NHS stuns state-ranked Owego

NORWICH - Owego failed its "Oralls" exam Friday night at Norwich High School.

Fueled by the hard running of junior fullback Michael Oralls, the Purple Tornado upended previously-unbeaten and state-ranked Owego.

Oralls ran for 203 yards on 31 carries, and although he didn't score a touchdown, he factored heavily in each of the NHS's four touchdowns.

"We certainly rode him tonight," said Norwich coach Mike Chrystie of Oralls. "He had 22 carries by halftime, and after we scored twice in the third quarter, he got kind of fatigued and had to sit out a couple of series. He got some rest, but he's going to be our stud back, and a lot of our offense is predicated on his success. If he has a good game, we'll probably have a good game."

It was a two-minute span in the third quarter that gave Norwich a much-desired cushion. Taking the second-half kickoff down the field, Norwich running back Keagan Franklin dashed outside on an option pitch from quarterback Mike Sutton and in the endzone from two yards out. During the run, though, Owego was assessed two personal foul penalties worth 30 yards. That moved Norwich's kickoff position from its 40 to Owego's 30.

"With that field position, it was a no-brainer for us to attempt an onside kick," Chrystie said.

Owego knew it, too, but that didn't stop NHS from executing the special teams play. Sutton, who normally isn't in on special teams, recovered kicker Zan Stewart's kick inside the Owego 20. A few plays later, Sutton scored the last of his three touchdowns behind a lead block from Oralls.

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