CHENANGO COUNTY – What a year for Chenango County Football.
Norwich finished with a 7-3 record and appeared in the Section IV Class B final. Sherburne-Earlville, Greene, and Harpursville-Afton all made it to their class semifinal games. Bainbridge-Guilford beat Walton for the first time nearly 50 years and almost pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the craziest game head coach Israel Lormier has ever been a part of or watched. Oxford and Unadilla Valley went through rebuilding seasons, but have prepared themselves for better seasons next year.
Norwich started off the season with an 3-0 record before taking its first loss to a tough Susquehanna Valley Saber squad on one of the hottest days of the fall sports season. That three game win streak that kicked off the season included a 13-12 win over the heavily favorites Maine-Endwell Spartan team. After defeating the Warriors of Chenango Valley, the Purple took on the defending state runner-up Chenango Forks. It was then they were handed their second loss of the season as Forks was a lot to handle. The Tornado finished the regular season with a win over Windsor on the road. They turned around and played the Black Knights the following week for the first round of sectional playoffs. As the two-seed, Norwich hosted the play-off game and eliminated Windsor for the playoff win. For the next game, even though the team was the higher seed and had home field advantage, the Tornado was again the underdog against M-E in the Section IV semifinal game. Norwich jumped to an early lead with two quick touchdowns, but the Spartans gained momentum at the end of the half which they carried into the second half. In one of the craziest finishes of the season, Norwich sealed the victory on a defensive stop and secured a spot in the Class B final against the defending champ Forks. That is where their season came to an end as Forks was too much to handle and the Blue Devils – who would make it to this year’s State Championship game, losing 28-14 to Pleasantville – were able to score six first half touchdowns. The Purple accomplished a great deal this season under the helm of head coach Mike Chrystie, who will lose 12 seniors this year. Norwich will still have their standout running backs next season along with their quarterback, who had big shoes to fill in the third game of the season due to an injury that sidelined their starter for the rest of the season.