Norwich 29, Windsor 14
WINDSOR – With two-way starters Levi Lorimer and Grant Brightman not in the lineup Friday night, Norwich coach John Martinson said the shuffling of his starting lineup looked like a Chinese fire drill early on.
“To be honest, the early part of the game was somewhat of a blur,” Martinson said.
It wasn’t long before the Norwich lineup found its seats in a division-opening victory at Windsor.
Michael Oralls moved from tight end to fullback for Brightman, and finished with 111 yards rushing an three touchdowns. Oralls scored on runs of 13, 30, and 36 yards, the last of those three coming with 2:52 left in the third to raise the Tornado’s lead to 29-0.
“We’ve seen Michael run the ball on JV the last two years, so we knew he could run it,” Martinson said. “We weren’t surprised by what he did. It was a good change of pace, and it opened running lanes for Keagan (Franklin) and Kyle (Edwards).”
Norwich drove for its first score after stopping Windsor. Trent Stone and Matt Burke combined on a sack of Black Knights quarterback Josh Cady to spearhead the NHS defense. Following Oralls’ second score, the Tornado scored with 13 seconds left in the first half as Mike Sutton found Edwards on a three-yard TD pass.
The Norwich defense held Windsor’s top ballcarrier, Isma’il Griffin to just 57 yards on 17 carries, and Windsor’s two scores came in the second half of the final quarter.
Burke and Oralls had nine total tackles, Franklin finished with eight tackles, and Stone added a fumble recovery. “We dominated special teams and field position, and the defense really shut down Griffin,” Martinson said. “That was our goal. They started to throw the ball and get away from what they like to do. We felt this was our coming out party on offense and on defense.”
Norwich visits winless Oneonta next Friday, its fourth road game in five starts.
NOTES: Community members are invited to attend a bonfire as a show of support for the Norwich football program this Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at East Side Park. Norwich’s junior varsity team dropped a 30-27 final to Windsor. Jacob Perrone had 152 yards and one score, and Frankie Garcia added 102 yards rushing. Matt Craig, Carlos Ithier, and Cameron Edwards finished with TD runs, and Brendon Budd kicked three extra points.
Score by quarters
NHS 7 12 10 0–29
Wind. 0 0 0 14–14
N: Michael Oralls 13 run (Zan Stewart kick)
N: Michael Oralls 30 run (kick failed)
N: Kyle Edwards 3 pass from Michael Sutton (run failed)
N: Stewart 20 field goal
N: Oralls 36 run (Stewart kick)
W: Darick Bartlow 9 run (run failed)
W: Ben Rivera 20 pass from Josh Cady (Calvin Whalen run)
Rushing — Norwich, Michael Oralls 11-107, Keegan Franklin 5-43, Kyle Edwards 11-59, Tristan Rifanburg 2-13, Michael Sutton 4-7. Windsor, Isma’il Griffin 17-57, Calvin Whalen 10-56, Darick Bartlow 8-34, Josh Cady 8-5.
Passing — Norwich, Michael Sutton 5-9-0-51. Windsor, Josh Cady 10-20-0-108.
Receiving — Norwich, Michael Oralls 2-29, Kyle Edwards 3-22. Windsor, Tyler Kost 2-13, Frank Martino 2-15, Michael Niggli 5-60, Ben Rivera 1-20.