Chiefs want to stay home

Published 4:52 pm Wednesday, October 26, 2005

By By Adam Prestridge
Home field is key in any athletic competition.
In football playoffs, it's almost necessary.
The Northview High School Chiefs (5-3, 1-0) will step on the field Friday night with one mission in mind; win and earn home field advantage in the first round of the Florida High School Athletic Association's Class 2B state playoffs.
"Playing at home is big," Northview head coach Cody Keene said. "We want to be able to play at home. We need to win and earn home field advantage. Any time you can play at home it's better."
The Chiefs will take on Baker, who they have not defeated in the school's history, on their home turf. Keene said his players are going to have to be "prepared and ready to play" in order to win the contest.
"We're going to work hard in practice," Keene said. "I've told our kids several times that Northview's never beaten them. We've got to keep emphasizing that we've got to cut out mistakes and not turn the ball over."
Although Baker is winless this season with an 0-8 record, Keene said he doesn't underestimate them. He believes his players will have to be mentally tough.
"They've struggled, they've had a down year," he said. "You prepare for everyone, it doesn't matter who they are and what they're record is. You must be prepared mentally. They throw the football well."
In fact, being ready is what Keene believes will be key in the game.
"We've got to come out ready to play, playing hard from the snap of the football," Keene said.
The Chiefs contest against Baker was cancelled last year due to the destruction caused by Hurricane Ivan. In 2003, Baker put a beating on Northview with a 62-12 win.
Baker's offensive scheme is Keene's main concern and believes that will be the Chiefs biggest obstacle to overcome Friday night.
"They run a lot of misdirection offensively and that concerns me," Keene said. "We've got to be disciplined and stay at home defensively. We've got to carry out our assignments and be where we're supposed to be."
With a win over Baker, Northview not only earns the right to play at home in the first round of the playoffs, but also wins the Class 2B, District 1 championship.
"I think it's important to our seniors to win district," Keene said. "Our seniors have struggled since 2001. Up until this year they've only won three games."
The Chiefs won the district title in 2001. Since, then they have had seasons of two wins, one victory and were winless.
"It's important to our seniors and everyone on our team," Keene said.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Bratt.

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