Turnover Trouble, 15th Ranked Geneva Falls to #23 Malone
"Controversial Ending, Six Turnovers Cost GT′s"
Canton, OH - In order to beat a quality opponent on the road, the formula will always include protecting the football. Unfortunately for Geneva College, six turnovers against Malone on Saturday afternoon proved to be the difference in a 22-13 loss to the Pioneers. Falling for the second time in as many years to Malone, Geneva dropped its record to 1-2 on the season. More importantly, the Golden Tornadoes dropped their 2006 MSFA Mideast League opener. Geneva and Malone were facing each other for the final time as members of the MSFA Mideast League due to Geneva′s move to NCAA Division III in 2007 and Malone was able to get the last laugh in one of the most storied rivalries in recent years for Geneva College.
Geneva was intercepted five times and fumbled the ball away on another occasion, with were ultimately turned into 15 points by Malone College. An indication of things to come later in the day came on Geneva′s second possession of the game. Justin Sciarro was sacked and Justin Murphy picked up a fumble and scampered six yards to open the scoring mid-way through the first quarter.
The Golden Tornadoes came right back with a 55-yard drive on five plays to take its only lead of the game. The drive was capped off by a one-yard plunge from Javon Moody, his first collegiate touchdown. After the first of four Sciarro interceptions, Malone capitalized with a 40-yard field goal off the foot of Mike Skvor to give the Pioneers a lead that they would never relinquish.
Sciarro was intercepted four times and was replaced for a pair of possessions in the fourth quarter. Matt Brown, however, was not able to muster any momentum by going 0-4, including the fifth interception of the day. Upon Sciarro′s return with just under seven minutes to play, the senior led Geneva to an immediate touchdown drive that was capped by a six-yard Moody score to cut into the Pioneer lead. After recovering an on-side kick, Geneva moved the ball inside Malone′s one-yard line, but could not get into the end zone.
Geneva was held to just 18 yards rushing, which was the lowest single game total since Geno DeMarco took over the program 14 years ago. Malone′s Brad Reifsnyder completed 25-34 passes for 264 yards and a touchdown, while Geneva was held to 194 yards passing, with the majority of those yards coming in the final four minutes.
Defensively, Geneva was once again led by Brian Hall′s 11 tackles. Hall entered the game as the leading tackler in the MSFA. The Golden Tornadoes finally pressured the quarterback with their first four sacks of the season, including two from senior Nick Phillips.
Geneva will travel to Seton Hill University next week for the first-ever meeting between the two Pennsylvania schools. While one rivalry may be coming to an end in Canton, other may just be beginning in Greensburg, PA.