NORWICH – On Friday night, Norwich hosted Windsor for the sectional semi-finals. Norwich had defeated Windsor in the regular season 28-6, but knew anything could happen in the playoffs. Norwich came out with a close victory this time 35-34.
Leading the way for the Purple Tornado was Braden Hagenbuch with two touchdowns. He put Norwich on the board as he caught a 16 yard pass from Steven Dowdall. He also scored on a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter as both teams went back and forth in scoring.
Holden Ryan continued to dominate in a strong running game for Norwich as he scored on a 21 yard run and led the team with 115 yards on 17 carries.
Windsor was fierce right off the bat. However, they missed three two-point conversions in all three quarters.
While Norwich’s defense controlled the pass, they couldn’t stop Windsor’s McCombs, who ran for 233 yards and scored four times. Norwich did recover a fumble on defense off a running play where Kyle Linger stripped the ball and scored to put Norwich up 21-12 at halftime.
As Windsor continued to threaten in the second half, Norwich sealed the deal on an offensive drive with six minutes to go in regulation. Norwich led 28-26 until Holden Ryan’s 57 yard run up the far side set up Norwich near the goal line. Steven Dowdall ran eight yards on a quarterback keeper to provide leverage and the game-winner at the end of the night.
Windsor scored again to make it a one-point game, but Norwich held on to the ball in the final minute to secure the win.
Norwich appreciated giving their home crowd one final win, but now have to prepare for a powerful Maine-Endwell team, who remains undefeated. Norwich suffered a 45-14 loss to the Spartans in the regular season.
Norwich and Maine-Endwell will play for the Section IV, Class B Championships on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. The game will be held at Maine-Endwell High School and admission will be charged through Go Fan Digital Ticketing.