Quartet of Knights contribute in WVFCA All-Star Game win

Saturday, June 22, 2024
Former Northview teammates Kyle Cottee (left) and Aiden Swearingen (right) celebrate a touchdown together during Saturday night's Wabash Valley Football Coaches Association All-Star Game at Rose Hulman.
Morgan Mershon photo

During their high school football careers at Northview, the four players representing the Knights – tight end Caelen Bell, quarterback Kyle Cottee, safety/punter Luke Marlow and offensive tack Aiden Swearingen – at the 20th annual Wabash Valley Football Coaches Association All-Star Game held at Rose Hulman’s Cook Stadium on Saturday night, won a lot.

So, it was only fitting they finished their time wearing the mat gray Northview helmets by celebrating another victory as the Gold Division team defeated the Black Division team by a score of 34-14 in front of a near-capacity crowd on Saturday night.

And to make it even sweeter, each member of Northview’s quartet contributed in one way or another, noted Northview head coach Mark Raetz, who served as the Gold Division’s defensive backs coach.

“We had a fun week. All of our kids really bought into the All-Star Game. They showed up every day and practiced hard. They all played pretty well out here too and were big contributors to a nice win,” said Raetz. “All of our guys played well. Aiden played [left] tackle all game on offense. Caelen was playing in the slot the entire game and Luke was playing safety and Kyle was playing quarterback. I felt like our guys represented our team and our school really well.”

Using the old-fashioned eyeball test, each of the four Northview players supplied positive moments in Saturday’s win, and the statistics backed that up as well.

At quarterback, Cottee showed elusiveness as a runner and an ability to throw the ball down the field accurately as a passer. He finished the night by completing 8-of-14 for 123 yards, one touchdown and one interception while running for 30 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries.

The left-handed signal caller, who was forced to leave the game after suffering an injury in the first half, completed a 64-yard pass to Greencastle’s Brendle Brennan down the middle of the field that went for a touchdown. He also scored on a 21-yard scamper and a one-yard keeper to cap a three-score night for the Marian University signee.

Swearingen was Northview’s other offensive contributor for the Gold Division team. Manning the left tackle position for every snap that was taken, Swearingen helped create space for the quarterbacks and running backs to maneuver in a 34-point output while ensuring he didn’t get beaten by a defensive end for a sack.

On the other side of the football, Marlow, coming from his safety position, made a pair of tackles while blanketing the Black Division team’s wideouts throughout the game. Marlow’s highlight of the night game came on special teams, though.

Used as a Swiss army knife throughout his career at Northview, which included being the team’s punter the last couple of seasons, Marlow was given the chance to boot away one of the two punts for the Gold Division team, and he made it count. Swarmed by a sea of black uniforms, Marlow was able to successfully get the ball off his right foot before they got to him. It ended with the ball rolling inside the 10-yard line for a 54-yard punt that completely flipped the field in favor of the Gold Division team.

Bell also made an impact on special teams Saturday night. Used as one of the upback blockers, the Millikin University signee hauled in the pooch kick and brought it forward for five yards before being tackled to the turf.

With the game in hand, the former Knights shared smiles and laughs on the sideline as they soaked in their final minutes playing alongside each other, a memory Raetz was grateful to share with them.

“We had a good experience through Northview football and this week was the icing on the cake with that,” said Raetz.

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