2011 Chenango Forks Varsity Football

Game 4 vs Norwich
Purple Tornado defeats the Blue Devils 20-7

Articles courtesy of the
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin and Chenango Evening Sun

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Norwich football team upends Chenango Forks
4 turnovers derail Blue Devils

Mike Mangan
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

NORWICH -- A week after one of the more disappointing losses in recent Norwich history, the Purple Tornado rebounded with a breakthrough victory against one of Section 4's pre-eminent programs.
Grant Brightman rushed for a pair of touchdowns and Norwich's defense forced four turnovers in a 20-7 victory over visiting Chenango Forks in a non-league football contest played in heavy rain Friday night.
Seth Thomsen added a touchdown run for Norwich (2-1), which beat the Blue Devils for the first time since 1999, when the Purple Tornado beat Forks, 40-14, en route to a Section 4 Class B title.
"I have so much respect for their program," said Norwich coach John Martinson of a Forks program that has won nine Section 4 titles and a pair of state Class B titles over the past 10 years. "So you knew how much it meant to these kids.
"They knew it had been (a long time)."
Brightman scored both his touchdowns in the second quarter.
His 3-yard touchdown run capped an eight-play, 32-yard drive. It was set up by a 12-yard run in which he broke several tackles near the line of scrimmage. The touchdown put Norwich ahead, 6-0, with 7:42 left in the second quarter.
Forks went three-and-out on its next possession, and Norwich struck again after taking over on its 45-yard line.
Brightman opened the drive with another hard-earned 12-yard run, and Thomsen connected on a 13-yard pass to Patrick Taylor on third-and-9 to the Forks' 9-yard line before Brightman plowed in for his second touchdown to make it 14-0 with 1:29 left in the half.
Forks opened the second half with easily its best drive of the game, an 11-play, 52-yard march that culminated with an 8-yard TD run by Alec Fleicher with 6:55 left in the third quarter.
But Forks had its most damaging of its four turnovers early in the fourth quarter, when Lukas Aston fumbled deep in Blue Devils' territory. Norwich's Matt Lippa recovered at the Forks' 11-yard line.
Five players later, Thomsen scored on a 1-yard run with 6:55 remaining to secure the victory.
For Forks (2-2), the defeat continues a maddeningly inconsistent season in which it has alternated decisive victories and losses.
"I'm going to start looking at myself; we'll all take part of the blame," Forks coach Dave Hogan said. "We have to get off this roller coaster.
On the heels of a 12-6 loss the previous week to a Sidney team that was handed a 73-14 season-opening loss by Johnson City, there was little to suggest that Norwich would enjoy the success it had Friday night.
Especially when Forks recovered the game's opening kickoff at the Norwich 25-yard-line, the Blue Devils' Joe Fassett jumping on a ball that landed at the 20 and took a big bounce away from a Norwich kick returner.
But Norwich withstood the scoring threat, part of a fine defensive night in which it limited Forks to 153 yards of offense.
"We were real disappointed last week with our performance and it motivated us," Thomsen said. "We knew we couldn't be that bad; we had to play better."

01 02 03 04   Tot
Chenango Forks 0 0 7 0 - 7
Norwich 0 14 0 6 - 20
  • N - Grant Brightman 3y run (run failed)
  • N - Brightman 9y run (C. Bradbury pass from Seth Thomsen)
  • CF - Alec Fleicher 8y run (Isaiah Zimmer kick)
  • N - Thomsen 1y run (pass failed)

TEAM STATISTICS  Online game stats from Gannett newspapers

  Norwich CF
First Downs 12 9
Rushes-Yards 43-179 35-119
Passing Yards 26 34
Comp-Att-Int 2-3-0 2-5-2
Total Offense 46-205 40-153
Punts-Ave yards 4-36.3 4-29.3
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 5-2
Penalties-Yards 9-55 6-30


Norwich rushing

  • Kyle Edwards 13-65
  • Grant Brightman 15-59
  • Seth Thomsen 10-37
  • Patrick Taylor 2-9
  • Kegan Leveque 3-9

Chenango Forks rushing

  • Lukas Aston 14-41
  • Zach Jeske 8-34
  • John Colm Sweeney 3-19
  • Alec Fleicher 4-13, 1 TD
  • Jacob Green 5-13
  • Ethan Cook 1-(-1)

Norwich passing

  • Seth Thomsen 2-for-3, 26y, 0 TD, 0 int.

Chenango Forks passing

  • Zach Jeske 2-for-5, 34y, 0 TD, 2 int.

Norwich receiving

  • Patrick Taylor 2-26

Chenango Forks receiving:  

  • Jacob Green 1-25
  • Kevin Patwell 1-9

JV Score: ?

Preview Article(s) 

Norwich renews rivalry with Chenango Forks

Patrick Newell
Chenango Evening Sun 

The opponent this week for Norwich (1-1) tonight is longtime rival Chenango Forks (2-1), a school the Purple Tornado have not beaten since the 1999 Class B championship team routed the Blue Devils. The focus, though, isn't just preparing for the Blue Devils, but restoring the physical brand of play for which NHS is known. Sidney consistently beat Norwich at the line of scrimmage last week in a 12-6 win over Norwich, and the NHS coaching staff took notice.
"It came down to the basics: We didn't block or tackle well last week," said Norwich coach John Martinson. "We saw that as coaches, and it was something we had to work on. We want to be more physical up front in running our base offense, and everyone needs to take personal accountability. We've had a good week of practice, and I expect the kids will play hard."
Chenango Forks is no longer a rival to Norwich in the Class B ranks, but it is the marquis program in Section IV over the past 10 years "They have a fantastic program, and we've had a difficult time beating them," Martinson said "Forks doesn't rebuild, they reload (every year). They are tough in the red zone and play great defense."
The Blue Devils rebounded from a 21-0 loss to Greene with a 21-7 win over Chenango Valley last weekend. Senior fullback Lukas Aston is the key to the offensive attack, Martinson said. "Their entire offense is based around him," Martinson said of Aston.
Quarterback Zach Jeske is dangerous running and throwing the ball, and the stable of dangerous backs includes Jacob Green, Kyle Fleicher, and Ethan Cook. "We'll have our work cut out for us, but we need to take care of the ball and play Norwich football," Martinson said.

Post-game Midweek Article:    

Fifth Quarter:

Published Tuesdays in the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

Rare struggles

With its loss to Norwich, Chenango Forks (2-2) has endured two regular-season losses for the first time since 2000, when the Blue Devils went 7-2 but failed to qualify for the Section 4 playoffs.

While still searching for answers in his team's quest for consistency, Forks coach Dave Hogan acknowledged that Norwich played like expected, and not like the team that struggled mightily in a 12-6 loss to a Sidney squad that was thumped, 73-14, in its season-opener at Johnson City.

"I'm going to be honest, there was nothing that surprised me from them," Hogan said. "I knew it was not going to be the team we saw on film, last week; we knew it's tough to play up (there) and we knew they'd be ready to play."

A special night

Norwich junior Kyle Edwards contributed 65 yards rushing in the Purple Tornado's 20-7 victory over Chenango Forks on Friday, but he may have provided a bigger impact through special teams.

Edwards had four punts for a 36.3-yard average. Three of those punts pinned Forks inside its 11-yard-line, and the Blue Devils turned the ball over twice following those punts, helping Norwich win the field-position battle on a night when rainy conditions made moving the ball difficult.

"We won the special teams, we created turnovers, and when we got in the red zone we put it in when we needed to," Norwich coach John Martinson said. "If Forks gives you that opportunity, you have to take advantage or you're not going to come out on top."


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