Norwich looks to change playoff fortunes tonight

Since New York State unveiled its full-scale football tournament in 1993, Norwich has made itself a regular visitor to the postseason.

Along the way, the Tornado won two section titles, and have made the playoffs at least half of those 21 years. This year marks the sixth straight year the Tornado advanced to the postseason, a reward for capturing the Section IV Division III title.

Yet in the previous five years, the purple and white-clad gridders have won just one playoff game.

"We've talked this week about not being satisfied by just making the playoffs," said Norwich second-year coach Mike Chrystie.

Chrystie's club has won five straight games after an 0-3 start, and hosts Johnson City (5-3) tonight at 7 p.m. It's the second straight season these two clubs will square off in the first round of the Class B playoffs, and last year JC eliminated Norwich, 35-14. In fact, NHS’s last two losses of the 2013 season were to the Wildcats.

"You look for every piece of motivation that you can each week, but this game is separate from last year," Chrystie said. "There are kids back from last year, but we have new guys, and they have new guys."

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