SAND HILLS — Northview set the pace while nearly everyone on the field was at a standstill.
Then one big play led to another.
The Chiefs opened the scoring with a bizarre sequence and rolled past Bozeman 49-7 in the football season opener for both teams on Friday. Northview (1-0) added to the onslaught with ease when Bozeman was unable to respond despite a spirited first drive.
Cameron Newsome started the rout when he fielded a first-quarter punt. Newsome and nearly everyone else on the field believed he had called for a fair catch. Instead, the game officials didn’t accept the improper signal and Newsome sprinted downfield when there was no whistle.
The next whistle he heard was when he crossed the goal line after a 70-yard return. The play left some confused and some others, but Northview wasn’t among those on that side of the argument.
Newsome capped the first-half scoring with an 84-yard interception return which had a similar deflating quality.
Bozeman(0-1) answered the opening punt return with a long pass and two Julio Piniero rushes, each for 23 yards. The Bucks moved to the Chiefs’ 15-yard line, but turned the ball over on downs.
Northview did the same twice while deep in Bozeman’s territory. It also made good on other big plays, however.
Gavin Grant tossed two first-half touchdowns to Jacob Dunsford for 35 and 40 yards, respectively. Grant also found wide-open Keondrae Lett for a touchdown, but it was called back due to holding. Grant found Dunsford a play later on first-and-29 for a 14-0 lead.
It was that kind of night for Northview and Bozeman.
“We’ll find out” how Bozeman responds, Bucks coach Lyle Messer said. “We’ll challenge them to show back up on Monday ready to work.”
Messer said it will be important to keep the team’s morale at a high level. It was difficult to do so on Friday, he said, as Northview and Lett’s 83 yards rushing and two TDs were far too much to overcome.
“We’re very limited in skill and it’s tough to match up with skill,” Messer said. “We’ll keep challenging them and do a better job coaching them.”
Bozemanattempted more passes than during its preseason classic loss to Arnold. Quarterback David Elmore wasn’t sharp with only three completions, coming on the first and last drives for 61 total yards, while also tossing two interceptions. He also was limited to minus-14 yards rushing, but did score Bozeman’s only touchdown and first in eight quarters on a 2-yard run.
Nate Robinson gained 40 yards to lead Bozeman on the ground. He also hauled in the 23-yard reception, but it did little to hold back the running clock in the third quarter.
The opener was the start of a difficult schedule for Bozeman. It continues next week at Graceville in another non-district game.
Northview 14 14 15 6 - 49
Bozeman0 0 0 7 - 7
NHS - Newsome 70 punt return (Freeman kick) 9:58, 7-0 NHS
NHS - Dunsford 35 pass from Grant (Freeman kick) :55, 14-0
NHS - Dunsford 40 pass from Grant (Freeman kick) 1:58, 21-0
NHS - Newsome 84 interception return (Freeman kick) :00, 28-0
NHS - Lambert 24 pass from Grant (Dunsford run) 10:07, 35-0
NHS - Lett 10 pass from Grant (Freeman kick) :00, 43-0
BOZ - Elmore 2 run (Foster kick) 3:30, 43-7
NHS - Lett 55 kickoff return (no kick) :30, 49-7