Norwich football

Patrick Newell

Norwich coach John Pluta was prophetic in his comments before last Friday’s game against Oneida. “Offensively, we can give people some trouble – even if we don’t match up physically,” he said. “A lot of teams outside our section don’t see our offense.”
Norwich returned to its ball-control ways racking up huge possession time on 50 carries for 235 yards. Keeping the ball for sustained drives kept Oneida’s prolific offense off the field, a stated game-plan goal, Pluta said.
Conversely, he spoke of how well division opponents such as Chenango Forks, Chenango Valley, Oneonta, and Windsor play defense against the Tornado year in and year out. “Points are at a premium (in our division),” Pluta said. “Everybody knows what everybody else does, and they consistently do it.”
Windsor and Chenango Forks have division wins over Norwich, and Windsor has already clinched a playoff spot after beating Oneonta last week to move to 3-0 in division play. Chenango Forks (2-1 in division play) has two ways to secure a playoff spot: First, defeat Windsor on Saturday. Second, Norwich wins at Oneonta Friday night. Pluta said that beating Oneonta was on its list of eight preseason goals. Now, it can not only accomplish that goal, but eliminate its longtime rival from postseason play in the process.