Norwich revisits Chittenango – 21 years after playoff loss

Norwich steps out of the section to face an old rival. The Tornado travel to Chittenango tonight for a 7 p.m. start. It's a reunion, of sorts, as the two teams squared off in the 1993 state playoffs, a contest that ended with the Bears scoring a late touchdown to advance past Norwich. The loss was Norwich’s lone defeat in a 10-1 season.

“There is some history there, and a lot of people remember that game,” said Norwich coach Mike Chrystie, “I know (that result) is still a very sore spot for everyone I have spoken to.”

Clearly, the events of that game have no bearing on either club’s current fortunes. None of the protagonists on the field were born, and Norwich’s head coach, Chrystie, was still in grade school at Oxford Academy.

In the present, each team has matching 1-3 starts with Chittenango coming off recent lopsided losses to Homer and Marcellus. Meanwhile, Norwich produced its first victory of the season last weekend rolling to a 33-6 victory over Windsor. It wasn’t a perfect performance, but Chrystie and his staff will certainly take it.

“We looked at the tape and I think we played well and executed well, but we know we can still improve and still play better,” the NHS coach said. “We need to be more consistent with our effort, our technique, and our overall game plan.”

In Chittenango, Norwich will square off against a team that wants to dictate at the line of scrimmage with a power running attack. If that fails, all bets are off, and Chittenango may resort to a wide-open spread offense. “We want to get them out of their bread and butter and force them to do things they don’t want to do,” Chrystie said.

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