BINGHAMTON – An elusive Section IV Class B title fell just out of the Purple Tornado’s grasp.
On a fourth-down pass with under 45 seconds to play, Seth Thomsen’s long, arcing toss directed to Kyle Edwards was tipped by Chenango Valley defensive back Justin Gaudinier at the moment ball met fingertips. The oblong ball bounded high in the air, and Edwards futilely dove for the falling pigskin – mere inches away from his outstretched arms before hitting the ground.
The near miss for Norwich ended its drive, and effectively ended its season in a 20-14 loss to the Warriors at Binghamton Alumni Stadium Friday night.
Chenango Valley shifted the field position battle twice in the fourth quarter driving deep into Norwich’s end. The Purple’s defense bent like weakened steel, but failed to break forcing key defensive stops. The Norwich offense, built more for sustained, grind-it-out drives, was unable to shift that defensive momentum to the offensive side of the ball.
“Chenango Valley is a tremendous program, and we have a great program,” said Norwich coach John Martinson. “It was a fight right down to the end.”
Down 20-7 in the third quarter, Norwich muscled its way back into the game with a prototypical scoring drive covering 71 yards on nine plays and using nearly five minutes of clock.
Seth Thomsen hit Kyle Edwards on a big 12-yard pass play on a third-and-long to keep the chains moving, Thomsen scrambled 11 yards for a first down, and the inside running of Edwards and Grant Brightman had Norwich headed into the red zone. Edwards raced 15 yard left on an off-tackle run, and hit the corner of the end zone untouched. Zan Stewart’s extra point drew NHS to within 20-14 with nearly a quarter and a half yet to play.