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High school football: Knights pounds Sky View

SHARE High school football: Knights pounds Sky View

SMITHFIELD – Northridge came into its season opener with something to prove.

Having lost all their games as sophomores, the Knights wanted to show they could be winners. What started as an exciting game of anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better eventually turned to a Northridge march to a 34-17 victory over Sky View on Friday night.

The Bobcats drew first blood in just the third play, quarterback Gabe Anderson throwing a lofty 65-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brady Martin. Just sixteen seconds later however, Northridge quarterback Trent Buckley tied it up with a 75-yarder to junior receiver Alex Trotter.

"They shocked us with that touchdown pass starting out," Northridge coach Erik Thompson said, "We missed a few defensive assignments. Sometimes we confuse ourselves."

Sky View drew an encroachment penalty from the Knights to convert a 4th and 1 in their own territory, only to give the ball away in an interception to Northridge's Austin Gottschalk. Although Northridge started on the Bobcat 38 yard line, Sky View's defense forced a punt. After trading field goals in the second quarter, Northridge was again on the attack. They converted a couple of third and fourth downs, and running back Jordan Lee took the two yard handoff for the touchdown right before the half.

Coming out of the locker room, the game belonged to the Knights. Sky View caught a break when Northridge quarterback fumbled away a bad snap, only to find on the next play that another bad snap would be fumbled away back to Northridge. A few plays later, Buckley was throwing again, this time to Shaymus Bertagnolli for the score, giving Northridge a 20-10 lead. Just after the fourth quarter started, senior running back Brock Johnson broke through for a touchdown. Nearing the end of a grueling game for the Bobcats, quarterback Gabe Anderson marched his offense from way back in his own territory to give his team a late touchdown.

Although the Sky View defense wasn't able to hold the onslaught entirely, it did make its share of big plays at different times. Senior linebacker Chet Anderson broke up a thirty yard pass in the first half. Linebacker Tre Hansen broke up a touchdown pass that forced the Knights to settle for a field goal in the second half.

Quarterback Trent Buckley thought the Northridge offense showed a ton of promise in its debut.

"I don't think we used all of them, but we used a lot of our weapons on offense." Buckley said. "I'm really confident in the O-line. I love those guys."

Thompson felt good about the final result.

"Our defense did a good job of getting the ball back." Thompson said, also mentioning some big plays that paid off for the Knights. He was especially pleased with the way that his team pulled away after halftime.

"We didn't really make many adjustments," he said about the second half. "First game of the season you don't really know what to expect. They blitzed us a lot. We just kept playing; we don't care about the score. We were staying positive."