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Viking football hosts Bellmont in NE8 clash

THROW: Huntington North’s Brett Kaylor throws a pass during last week’s game against Columbia City.

BY JACOB RUDE - sports@h-ponline.com

Huntington North’s football team will be presented possibly its best chance to capture a Northeast 8 Conference win this season tonight when Bellmont visits Kriegbaum Field.

The Braves enter without a win on the season and in the midst of a stretch that nearly mirrors the Vikings’ current struggles. With this season’s 0-4 start to the year, Bellmont has lost nine-straight games and 12 of their last 14.

Bellmont and Huntington North took part in a close battle last season with the Braves coming away with the win, one of their two across the last two seasons. The 21-18 loss for Huntington North in the contest was one of the two losses last season by three points or less last year.

This season, Bellmont has lost conference clashes to Columbia City by a final of 42-25 and to Norwell by a 19-13 final. Huntington North, meanwhile, fell to Columbia City 36-7 last week after losing to East Noble in week one 35-21.

The two sides have met just three times over the last 30 years with Bellmont holding a one-game lead in the series. Prior to last season’s three-point Bellmont win, Huntington North knocked off the Braves 26-7 in 2016 and fell to Bellmont 48-13 in 2015.

Each side has won the home games in the series since the beginning of the Northeast 8 Conference.

Both sides have had tough starts to the season. Huntington North’s opponents’ record of 12-4 is bettered by Bellmont’s opponents’ record of 13-3. The Vikings’ schedule to start the year is highlighted by a loss Class 4A No.8 Marion. Bellmont, meanwhile, has lost to Class A No. 6 Adams Central and No. 8 South Adams prior to conference play.

The Braves have the slight advantage in Sagarin rating at 41.5, ranking them 37th in Class 3A. Huntington North’s rating of 38.87 ranks them 34th in Class 5A.

Kick-off for the contest is slated for 7 p.m. at Huntington North.