Norwich holds on to win in a crazy, dramatic finish

Frank Speziale Photo

NORWICH – The last 12 seconds of Friday night’s game felt like an eterinty for head coach Mike Chrystie and the rest of the Norwich Purple Tornado football team.

Maybe because there were two more plays after the horn sounded.

On second-and-10, Maine-Endwell’s quarterback Frank Meyer tried to throw, but Norwich’s Ty Rifanburg intercepted it and ran down the right sideline before being tackled with no time left. However, there was a flag on the play and officials ruled defensive pass interference on the play.

With a game not being able to end on a defensive penalty, the Spartans had another shot from the Tornado 15 yardline.

Meyer got off a pass as he was being brought down by three Norwich defenders but the ball was considered a fumble, as the ball did not go past the line of scrimmage and an ineverted whistle seemed to stop all players. Spartans Brendon Bocinski picked up the ball and started running toward his end-zone. Rifanburg tackled him short of the touchdown (at the four yardline) but another flag was thrown; this one, apparently, for unnecessary roughness.

The final snap of the game came from Norwich’s 8-yard line when Meyer ran the option right and pitched the ball back to his running back Josh Chandler, who was stopped four yards short of the goal line when Zach Mills threw himself in front of Chandler.

Norwich fans celebrated loud enough, homeowners two blocks away from the school heard the crowd.

“Stop ‘em,” Chrystie said on what was going through his mind on the last play. “Like a say every week, this group fights through adversity like no other team I’ve ever been a part of and they just believe in each other, no matter the situation.”

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