2005 Chenango Forks Varsity Football

Game 9 vs Norwich

CF opens playoffs routing Norwich 42-8!



Articles courtesy of the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin
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Forks offense builds steam, routs Norwich in 'B' semi

by Kevin Stevens
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin 

BINGHAMTON -- To Chenango Forks' football win streak may now be attached the adjective "unprecedented."
The program that has ruled Section 4 of late put a section-record 35th consecutive victory in the books Saturday, a 42-8 Class B semifinal romp past Norwich that featured a first half in which the Blue Devils were at peak form.
Quarterback Rick Mirabito's three rushing touchdowns led Forks to a 35-0 lead at halftime, at which point the Devils had rushed for a cool 300 yards including eight gains of 15 or more yards at Binghamton Alumni Stadium.
It would appear this program, which has strung 53 victories against Section 4 opposition, is very much on stride for the postseason. Next step comes at 7 p.m. Friday back at Binghamton, where the Blue Devils (9-0) will take on Owego (6-3) with a fifth straight Section 4 title their quest.
"It's playoff time, we wanted to step up our game and play the best game that we can play. That's what we try to do each week," said Mirabito, who performed magnificently running the offense and running the football.

As for besting the previous Section 4 record streak held by Delhi, tackle Matt Faughnan said: "It means that all of our hard work is getting paid off. We feel that we're the hardest working team in the section, and when we can come out and do this we know it's well worth the sweat."
All business from the outset was Forks, which turned its first four possessions into touchdowns and kept Norwich on its half of the field until the final two minutes of the opening half.
Forks' first drive went 80 yards in 84 seconds, with fullback Tyler Spencer rushing 21 yards for the TD on the fourth play from scrimmage. Dylan Warner tacked on the first of his six PAT kicks.
An exquisite pass through a bothersome wind from Mirabito to Ed Samson that covered 48 yards on third-and-9 from Forks' 32-yard line highlighted the next possession. It ended with Mirabito keeping on an option play and running in untouched from the 4.
Then, on the second-to-last play of the first quarter, Jim Nicholson showed a burst of speed only accentuated by the user-friendly artificial surface. He took a pitch toward Forks' sideline, picked up a block on the outside, weaved toward the middle then back to the sideline to complete a 78-yard scoring run for a three-TD advantage.
"We love playing on the turf," Mirabito said. "We're all able to run faster on it and it's just a lot more fun getting up and down the field, try to see who's the fastest kid on the team."
And artificial turf it will be from here forward for Forks, however long this latest venture into the postseason may last.
The second quarter brought continued Forks dominance. It was 28-0 after Mirabito carried in from the 7-yard line 3:25 into the quarter. Then, after a botched punt attempt by Norwich (5-4) set up Forks at the Purple Tornado's 38, Mirabito scored again on a first-down option keeper -- giving him TDs on three successive carries.
Touchdowns were scored in the formality of a second half by Forks' Alex Sabo and Norwich's Keegan Edwards, the latter on a 10-yard pass from Nate Foote in the final minute of play.
"The way we went out and executed in that first half, both ways, I think we've taken another little step forward, which is what we've been trying to do all year," Forks coach Kelsey Green said. "If we're going to do it now, it's a great time to do it.
"I know they're down some personnel (due to injury), but what we tried to do, we did. What we worked on through the week, we took it out on the field and did it. That's the key."

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1 2 3 4   Tot
Chenango Forks 21 14 00 07 - 42
Norwich 0 0 0 8 - 8
  • CF - Tyler Spencer 21 run (Dylan Warner kick)
  • CF - Rick Mirabito 4 run (Warner kick)
  • CF - Jim Nicholson 78 run (Warner kick)
  • CF - Mirabito 7 run (Warner kick)
  • CF - Mirabito 38 run (Warner kick)
  • CF - Alex Sabo 1 run (Warner kick)
  • N - Keegan Edwards 10 pass from Nate Foote (Josh Wales pass from Alex Paula)


Norwich CF
First Downs 6 14
Rushes-Yards 46-129 42-363
Passing Yards 10 48
Comp-Att-Int 1-4-0 1-4-1
Total Offense 50-139 46-411
Punts-Ave yards 6-32 1-45
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties-Yards 2-6 5-25


Norwich rushing:  

  • Chris Mattingly 12-46
  • Foote 9-38
  • Ryan Brennan 6-16
  • Paula 5-13
  • Shane Thompson 4-13
  • John Clancy 2-7
  • Ryan Benenati 7-6
  • Edwards 1-(-10)

Chenango Forks rushing:  

  • Jim Nicholson 4-113, 1 TD
  • Joe Nicholson 8-73
  • Mirabito 8-70, 3 TDs
  • Spencer 6-50, 1 TD
  • Jarred Wells 7-43
  • Sabo 5-13, 1 TD
  • Ray Lord 1-5
  • Jason Gildea 1-0
  • Bryan Lance 2-(-4)

Norwich passing

  • Foote 1-for-2, 10 yards, 1 TD, 0 int.
  • Edwards 0-for-2, 0 int.

Chenango Forks passing: 

  • Mirabito 1-for-4, 48 yards, 0 TD, 0 int.

Norwich receiving: 

  • Edwards 1-10, 1 TD

Chenango Forks receiving:  

  • Ed Samson 1-48

JV Score: CF 28-6?

Preview Articles: 

by Kevin Stevens
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin 

Forks, Norwich set on collision course

For a fourth consecutive season, Chenango Forks and Norwich will clash in the Section 4 Class B football playoffs - this year a step sooner than when the two have grown accustomed to colliding.

The semifinal is scheduled for a 1:30 kickoff, Saturday at Binghamton Alumni Stadium, Forks sacrificing home field edge in favor of presumably favorable conditions on the artificial surface.

The other 'B' semifinal sends Windsor to Owego at 1:30 Saturday.

Forks, 8-0 and top-ranked in Class B, is coming off what may be its most impressive game of the season, a 41-14 rout of Elmira Notre Dame that extended the program's win streak to a Section 4 record-tying 34 games.

Forks and Norwich played in the last three 'B' title games, the Blue Devils' three victories coming by an aggregate 78-20.

Injuries have prompted coach John Pluta of Norwich (5-3) to promote three players from the junior varsity, all of whom are expected to see action against the Blue Devils. The Purple Tornado, which has won its last two games, was limited to 140 yards of offense in a 28-14 loss at Forks on Sept. 17.

Post-game Article:    

Fifth Quarter:     Published on Tuesdays

From staff reports
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin   

Turf, sweet turf

Chenango Forks earned the right to host last Saturday's Class B semifinal against Norwich, but eschewed the opportunity to play at home -- where the surface took a hit from recent rain and snow -- in favor of a switch to the artificial surface at Binghamton Alumni Stadium.

Things went swimmingly for Forks in a 42-8 rout of Norwich, in which the Blue Devils' speed was particularly noticeable.

"It might sound like it was a no-brainer, but it was a tough decision to come down here," coach Kelsey Green said. "We wanted to play at our field, we definitely wanted to play at our field. But, we never could have done on our field what we did here, with the option and everything else. We had to make that choice. ... "

As for what a Section 4 record-setting 35th consecutive victory means to him, Green said:

"Not to sound arrogant or whatever, but I think the streaks now are much more than they were before because you've got to go through the state time and time again.

"To do that, it speaks volumes about our program. So many people, so many different kids have had a hand in it.

"If we're talking about streaks, I think the one we have going that's the neatest is the one we've got going in the section (53 straight against Section 4 foes). That's the way it's always been looked at.

"It's a program thing. We're proud of it, but, what's it mean when you get right down to it. The next game is the key.

"My wife always puts it in perspective; I'm one loss from being a bum-- and she's right."

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