Northview rests up, readies for Graceville

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Northview’s bye week and four solid practice days came at a good time as the Chiefs focus their attention on Graceville, Fla. in a first-round matchup this Friday night in the Class 1A state playoffs.

Last week, the Chiefs had a bye week after 11-straight games on the gridiron. The week was needed after a 38-0 loss to Baker in the regular-season finale.

NHS head football coach Derek Marshman said the team focused on itself on Monday and Tuesday, and then spent half of the time on team play and the other half on Graceville on Wednesday and Thursday.

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“We’ve got a great opportunity this week even though the season starts over,” Marshman said. “There aren’t many teams that get to do this. We know that nothing is guaranteed for us.

“There’s got to be a sense of urgency that we’re going to come in and do the right thing every rep and every play,” he said. “As far as Friday goes, we can’t let the game dictate itself. We’ve played 11 of them, and we’ve got to continue what we do to be successful.”

Graceville runs its offense out of the spread formation with athletes all over the field, the coach said. GHS has five to six good receivers, a coupe of running backs and an athletic quarterback.

Marshman said Graceville plays big up front and is strong.

“They have a balanced run-pass game,” he said. “They try and get it in their athletes’ hands.”

The last time Northview played Graceville was during a season opener in 2010, when the Chiefs won 24-6.

The bye week came at a good time also for some of the Chiefs’ players to rest up for Friday.

Marshman said the team is pretty banged up after playing against a physical Baker team.

Neikel Robinson is nursing a knee injury, and didn’t play but a handful of downs against BHS; Hunter Edwards has a minor leg injury, but will play this week; and Devin Stabler has a shoulder injury and will be out this week, Marshman said.

Marshman said this is the seventh consecutive year the Chiefs are playing in the postseason. The last time NHS made it past the first round was in 2013.

“We’re excited for what they can do,” the coach said. “It’s going to be a good battle. We’re excited about it. This is a good chance to get on the road.

“It’s going to be a college atmosphere (because of Veterans Day as school will not be in session),” he said. “We’re going to keep them on their routine.”

Kick off Friday is at 7:30 p.m.