After Slow Start Geneva Takes Control at Saint Vincent

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Latrobe, PA - Getting off to a good start is essential for any football team playing on the road. On Saturday, the Geneva College football team could not have written a worse early game script but found a way to overcome its poor start in a 32-17 victory at Saint Vincent College. The Bearcats fell to 0-2 while Geneva moved to a perfect 2-0 in the early season. It is the first 2-0 start for the Golden Tornadoes since the start of the 2005 season.

Saint Vincent, who restarted football three years ago and came into Saturday′s action with a 1-20 overall mark since 2007, smacked the Golden Tornadoes with a pair of first quarter scores to open up a 14-0 lead. Saint Vincent capitalized on a 54 yard drive to start the game and then used an interception return for a touchdown to extend the lead to 14-0 at the 5:46 mark of the second quarter. "If we didn′t wake up when we did in the first half, we could have been in serious trouble," said Geneva head coach Geno DeMarco. "Our defense has always been the heart and soul of this program and they came up with some big turnovers that jump started the offense."

The Golden Tornadoes answered back with a 73 yard drive of its own capped by an 11 yard touchdown reception by Brian Wilson from David Girardi. It was the first of two TD connections between that same duo. A missed extra point left Geneva down by eight points. Early in the second quarter, Rich Kolesar set Geneva′s offense up in good field position after his second interception of the season. The offense took advantage one play later on a 30 yard touchdown from Matt Barge. A missed two-point conversion left the score at 14-12.

Prior to halftime, Saint Vincent extended the lead 17-12 with a 23 yard field goal, but it was the halftime speech of Geno DeMarco that must of held quite a message to his team as the Golden Tornadoes dominated play in the final 30 minutes.

The Golden Tornadoes posted all 20 points in the second half to close out the Bearcats. Matt Dean scored on a pair of short touchdowns late in the third quarter and early in the fourth to allow Geneva to take control of the game. Wilson struck again on an incredible reception midway through the fourth quarter to give the Golden Tornadoes all the points it would need for their third consecutive victory against the Bearcats. "Our offense was really clicking in the second half," said DeMarco. "Give a lot of credit to the guys up front for staying with the game plan and wearing the other team out down the stretch."

Saturday′s match-up between Geneva and Saint Vincent marked the first of two meetings between the two schools during the 2009 season. It is the first time since dropping two games to Youngstown State in 1942 that Geneva is playing the same team twice during the same regular season. The rematch between Geneva and Saint Vincent will take place at Reeves Field on October 24th.

After posting a pair of defensive touchdowns in week one, the Golden Tornadoes defensive 11 forced three turnovers against the Bearcats. The last of which was a fumble recovery by Javon Moody in the fourth quarter to maintain a 15-point lead. Gary Walstrom also came up with his first Geneva interception in his second game on the Golden Tornadoes′ defense.

Gerard Muschette led the running game with 157 yards on 24 carries. The Golden Tornadoes rushed for a total of 246 yards and finished the afternoon with 454 total yards. Girardi threw for a pair of touchdowns in completing 15-29 passes for 208 yards.

Geneva will enjoy its only bye week of the season next weekend before getting back into action on September 26th when it hosts Thiel College at Reeves Field at 7 pm.

"We learned a lot about our team today," said DeMarco. "I think our guys learned about poise and character. We have a lot to fix but it feels good to get this one out of the way and to start with two victories."

Geneva College is a comprehensive Christian college of the arts, sciences and professional studies. Founded in the tradition of the Reformed Christian faith, Geneva prepares students to serve Christ in all areas of society: work, family and the church. Geneva College′s philosophy of education is based on the Foundational Concepts of Christian Higher Education. Geneva is a founding member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU).