Grid Forecast: Norwich looks to build on strong defensive showing

By Patrick Newell

Sun Sports Editor

For five years running, Chenango Forks has ruled Section IV’s Class B ranks, and in each season, a contender emerges to that dominance. Through three games this, Windsor looks as prominent and stout a challenger as any. “It’s a typical Windsor team,” said Norwich coach John Pluta, whose club won its division opener last week against Susquehanna Valley.

Norwich has ruled the rivalry in recent years winning every matchup since a 19-0 loss five years ago to the Black Knights when the Tornado finished winless. “We know all about Windsor and they know all about us,” Pluta said, noting the two clubs’ familiarity with each other. “All of our league games are tough, and we need to improve and play better than we did last week.”

Improvement over last week’s 21-0 shutout might seem like a stretch; however, it would put Norwich on the fast track to a fifth straight postseason appearance. Through three games, the defense has improved significantly in the second half of games giving up just 13 of the 48 points. As for the opponent, Windsor leads Section IV in scoring defense allowing just six points with two shutouts already in the hopper. “We have made some real strides defensively, and I think they have more confidence in themselves,” Pluta said. “Windsor is more of a read and react type defense rather than an attack defense. They are basic, but they do it very well.”

On the offensive side of the ball, quarterback Adam Good is a strong-armed, third-year starter, Cody Whitman is also a third-year starter at running back, and fullback Bryant Parker is a bruising force on the interior, and perhaps the biggest running back Norwich has faced this season. “They have become more balanced on offense, and they like to pound the ball,” Pluta summed up.

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