Weekend Football Roundup
Published: September 25th, 2023

Norwich falls to Horseheads

NORWICH - After two big wins, the Norwich Purple Tornado football team hosted a tough Class A's Horseheads at Ulrich Field. Norwich, down a few key players, fell 49-21, snapping a two-game win streak. While this game did not count against league standings, it did hand Norwich their second loss of the season. However, Norwich remains in good spirits moving forward.

While it seemed like the demeanor had changed from coming off the shutout wins in the previous two games, Coach Mike Chrystie said his team continues to focus on one game at a time with the same mindset.

"We approach every game the same and compete against whoever we line up against," he said. "Horseheads is a good team and they executed better than us. We are pretty banged up physically right now, so we need to get as healthy as we can by Friday night."

Norwich was down 21-7 at halftime before adding 14 points in the final fourth quarter. However, the Purple Tornado struggled to stop Horseheads' run game. The Blue Raiders scored on every drive except the first one, where they punted.

Norwich's Josh Lindridge, Richard Fuller, and quarterback Steven Dowdall each found the endzone in the loss. Dowdall finished 11-for-21 with 154 yards and two passing touchdowns. He also rushed for 61 yards.

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Kaden Downey rushed for 57 yards while Mitchell Collins led receivers with five receptions for 76 yards. Norwich picked up 286 yards on offense, less than normal, with 154 passing yards and 132 rushing. Horseheads finished with 458 yards (295 rush and 163 receiving).

Kaden Downey and Connor White led the Purple Tornado defense with two sacks for a loss.

Norwich (2-2) heads to Vestal on Friday at 7 p.m. for another non-league matchup.

Scoring Plays:

H (1st Qtr): Dom Cardinale hand-off to Bradock Salisbury-13 yard gain-Touchdown. Extra point from Trevor Reidy is good.

N (1st Qtr): Steven Dowdall drops back and throws pass completion to Josh Lindridge-13 yard gain-Touchdown. Extra point from Spencer Root is good.

H (2nd Qtr): Cardinale hand-off to Josh Mccawley- four yard gain-Touchdown. Extra Point is good.

H (2nd Qtr):Cardinale hand-off to Salisbury- nine yard gain-Touchdown. Extra Point is good.

H (3rd Qtr): Cardinale hand-off to Lucas Mosher- four yard gain-Touchdown. Cardinale to Miles Woodhouse-two-point conversion is good.

H (3rd Qtr): Cardinale pass to Woodhouse-33 yard gain-Touchdown. Extra point is good.

N (3rd Qtr): Dowdall pass to Richard Fuller- nine yard gain-Touchdown. Root's extra point is good.

H (4th Qtr): Cardinale hand-off to Mccawley-five yard gain-Touchdown. Extra point is good.

N (4th Qtr): Dowdall runs for nine yard gain-Touchdown. Root's extra point is good.

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Horseheads 49-Norwich 21

Norwich-Total Yards-286 (154 receiving, 132 rushing)

Horseheads-Total Yards-458 (295 rushing, 163 receiving)

Blackhawks find silver lining in loss to Groton

Groton 44, Oxford 6

OXFORD – Oxford isn’t in the business of moral victories, but if there was one to be had, it came out of Friday night’s home loss to state-ranked Groton on Friday evening.

Nearly every Groton point in the opening half came after an untimely Oxford miscue, which led to five touchdowns off turnovers, said Oxford second-year head coach Mitch Cluff.

“We were cross-blocking and moving the ball at will,” Cluff said. “We were a good matchup, but we had some bad snaps (at inopportune times) that gave the ball to Groton, or directly led to a touchdown.”

That said, despite the prohibitive halftime deficit, the Blackhawks won the second half putting up the only points. Cluff, too, noted that Groton still fielded most of its starting lineup when the teams played to a virtual stalemate.

“Their head coach told me (after the game) that this was not the (Oxford) team that showed up the previous two weeks,” Cluff said. “Those mistakes don’t happen, it’s a different ballgame.”

Oxford’s offense sprung to life in the second half. Backup quarterback, Richard Hunter, scored on a long TD dash. Cluff estimated it was approximately a 60-yard scoring jaunt.

Later on in the contest, the Blackhawks received another boost when Allison Thomas hauled in a four-yard reception. While insignificant in the grand scheme of the game, Thomas built on her already noteworthy receiving career.

“She was the first girl to catch a pass in a varsity football game,” Cluff said, pointing out Thomas’ catch in week one against Thomas Edison. “And now she’s the second, too.”

Oxford (0-3) hosts Section III’s Sauquoit Valley on Friday.

UV outscored by state-ranked Moravia

MORAVIA – The Unadilla Valley Storm traveled to state-ranked Moravia on Saturday, where they lost 63-0. This was one week after the Blue Devils put 72 points against Oxford.

The Storm (0-4) gets back into league play in the next two weeks, hosting Greene on Friday and Oxford on October 6 for Homecoming.

B-G falls to Walton

WALTON – The Bainbridge-Guilford Bobcats football team continues to tread through their tough class D schedule as they took on Walton. Walton scored 22 points in the first quarter, including a pick-six (interception touchdown) and led 30-0 at halftime after a punt block touchdown. The Bobcats were able to put some points on the board in the second half and held the Warriors to one touchdown, falling 38-20.

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B-G (1-2) looks to bounce back Saturday as they face Harpursville/Afton at 1:30 p.m.

- by Pat Newell and Morgan Golliver