NORWICH – Norwich's football team carrying the type of momentum it would prefer heading into Friday night's Section IV Class C playoff game at Waverly.
The Tornado (5-4) have three straight losses - one a forfeit - as it looks to knock off an unbeaten Wolverines club that has rarely been tested this season.
"Obviously we know we haven't had a lot of success the last couple games," said Norwich coach Mike Chrystie. "At the end of the day, we're in a crossover playoff game against the western division. If we were 9-0, we would still be in the same position playing a team from the western division."
The three losses on the field have been especially bitter pills to swallow. The loss to Windsor was anyone's game until the final minutes; while the defeats to Chenango Valley and Watkins Glen/Odessa-Montour weren't secured by the opposition until at least midway through the fourth quarter.
The common theme in all three losses: Norwich scored just one offensive touchdown.
"We're shooting ourselves in the foot, and every Monday (after games), it's the same routine watching films," Chrystie said.
Be it an untimely penalty, a bad snap, or a missed assignment that led to a negative play, the Tornado have missed out on potential scoring opportunities.
It's somewhat of a misnomer to assess Norwich as a low-scoring offense. Running backs Evan Sylstra and Malachi Gaters each have over 500 yards rushing, as does quarterback Torin Lawrence.
Norwich is piling up yards, if not the points.
"Looking at the stats, we're more of a power offense," Chrystie said. "We're not necessarily as explosive as in years past, but we can be equally effective. We just need to do it more methodically."
While Norwich has had mixed results on offense, Waverly has had no issue scoring.
Led by its quarterback, Waverly has won all nine of its games averaging 32 points game, while allowing just 9.3 points a game.
The offense runs through the quarterback, Chrystie said, as Waverly will sling the ball all over the field in the passing game, but in recent weeks has also shown the ability to pound the ball in the running game.
That type of offensive balance is probably the best Norwich has seen all season. That said, Norwich has the full expectation of coming away with the win.
"Between injuries, COVID, you name it, we have every excuse in the book to not play well this week," Chrystie said. "But we're not an excuse team, and we're going in expecting to win. Our goals haven't changed: We want to compete for a sectional championship."
Game time is at 7 p.m. at Waverly High School. For those not able to attend, the game will be broadcasted on the Mixlr application with Harry Graves on the call. The Mixlr application is a free download on your personal computer or mobile device.