Times Sports Editor
The Northview Knights have embraced the challenge of playing top teams under coach George Gettle and today's battle with Class 3A No. 1 Indianapolis Bishop Chatard is an extension of that mindset.
The Knights are no stranger to playing top teams in any class as Northview has played top-ranked Evansville Reitz in sectional play multiple times and defeated No. 1 ranked Vincennes Lincoln under the guidance of current Indianapolis Colt, Curtis Painter, who moved on from the Alices to play for Purdue University.
Chatard brings in a new level of accomplishment to the Knights' field as the 4-1 Trojans boast one of the best postseason streaks around having won five state titles over the last nine years. The Trojans' lone loss this season came at the hands of Indianapolis Cathedral, 21-14, which is the odds on favorite in Northview's new sectional, Class 4A Sectional 14.
Tonight's game will give the Knights a chance to see where they match-up in a sectional that includes Indianapolis Roncalli, Cathedral, Greenwood, Mooresville, Lebanon, Plainfield and Owen Valley.
The Knights will have a bit of a different look this evening as senior Damon Hyatt takes over the quarterback reigns for the injured Dallas King. Hyatt took over the position during last week's win over Owen Valley and continued on his way to a 261-yard rushing effort.
Hyatt has compiled 762 yards from scrimmage this season while scoring on special teams, via the run and via the pass. Hyatt has averaged more than seven yards per carry this season (72 carries, 514 yards), but is just as versatile in his role as a kick returner as he's scored on both a punt and kick-off return this year.
His intelligence is another weapon in the arsenal and helps make the transition to quarterback a bit easier in understanding the offense from a different position. Hyatt is in the running with one of his lineman, Ethan Stewart, for valedictorian honors with a 4.0 grade-point average.
Chatard brings in senior Ryan Kleinschmidt, who was a Junior All-State running back for the Trojans after rushing for 1,661 yards on 241 carries and scoring 29 times. He's coming off a 224-yard game against Cardinal Ritter last weekend in a 42-27 victory in which Kleinschmidt ran 37 times. Sophomore Stanford Jackson has rushed 19 times for 104 yards this season.
Senior quarterback Max VanVliet has done what has been asked of him in throwing for 775 yards and 10 touchdowns against just one interception. VanVliet has completed 45-of-72 passes this season and has averaged 155 yards per game.
The Knights will see the biggest lines that they will see during the regular season when the Trojans come calling. Chatard boasts University of Louisville recruit Sid Anvoots (6'4, 290 lbs.) on the offensive line.
Kickoff tonight is at 7 p.m.