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August 24, 2013

Prep roundup: Northview rewards Raetz with come-from-behind debut victory

INDIANAPOLIS — Northview now knows it can score points and stop the opponent when the game is on the line. The Knights did both Friday night in a 22-14 high school football victory over host Broad Ripple.

The Knights rallied from a 12-0 deficit in the first quarter, took a 16-12 halftime lead and made a series of big defensive plays in the fourth quarter to give Mark Raetz his first win as Northview football coach.

“Our kids definitely battled all night. We kind of dug ourselves a hole right at the beginning [of the game], but they fought back. That last touchdown we scored that put us up was huge. I was proud of our players for the amount of work they put in and the fact they can feel good walking off the field tonight,” Raetz said.

Broad Ripple’s quick, fast and shifty quarterback, Camorrie Shittu, was at times magical while rushing for 84 yards and three touchdowns. He also completed 13 of 17 passes for 180 yards.

But Northview’s defense also sacked the Broad Ripple quarterback seven times. Outside linebacker Derek Mills sacked Shittu five times and three times inside linebacker Connor Pierce joined him. The entire Northview defensive front had a meeting at the quarterback midway through the third quarter.

“We [had] to start blitzing more on [Shittu]. That quarterback is a great player. We were lucky enough at times to get him down, sometimes he broke out on us. We had some plays down the stretch that really save it for us,” Raetz said.

As expected, sophomore backs followed the veteran offensive line in the Knights’ offense. Quarterback Tucker Stewart rushed for 75 yards and completed four passes for 94 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown to Liam Jones. Ben Girton scored on touchdown runs of 13 and 5 yards and finished with 66 rushing yards.

The Rockets’ speed gave the Knights trouble in the opening quarter. Shittu scored on runs of 12 and 27 yards to give Broad Ripple a 12-0 lead heading into the second quarter.

Northview scored its first touchdown of the Raetz era early in the second quarter. Jones got behind the Rockets’ man-to-man defense and caught a Stewart pass for at 32 yard touchdown. A poor center snap foiled the extra point attempt.

Northview’s Mills and Pierce sacked Shittu for an 18-yard loss to force Broad Ripple into a three-and-out series.

A 20-yard punt gave the Knights possession at the Rockets’ 22-yard line and on the second play Girton followed the right side blocking for a nine-yard touchdown. Trey Boor’s PAT kick was good to put the Knights up 13-12.

Northview stopped Broad Ripple at the 21-yard with 2:11 left in the first half and came to take the 16-12 halftime lead. The Knights ran off nine plays to march from their own 19-yard line to the Broad Ripple 7-yard line. Jones caught a 27-yard pass from Stewart and Boor kicked a 24-yard field goal as the clock expired.

Northview had its chances in the third quarter, but the Rockets took an 18-16 lead with 1:59 left in the period when Shittu broke containment and turned up field for a 33-yard score.

The Knights took the lead with 9:22 left in the game. With Stewart carrying the six times, including an 18-yard run, and throwing a 22-yard strike to Hunter Regan, Northview reached the Broad Ripple 5-yard line.

“It was a play we put in this week for [Stewart] and our guys were executing it well. [Broad Ripple] starting catching on there at the end of the game, but it’s a nice safe QB draw that had some big conversion for us,” Raetz said.

Girton cut back and powered his way into the end zone for the go-ahead score with 9:22 to play.

The Knights attempted to pad that lead, but a touchdown was called back by a holding call and a 37-yard field-goal attempt by Boor hit the cross bar and bounced back.

Broad Ripple got the football back with 2:51 to play. On second down, Shittu fumbled as he was hit and Pierce recovered the ball for Northview.

And when the Rockets got one more chance to rally, it was Mills who sacked Shittu to end the game.

“Our defense came through there at the end. Our front four made some big plays when we needed them and we’re just happy to get out of here with a win,” Raetz said.

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