Evening Sun Report
Norwich 20, Susquehanna Valley 8
CONKLIN – Norwich’s punishing, methodical offensive attack summoned a big play at just the right time.
With no time remaining on the first-half clock, senior quarterback Seth Thomsen ran 35 yards for a touchdown to give NHS much-needed momentum in Saturday’s opening-game victory at Susquehanna Valley.
Thomsen had just made a strong punt return into SV’s territory, and with 2.2 seconds left in the half, Norwich head coach John Martinson called a deep passing play. “When Seth got outside the pocket, he saw that (Sus Valley’s) coverage was good. He decided to take it down the sideline, and he eluded three tacklers. Looking at the film, that play was all Seth. It’s something you can’t coach.”
Norwich was assured of at least a 7-0 halftime lead before Thomsen’s big rush. Earlier in the second quarter, Kyle Edwards’ four-yard TD run – his first varsity score – put Norwich on the board. Thanks to a penetrating, aggressive defense, Norwich had the game well in hand throughout. Lineman Kegan Levesque had three tackles for a loss, and sophomore linebacker Jaden MacRabie made two tackles for a loss.
Norwich padded the lead in the third thanks to its special teams. Junior Danny Carson blocked an SV punt that was recovered by the Tornado’s Ryan Hayes. Thomsen completed a short touchdown drive on a four-yard option keeper.
Sus Valley scored late in the game, but the final result was no longer in doubt. Norwich allowed just 146 yards of SV offense. “The weather was probably the worst in my 25 years of coaching football,” Martinson said, noting the high temperature and humidity. “It was the first time I let my kids take their helmets off in a game. We told the kids to be prepared for (the weather), and they did a great job of helping each other out. Art Rigas did a fantastic job calling the defense, and our young men played assignment football.”
Norwich plays its home opener on Friday against Owego.
Score by quarters
NHS 0 14 6 0–20
SVa. 0 0 0 8–8
N: Kyle Edwards 4 run (Jaden MacRabie kick)
N: Seth Thomsen 35 run (MacRabie kick)
N: Thomsen 4 run (MacRabie kick)
SV: Laurent Dure 15 run (John Gage run)
First downs 20 11
Rushes-yds 54-226 30-99