2004 Chenango Forks Varsity Football

Game 1 vs Norwich

Blue Devils snuff out "Tornado Watch '04" 44-8!


Articles courtesy of the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin and the Norwich Evening Sun 
(I hope to have a post-game review article from the Norwich paper during the week. Check back then)
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to the 2004 team page

to Game 2 - Susquehanna Valley

Forks doesn't miss a beat in rout of Norwich

By Jeff Matolka
Correspondent for Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

NORWICH -- Obstacle No. 1 cleared.

Quarterback Tim Batty figured in three touchdown plays to lead Chenango Forks to a 44-8 rout of Norwich on opening night of Section 4 Football Conference play.

The Norwich faithful look on as the 2004 version of "The Wall" makes its' debut and effectively snuffs out "Tornado Watch '04"Forks, perfect in 13 games last season, opened in style in defense of its state Class B championship.

Batty, last year's MVP in the state title game, connected on four of six passes for 92 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown pass to Zach Vredenburgh for the game's first score in the opening quarter. During the drive Batty eluded a would-be sacker and completed a key 27-yard pass to Ben Farnham.

Late in the first quarter, Batty ran 27 yards for the Blue Devils' second touchdown.

"You dream about a start like this," Forks coach Kelsey Green said. "Tim (Batty) made a couple of plays, we made a couple of acrobatic catches and we had the ground game going. It was a little bit of everything, option, power and pass."

Forks had 306 yards rushing.

CF quarterback Tim Batty sets to lead the Blue Devils during the 23 point second quarter in Norwich.The third time Forks got the ball it scored again. Batty connected with Vredenburgh on a 24-yard pass - on a key third-and-11 play - and the first down put the ball at the Norwich 26-yard line. The shoestring catch was the highlight of a 10-play drive that ended with Batty following center Alex Williams into the end zone for a 2-yard score.

It only got worse for the Purple Tornado.

A snap over the punter's head went out of the end zone for a safety to make it 23-0 in the second quarter.

Forks' John Florance caught the free kick at midfield and ran it back to theAn unidentified Blue Devil runner sure has drawn a lot of attention from what seems like 21 other players. Norwich 35. That drive culminated in Jim Nicholson's touchdown from 2 yards out.

If the 30-0 score wasn't enough, the end of the half took all the wind out of Tornado.

Norwich moved the ball into Forks' territory for the first time, in the last minute of the first half. But Robert Martin's pass was picked off by Vredenburgh, who returned it 57 yards for a TD with 17 seconds left in the first half.

"We knew Norwich is one of the best teams in the section, so we knew we had to have our minds right," said Batty, who also ran for 58 yards and kicked kicked six extra points. "We caught a few breaks, we made a few plays and kept to our assignments."

Jared Bilow scored Norwich's TD, a 4-yard run with less than 30 seconds to play.

Photographs by Sean Faughnan
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1 2 3 4   Tot
Chenango Forks 14 23 07 00 - 44
Norwich 0 0 0 8 - 8
  • CF - Vredenburgh 15 pass from Batty (Batty kick)
  • CF - Batty 27 run (Batty kick)
  • CF - Batty 2 run (Batty kick)
  • CF - Team Safety, punt snap out of end zone
  • CF - Jim (?) Nicholson 2 run (Batty kick) 
  • CF - Vredenburgh 57 interception return (Batty kick)
  • CF - Wells 11 run (Batty kick)
  • No - Bilow 4 run (Benenati run)


Norwich CF
First Downs 9 16
Rushes-Yards 37-188 46-306
Passing Yards 11 92
Comp-Att-Int 2-12-1 4-6-0
Total Offense 49-199 52-398
Punts-Ave yards 4-32.5 0-0
Fumbles-Lost 4-0 1-1
Penalties-Yards 5-35 5-28


Norwich rushing:  

  • Oles 8-72
  • Bilow 9-40, 1 TD
  • Benenati 3-29
  • Frink 8-24
  • Abbott 6-21
  • Martin 3-2

Chenango Forks rushing:  

  • Chier 8-86
  • Batty 7-58, 2 TDs
  • Spencer 9-34
  • Rittenburg 3-32
  • Jim Nicholson 5-31, 1 TD
  • O'Branski 5-28
  • Hessney 3-14
  • Wells 1-11, 1 TD
  • Farnham 3-6
  • Joe Nicholson 1-3
  • Falcon 1-3

Norwich passing

  • Martin 2-for-12, 11 yards, 1 int.

Chenango Forks passing: 

  • Batty 4-for-6, 92 yards, 1 TD

Norwich receiving: 

  • Eddy 2-11

Chenango Forks receiving:  

  • Vredenburgh 2-39, 1 TD
  • Farnham, 2-53

JV Score: Norwich 29-25

Preview Articles:

Norwich opens with Forks in rematch of 2003 Class B title game

By Patrick Newell
Norwich Evening Sun Sports Editor

First the schedule-makers made every Class B game in Section IV a league game. Second, those same schedule-makers didnít give Norwich any kind of a break. The Tornado face the absolute best in the state tonight when they host defending Class B state champion Chenango Forks in both teamsí season-opener.

Forks has owned Norwich the past few years winning each matchup in the new millennium including the last two Section IV championship games. Itís been a change of momentum in a budding rivalry when, Norwich won more than its fair share of games over a 10-year period stretching from the late Ď80s to the late Ď90s.

The Forks-Tornado matchup highlights five games for Chenango County teams to open the 2004 season. Elsewhere, Unadilla Valley-Edmeston hosts Harpursville tonight in head coach Tim Footeís varsity coaching debut for the Storm. Bainbridge-Guilford, sans Afton, entertains 2003 Section IV playoff team Whitney Point tonight, while Oxford hosts Greene Saturday at 7 p.m., and Section IIIís Sherburne-Earlville plays South Jefferson at 3:15 p.m. at Liverpool. The Marauders, too, are led by first-time varsity coach Tom Piatti.

Forks has a few holes in the lineup, but none that it wonít patch with a solid contributor. Gone is leading rusher Joe Babcock, but returning are Tim OíBranski, Jason Chier, and Ben Farnham who saw significant carries. Then there is state tournament MVP Tim Batty at quarterback, who executes the Forks offense almost without flaw. Plus dangerous sticky-fingered receiver Zach Vredenburgh, who is complemented by standout tight end Nick Tarnowski.

Batty engineers the offense and is the defined playmaker, but the nuts and bolts of Forks is its offensive line led by mammoth returnee Matt Faughnan.

And the defense essentially shut Norwich out for nearly eight quarters last year giving up a fourth-quarter touchdown with the game no longer in doubt.

On the flip side, Norwich has been the second-best team the past two years, and its prospects for this year look just as good. The backfield is stocked with quick backs led by third-year senior starter Justin Frink. The offensive line for Norwich is laced with veterans blessed with strength, respectable size, and quickness. And the one thing Norwich has in its favor is the uncertainties of an opening game. Forks hasnít lost a regular season game to a Section IV team since falling to Oneonta in 2000. Itís a streak of well over 30 games, and one that could be halted tonight.

Norwich 15, Chenango Forks 14

Forks begins football title defense at Norwich

By Kevin Stevens
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

The 2004 season marks the fourth time since 1993 -- the inaugural season of state football championships in New York -- that a Section 4 program will defend a title. That squad is Chenango Forks, which captured last season's Class B crown to punctuate a 13-0 season following consecutive final-game losses.

Section 4's other state football champions since '93 are: Delhi (Class C, 2001), Vestal (Class A, 1997), and Walton (Class C, 1994).

Forks, winner in 37 of its last 39 ballgames, hits the road to take on Norwich at 7:30 tonight. A season ago, the Blue Devils defeated Norwich twice -- by a combined 49-7 -- the second time in Section 4's Class B final.

"They haven't lost in three years in Section 4, and they're probably better this year," Norwich coach John Pluta said. "I think last year, people may have thought it was their year to reload. Now, look at the size of them and the speed and the quickness and experience."

This season, as opposed to past years when Class B programs were split into two divisions, the B's are grouped in one 10-team division.

"As long as there are only 10 Bs, I think that's the best way to do it," Forks coach Kelsey Green said. "The way we're doing it now, you can't get any more fair. Everybody is playing everybody. It's going to be very, very difficult, I think, for anybody to get through nine of those games unblemished." ...

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