.

One of Lancaster's favorite targets over the last few seasons has been classmate, Zac Niehaus.

Niehaus has been slowed by an ankle injury through the middle of the season, but surpassed 100 career catches last week against West Vigo and has 102 catches for 1,720 yards and 18 touchdowns. In 2010, Niehaus has 23 catches for 553 yards and nine TD's.

Andrew Butts has averaged nearly 100 yards receiving yards per contest this year with 35 catches for 792 yards and eight scores. He's currently eighth in the state in total receiving yards.

Perhaps Northview's most dynamic weapon is Damon Hyatt, who has carried the ball 63 times for 253 yards and has caught 32 passes for 452 yards and has scored twice on kick/punt returns.

On defense, the Knights have become stingier during the latter stages of the season as they have gone on the road and limited some tough running games.

Against West Vigo last week, Northview's line and linebackers combined to squash a tough Viking running attack. The Knights held West Vigo to negative yardage on 10 of the Vikings 22 carries in the first half.

Northview's pass rush was also huge and ultimately fueled a momentum changing interception by Jesse Miller, who returned the pick for an 80-yard score.

Over the course of the entire season, the Knights have forced 18 turnovers as Tyler Wilson has five interceptions and both Tyler Trout and Taylor Pinnick have two fumble recoveries apiece.