ONEONTA – Nowhere in the football handbook does it say that a victory must be an artful display of gridiron excellence.
Norwich was far from its best Friday night at Oneonta, but it made more than enough good plays to pick up a 38-12 victory.
It was the Purple Tornado’s fifth straight victory, and it clinched the program’s first Section IV division title in five years. The victory places Norwich in the sectional semifinals this Friday when it will host Johnson City.
Norwich forced five Yellowjackets turnovers, and turned nearly all of those miscues into points – often working with a short field.
“We talk about the turnover battle, and we want to win that every week,” said Norwich coach Mike Chrystie. “I don’t know what the percentage is (of winning games) when you win the turnover battle by four or five, but I like our chances when that happens.”
Norwich scored two touchdowns within a six-second span early in the second quarter – both after Oneonta fumbles – to open a 21-6 lead.
On the first play of the second quarter, Oneonta quarterback Jake Crotser was stripped after a short run at his own team’s 30. An ensuing 15-yard penalty on the ‘Jackets gave Norwich the ball at the 15. Cole Rifanburg ran for six yards on a fourth-and five to the four-yard line, and Mike Oralls scored the second of his three TDs one play later.