CONKLIN – Following the huge win last Friday night, Norwich was looking to follow it with another on Saturday afternoon and continue their perfect start to the 2017 season. The Sabers of Susquehanna Valley had alternate plans as few questionable calls and three turnovers led to a 21-12 Norwich loss, the first of the season.
The temperature reached 85 degrees at the time of kick-off, which meant at least five degrees hotter on the playing field for the second official day of fall.
Norwich kicked off the ball to the Sabers to start the game. On the first drive, the high pressuring defense for the Tornado picked up right from where they ended last week, forcing the Sabers to a three-and-out following a tackle in the backfield from Kegan Wright and a back by Eric Conant.
Purple Tornado Michael Carson took the punt by Ed Lavin of Sus Valley to the 42 of the Sabers on a 19 yard return to give Norwich great starting field position.
Norwich capitalized as they took plays to put six on the board. The effort of a rushing Drew Walsh, a passing Thomas Parrella and a receiving Carson allowed Conant to score from the outside, eight yards out. Mike Trevisani tacked on the extra point to make the score 7-0 very early into the contest. Celebrating with his team, Head Coach Mike Chrystie could be heard screaming, “Don’t let up.”
Norwich listened as the purple defense pushed the Sabers back on their next series, resulting in one positive yard and another three-and-out. This time, Norwich’s Grant Wessels found Sus’ quarterback Jarred Freije as he was dropping back and tackled him for the sack and an eight yards loss, forcing the Sabers to punt on a fourth and eighteen.
The Tornado took over for their next set of downs at 4:20 left in the first quarter. On the first play of the drive, Sus Valley’s Zack Green sniffed the play to outside coming as he meet Conant in the back field for a five yard loss. Walsh punched it up the middle on the next play, getting back to the original line of scrimmage. On third and ten, Parrella dropped back for the Tornado pass, but couldn’t find anyone open down field. As he took off on the run, the ball was knocked loose by the Sabers and Lavin jumped on it, giving the ball back to Sus Valley with 2:50 left in the first.