Northview ends season with victory
By By ROBERT BLANKENSHIP
Advance Managing Editor
The Northview Chiefs completed their 2000 football season with a win over the Navarre Raiders, 34-20.
Northview High School honored its seniors prior to the game and the players were looking for a victory to avoid another losing season. The win gives the Chiefs a 5-5 record which is a great improvement over last year's 0-10 team.
It was also a big night for junior running back Leonte Wright who came into the game needing 61 yards to become Northview's second all-time leading rusher. He finished with 102.
Both teams started off the game with tough defense. Both teams punted on their first possessions and then each fumbled on the next. But, it was Navarre's mistake that was most costly.
The Raiders picked up a Northview fumble and worked their way to the Chief 13-yard line, Eric Jefferson got to the Navarre passer and caused another fumble. Mark Dunsford picked up the loose ball and carried it all the way to the Raider 10. But, a holding call brought it all the way back to the 47.
Wright got the handoff on the first play and found a hole for ten yards. Then junior quarterback Kyle Williams found Mandell Smith for a pickup of nine yards to the 27-yard line. After an illegal procedure penalty backed the Chiefs up, Wright picked up seven yards to the 25. Then Williams went back to the air and found Chase Lashley for a 14-yard gain. From there it was all Wright as he needed only two plays to pick up the 13 yards for a touchdown. The PAT was good and Northview was up 7-0.
The lead was short-lived as Navarre came right back. They took possession of the football just as the first quarter was ending. They came back in the second and pushed the ball downfield on six plays, the last being a 36-yard touchdown pass. The PAT was good and the score was tied at 7-7.
The following kickoff was downed at the 35-yard line. On the first play, Williams found Wright near the sideline for a pickup of four yards. Then on the second play he went to Smith again and he turned the corner and sped down the right sideline for a 69-yard touchdown reception. The PAT was good and NHS led 14-7.
The rest of the half was dominated by the defenses as both teams punted two more times before the half.
The second half started with the Raiders driving to the Chief 30-yard line. But, on fourth down and five, the Chiefs forced an incomplete pass. After three plays the Chiefs were forced to punt. The Raiders defense got to Northview punter Dawson Chavers and tackled him, giving them good field position at the Chief 30-yard line.
Their first play went for a gain of 13 yards. But, the next play ended with NHS recovering their second fumble of the day.
The Chiefs took control at the 11-yard line. And they maintained control of the ball through the rest of the third period as they marched toward their third touchdown of the game. From the Chief 47-yard line, Williams looked for his speedy receiver, Jonathan Andrews and found him open for a pick up of 30 yards to the 23. Lashley went up the middle on three consecutive plays for a total gain of 8 yards to the 15. On fourth down, Williams took the snap and rolled to his right side and found Smith in the front corner of the end zone for a touchdown. The PAT was no good, but the Chiefs increased their lead to 20-7.
An interference call helped get Navarre back in the game as they came back and scored on their next possession, cutting the lead to 20-14 after the PAT.
But, the Chiefs came away with a big play on its next possession as Williams connected with Andrews again for an 86-yard touchdown.
Both teams exchanged possessions, but with less than seven minutes to go, Navarre made it a game again as they scored on a 36-yard touchdown run.
But, Northview was not going to allow a comeback like the one they suffered through last week against Catholic. Instead, they answered the call and drove 58 yards on the next possession capping it off with an 18-yard touchdown reception from Williams to Lashley. With only 2:40 to go in the game, Northview led by a score of 34-20.
The defense did not allow much to Navarre and forced a turnover on a fourth down play.
The Chiefs kneeled and ran down the remainder of the clock to secure the win.