Norwich football notes

Patrick Newell

We must take into consideration the level of competition, but statistically speaking, no football team in Chenango County has allowed more yards than Norwich. At 293 yards per game, the Tornado are giving up 19 yards more per game than Sherburne-Earlville. So what is the secret to a 2-0 start for Norwich? How about the significant improvement of a running game that is chewing up large amounts of clock and total yards. The 325 yards per game average Norwich is chalking up through two games is far and away the best in the area. Last season Norwich averaged 208 yards rushing per game, and it had five games where it was under the 200-yard mark. Looking at Norwich’s offensive history in the John Pluta era, a telling statistic in the success or failure of the offense is not the running game, but actually the number of passes attempted. For instance, last year Norwich attempted 20 total passes in its four wins. In the five losses: Thirty-seven attempts. This season, through two victories, senior quarterback Nate Foote has just four total pass attempts. He is 3-for-4, by the way, for 70 yards and a touchdown. That is cold-hard efficiency in the passing game. One other fact worth noting: Senior running back Chris Mattingly is moving toward some elite company. He entered the season with 1,294 career rushing yards, and he’s off to the best start of his three-year varsity career with back-to-back 100-yard days. With 329 yards through two games, he is on pace to easily surpass 2,000 career rushing yards.