With the exception of Greene, Chenango County’s remaining roster of football teams are coming off opening-day losses. It’s not the way to start any season, but the positive is that none of those early defeats were a division battle.
Norwich plays a second straight non-leaguer, this time at Ithaca. John Martinson, first-year coach for the Tornado, knows NHS has had its way in the occasional meetings with the Little Red over the past two decades. In fact, it’s been at least 20 years since Norwich has lost to Ithaca, and the last meeting, a 42-12 NHS win to end the 2007, is an example of the Purple dominance.
“We’ve traditionally been successful against Ithaca, but we’ve had a chance to break down film, and Ithaca is a little atypical compared to what they used to be.”
Norwich’s opening-game performance was a tad on the atypical side as well. The powerful running exhibited only glimpses of its potential, and the passing attack -- often times utilizing the spread-out “polecat formation” – was hit or miss.
Five turnovers against Owego didn’t help the Purple Tornado’s cause either, but the bottom line was individual performance, position by position, Martinson said.
“The turnovers were a major cause, but we still didn’t play well enough at almost every position to win,” the coach said. “We’re getting our players to focus on doing their job, and doing it well.”
Greene did little wrong in a 35-0 victory over Oxford, and on the few occasions it did slip up, the Trojans rebounded.
“We turned it over twice, once in the red zone,” said Trojans head coach Tim Paske. “We were excited that we were able to hold them out of the end zone. It was a bend-but-not-break defense.”
This weekend, division battles include UV-Edmeston versus Greene; Oxford at Delhi; Clinton at Sherburne-Earlville; and Harpursville at Bainbridge-Guilford. Norwich’s trip to Ithaca tonight is the lone non-leaguer. Below are summaries of this week’s games: