Times Sports Editor
The expected growing pains for a young, mostly inexperienced Knights' football team were prevalent in Friday's season opener against visiting Indianapolis Broad Ripple. Northview's offense sputtered through most of the first three quarters and the Rockets were able to get a pair of first half touchdown receptions by senior Isaac Hampton to edge the Knights by an 18-9 score.
Northview was plagued by an early holding penalty that called back a Jesse Miller TD run following a fumble recovery by Chad Godsey. The play seemed to set the tone during a first half that saw the Knights compile just 13 yards rushing.
Meanwhile, the defense held Broad Ripple running back Jamonte Hampton mostly in check during the game. The back that has drawn interest from a variety of Division I schools, needed 15 carries to gain 49 yards in the first half. However, it was freshman quarterback Tyler Metcalfe that completed a 46-yard pass to Isaac Hampton for the game's opening score with 42 seconds left in the first period. The pair would hook up again late in the first half for a 12-yard score and a 12-0 Broad Ripple lead at halftime.
The biggest problem for the Knights was maintaining drives on the offensive side of the ball. Miller had little room to work with while running the ball eight times for eight yards before the half. Northview didn't record a first down until 7:05 remained in the third period.
"I don't think we played very well honestly. You could look at any phase of the football game, offense, defense or special steams that wasn't executed the way we've been practicing the last three weeks," Northview coach George Gettle said. "This week wasn't a very good week of practice and we warned the kids what was probably the outcome if you don't start practicing hard, understanding what is at stake and understanding what you are supposed to be doing. Not to be too negative, but that was a poorly played football game."
The second half didn't start very well for the Knights either as Maria DeLosSantos blocked a punt and returned it for a score two minutes into the third period for an 18-0 Rockets' lead.
The fourth quarter proved much easier to watch for Northview fans as Miller finally broke off a big run after spinning free of a couple of would-be tacklers for a 68-yard gain. Freshman quarterback Tucker Stewart finished the two-play drive with a two-yard TD run. Trey Boor's extra point gave the Knights' life at 18-7.
Stewart found Hunter Ragan for an 11-yard gain and Tyler Rector for 13 more yards. A pair of Rocket penalties gave Northview another first down. Daniel Kimball hauled in a 14-yard pass and Rector gained seven more on a reception to the 13-yard line. However, the drive would stall at the nine-yard line.
The defense would force a Broad Ripple punt from the four-yard line and the Rockets chose to take a safety rather than chance a blocked punt.
Trailing 18-9, the Rockets kicked off to the Knights and Stewart helped drive Northview to the nine-yard line following a 32-yard reception to Ragan. However, a holding call helped stall the drive and a 32-yard field goal went right.
Broad Ripple was able to run out the clock after the missed kick.
"Obviously the positive is that we have plenty of room to improve," Gettle said. "We'll watch film (today) and we'll start correcting our mistakes.
"We knew we had work to do this year. We're going to start tomorrow and figure it out," Gettle added.
BR - Tyler Metcalfe 46-yard pass to Isaac Hampton (kick failed), 0:42
BR -- Metcalfe 12-yard pass to I. Hampton (kick failed), 4:26
BR -- Punt block return for TD (run failed), 9:52
Nv -- Tucker Stewart two-yard run (Trey Boor kick), 10:47
Nv -- Safety (punter stepped out of endzone)
Rushing -- Nv (Miller 16-87, Stewart 7-4 TD, Hawkins 1-2), BR (J.Hampton 26-106, Metcalfe 6-(-29), Soliano 1-5).
Passing -- Nv (Stewart 9-24 98 yards, 0 TD, 3 Int.). BR (Metcalfe 5-12 101 yards, 2 TD)
Receiving -- Nv (Kimball 4-30, Ragan 2-51, Rector 2-20, Miller 1-(-1). BR (J. Hampton 2-6, I. Hampton 3-95 2 TD).