NHS hopes for playoff win
Published 2:08 am Wednesday, November 7, 2001
By By DONALD WRIGHT
Following Friday night's thrilling 48-20 win over the Escambia County High School Blue Devils, the Northview Chiefs have turned their attention to the first round of the play-offs. Their opponent Friday night will be Florida High School from Tallahassee.
Coach Bo Lambeth expressed some concerns about the play of the defense going into this game. "We played a very determined Blue Devil team Friday night," he said. "The game was actually played a lot closer than the score indicated. They had some turnovers early that allowed us to build a good lead. We never forced their offense to punt the whole evening."
The Chiefs focused on their defense this week during practice. The team from Florida High School poses a challenge to the Chiefs' defense.
Florida High School comes into the game with a 5-5 record, but this is very deceiving. "They are a very sound team," Lambeth said. "The fact that they are in the play-offs proves that. The district that they are in is very strong, and they have been in most games that they have played. They will be a tough team for us to beat."
Northview finished the regular season with a perfect 9-0 record. They ran rampant through their district and earned a number 5 ranking in Florida's class 2A. They have also played extremely well against their non district opponents this year.
The Northview offense has been very potent this year. They average over 400 yards of total offense every game. They also average near 50 points per ball game. Their defense has also played very sound this year. They will need this kind of offensive and defensive showing against Florida High School.
The Chiefs have had many players to step up big on both sides of the football this season. Players like Kyle Williams, Jonathan Andrews, Mandell Smith, Leonte Wright and O'Neil Dubose have paced the offense by providing them with the threat to score from anywhere on the field. Defensive stand-outs like Chase Lashley, Matt Gilmore, Josh Greenwell and Nick Gradia have made many key plays all season. The kicking game has also been a big plus for the Chiefs. Freshman Jeremy Greenwell has been accurate all season when called on.
Northview has a lot of senior leadership on their team. "We have 15 seniors that play for us," Lambeth said. "We are a senior led team. The experience that these players have gained is what gives us an extra advantage."
Friday night's game will be played at the Northview High School field. Winning their district gave the home field advantage in the first round of the play-offs. The game will begin at 7:30 p.m.