Evening Sun Report
Norwich 35, Windsor 20
NORWICH – Norwich’s offense scored at least four touchdowns for the third straight week, and it made homecoming weekend a memorable event as the Tornado captured their third straight victory Friday evening.
Leading by just two points at halftime, 14-12, a pair of third-quarter touchdowns allowed the host club to gain some breathing room against the physical Black Knights.
“I thought Windsor came right at us and was the more physical team in the first half,” said Norwich coach Mike Chrystie. “They punched us in the mouth, but our offense was able to keep pace, and I think we started to wear them down in the second half.”
Norwich’s balance of running and passing was at its best. Behind the line of Cole Brightman, Brad Chesebro, Ryan Hayes, Jamison Luke and Adrian Hoffman, the Tornado ran for 318 yards. Quarterback Mike Sutton threw for 111 yards, and senior Jaden MacRabie had five catches for a career-high 102 yards.
Norwich shook off Windsor’s physical play, and punched right back scoring on its first drive of the second half. Michael Oralls, who ran for 104 yards, scored on a 33-yard touchdown drive. Following a defensive stop, Norwich found the endzone again, this time a 29-yard TD pass from Sutton to MacRabie. It was the second TD connection for the senior duo, and the first one gave Norwich a two-point lead at halftime.
What Chrystie noted was Norwich’s ability to respond to any momentum swing in Windsor’s favor. “The good thing for us was that every time Windsor scored, we came right back on the next possession and scored a touchdown,” the NHS coach said. “That says a lot about our ability to respond to adversity.”
Norwich had three other backs run for at least 50 yards. Sutton had 86 yards and 36-yard first-quarter score, Matt Burke dashed 70 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to finish with 72, and senior Keagan Franklin had 56 yards rushing.
“Windsor did a good job of containing Oralls, so we pulled the ball out (of the option) more than we have been doing,” Chrystie said. “It was good to see guys like Keagan, Matt, and Jaden get more touches. If one guy is taken away, we do have other options.”
Norwich puts its three-game winning streak on the line this Saturday when it travels to two-time defending state champion Maine-Endwell. The Spartans extended their winning streak to 29 games this past Saturday with a 39-3 win over Johnson City. “We’ll see how far we have come this weekend,” Chrystie said.
Score by quarters
Wind 6 6 0 8–20
Nor. 7 7 14 7–35
W: Darick Bartlow 2 run (pass failed)
N: Michael Sutton 36 run (Zan Stewart kick)
N: Jaden MacRabie 15 pass from Sutton (Stewart kick)
W: Josh Cady 75 run (pass failed)
N-Mike Oralls 33 run (Stewart kick)