Football Preview: Norwich renews rivalry with Oneonta

Norwich’s 80-year-plus rivalry with Oneonta resumes tonight when the winless Yellowjackets look for their first win of the season against a Tornado club that has won three straight games. The ‘Jackets have struggled with scoring defense throughout the first half of the season, and are giving up 46.5 points per game. In their division-opening game two weeks ago, Oneonta (0-4) fell to Chenango Valley, 40-13. Norwich (3-1), meanwhile, overcame some injuries to defeat Windsor last week in its Section IV Division III opener. “Our players definitely understand the importance of this game from a divisional standpoint, and as a rivalry game,” said Norwich coach John Martinson, who also knows it is sometimes natural for kids to look at a team’s record, and not give that team the proper respect. “This is definitely one of those ‘trap games,’ especially because this is such a long, heated rivalry. We must not look at what Oneonta has done, but what they can do.” The Yellowjackets will often operate a spread offense and no-huddle attack led by returning starting quarterback Brendan Lord. Oneonta is also known to run a similar offense to Norwich, one that favors a strong inside running game. “They have an excellent quarterback with quality receivers who have made some big plays,” Martinson said. “They will try to spread us out and try to take advantage of one-on-one matchups.”

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