Times Sports Editor
The Indianapolis Colts have called the RCA Dome and now Lucas Oil Field home, however, the Northview Knights seem to have adopted them as a home away from home.
The Knights got five touchdown passes from quarterback Trent Lancaster and cruised to an easy 48-14 victory over Brown County on Saturday night.
"It's a great experience for the kids," coach George Gettle said following the victory. "We had a great week of practice. We went down to IU and practiced on Tuesday and it was just a fun night of practice. So it was a good week of preparation, we wanted to come out and play strong because we wanted to be conference champs all by ourselves. I thought the kids played awfully well together."
Northview hasn't lost a game on the artificial turf that the Colts call home, having won each of the several games that they have played in Indianapolis.
"We came out throwing the ball, which is what we wanted to do," Gettle said of the offensive game plan. "I don't know that we had too many incompletions today, the kids were sharp and running the routes hard. For the most part the line protected well. There are still some things we need to clean up, but I thought Trent (Lancaster) played an outstanding game. When you've got weapons like he has got, if you can get rid of the ball, the guys down the field are hard to cover."
Brown County found that out quickly as the Knights took the opening kickoff and drove 69 yards in six plays with the help of a roughing the passer call that nullified a Northview fumble. Zac Niehaus caught an eight-yard pass, but the ball came free on the hit and was recovered by the Eagles. However, the penalty call eliminated the turnover and on the following play, Lancaster found Andrew Butts for a 41-yard score barely two minutes into the game.
The Eagles had their only real success on offensive during the next drive as freshman quarterback, Dillon Boknecht, hit Caleb Wedan for a 19-yard TD to cap an 89-yard, 15-play drive. Boknecht converted a pair of fourth down plays, including the scoring strike.
Lancaster had little trouble finding open receivers during the game as the young Eagles couldn't contain the Knights' receiving corp. Both Butts and Niehaus combined for nine catches in the first half as both caught two touchdowns apiece.
Niehaus hauled in a nine and a seven-yard TD reception while Butts grabbed a pair of long scores, adding a 60-yard TD with 8:34 left in the half. Niehaus' score made the halftime advantage, 34-7.
Brown County had just 10 yards rushing on 14 carries before halftime and Boknecht had 99 yard passing, including an interception that Hunter Robertson picked off for the Knights.
Northview brought out their starters for the first drive of the second half after Brown County punted on its opening drive. The Knights' Cole Dickison partially blocked the boot and set his team up at the 49-yard line.
Lancaster found Hyatt for a 13-yard gain and Niehaus for 19 more yards before Butts scored on a 19-yard pass for a 41-7 lead.
From there, the Knights were able to get their freshman and junior varsity players on the field on both sides of the ball.
The freshmen players looked strong on their final drive of the game as Scotty McGuffin carried for 16 yards on the first two plays. Conner Pierce had some success carrying the ball too with four carries for 17 yards. McGuffin had eight carries for 33 yards, including a one-yard TD run with 5:38 remaining in the game.
"To be able to rotate the JV (offense), the freshmen (defense), the JV (defense) and the freshmen (offense) and for the freshmen offense to get in there and move the ball down the field and get a touchdown, it's probably something they will never forget.
"We were able to get every kid in our program some snaps on the turf field here," Gettle continued. "It's a good night to be a Northview Knight and for the seniors to be conference champs, now six out of the last seven years. Now it's time to get serious, it's time for us to do something in this tournament. It's starts this Monday in films and we need to carry it into Friday night's trip to Boonville."
Gettle also was quick to credit Northview's boys' athletic director, Charley Jackson, for the opportunity to play at Lucas Oil Field.
"I want to give a thank you to Mr. (Charley) Jackson," Gettle said. "Charley always puts us in a position to give these kids an opportunity to play here. I just really appreciate Mr. Jackson looking out for the kids."
The Knights wrapped up an unbeaten conference mark at 6-0 and are 7-2 overall heading into the sectional opener at Boonville on Friday night beginning at 8 p.m. Clay County time.
At Lucas Oil Field
Nv -- Andrew Butts 41 pass from Trent Lancaster (Trey Boor kick) 9:42
Nv -- Lancaster 24 run (kick failed) 6:39
BC --Caleb Wedan 19 pass from Dillon Boknecht (Konnor Graber kick) :52
Nv -- Zac Niehaus 9 pass from Lancaster (Boor kick) 9:43
Nv -- Butts 50 pass from Lancaster (Boor kick) 8:34
Nv -- Niehaus 8 pass from Lancaster (Boor kick) 3:01
Nv -- Butts 19 pass from Lancaster (Levi Pollard kick) 7:24
BC -- Lach Sweeney 2 run (Konnor Graber kick) 10:37
Nv -- Scotty McGuffin 1 run (Pollard kick) 5:38
Rushing -- Brown County: (Ely 5-28, Graber 11-10, Boknecht 3-10, Clark 4-14, Sweeney 3-11, Bechtel 2-5, Dishman 1-(-15), Ercoli 1-(-1). Northview: (Lancaster 4-78, Hyatt 7-24, McGuffin 8-33, Pierce 4-17, Shaffer 2-12, Thomas 2-12, McKee 2-6, Wallen 1-1, King 1-0)
Passing -- Brown County: (Boknecht 11-25 142 yards, 1 Int. 0 TD; Dishman 0-1-0 0 yards, 0 Int., 0 TD. Northview: (Lancaster 16-19-0 255 yards, 0 Int., 5 TD; Mafioli 0-1-0 0 yards, 0 Int., 0 TD, King 0-0 0 yards, 0 Int., 0 TD)
Receiving -- Brown County: (Wedan 7-83, Graber 2-30, Robinson 1-5, Martin 1-14). Northview: (Butts 4-136, Niehaus 5-55, Dickison 2-24, Hyatt 2-19, Shaffer 2-21).
Next game --Northview (7-2, 6-0 in WIC) travels to Booneville in Class 4A Sectional 16 on Friday.