Norwich 33, Susquehanna Valley 6
NORWICH – Norwich put up more points in the first half Friday night against Susquehanna Valley than it did in the first three games combined.
The Tornado scored almost at will for three quarters, and cruised to a Section IV, Division III win on homecoming weekend. Since an opening-game win at home in which it scored a single touchdown, Norwich seldom found any consistency on offense in back-to-back road losses to Chenango Forks and Vestal.
“We really did find a rhythm on offense, and we were able to mix up the pass and the run,” said Norwich second-year coach John Martinson. “We executed on offense almost to perfection, and I can’t say enough about what coach (Tom) Stoddard did with the offensive line.”
Norwich (1-0, 2-2) took its opening drive 87 yards on 12 plays to open up the lead. Josh Favaloro scooted 36 yards to finish the drive. A 36-yard pass from Seth Thomsen to Jon Foulds to the SV one set up Thomsen’s one-yard sneak late in the opening stanza.
Patrick Taylor’s 11-yard TD jaunt with just over four minutes remaining in the half pushed the lead to 20-0, and the Tornado managed a defensive stop to set up the last score of the opening two quarters. The Thomsen-to-Foulds connection worked its magic with just 1.6 seconds left in the first half as Foulds raked in a 19-yard TD reception. Thomsen finished 5-for-6 for 120 yards, and Foulds had his best night as a varsity player totaling four catches for 87 yards. Norwich amassed 400 yards of total offense – 275 rushing and 125 passing – to nearly double its best effort to date.
Just as impressive was the Tornado defense holding a Sabers lineup to a single touchdown in the fourth quarter, and leading rusher Laurent Dure had just 18 yards on four carries. Dure came into the game averaging over 130 yards rushing per game. “I thought we had a good defensive game plan to stop their speed and stop their fullback trap up the middle,” Martinson said. “We won the field position battle all game, and we were able to set up our play-action pass. We got Jon Foulds involved in the offense, and that loosened up their defense even more. The line created some big holes...I have to give big props to the offensive line.”
Norwich’s final score came on Thomsen’s 11-yard keeper in the third quarter.
SV broke up the shutout with a 52-yard TD pass play in the fourth stanza. Until that touchdown pass, the Sabers had less than 100 yards of total offense for the game.