Frostburg, MD - The 120th season of Geneva College football kicked off on Saturday night with a 32-27 victory over Frostburg State University. It was far from a masterpiece for the Golden Tornadoes but for the second time in as many years, Geneva opened the season with a victory over Frostburg State.
Gerard Muschette entered Saturday′s season opener as the sixth all-time leading rusher in Geneva College history. By season′s end he figures to have moved well up that list. He got off to an impressive start against Frostburg State with 181 rushing yards on 27 carries and three touchdowns. He also caught five passes for 48 yards through the air.
Muschette opened the 2010 scoring with a 12 yard run late in the first quarter, but like most of the night Frostburg State came right back to tie the game before a 28 yard Nick DiPietro field goal gave Geneva a lead it would never relinquish. Muschette struck again in the second quarter with a seven yard touchdown run to extend the lead to ten points.
Fullback Pat Matty registered his first Geneva touchdown from one yard out early in the third quarter to again put the Golden Tornadoes up by two scores. Perhaps the biggest turning point came following a Frostburg State touchdown that cut the lead to 24-20. On the extra point attempt, Geneva blocked the kick and Fred Maxwell scampered 98 yards for a two-point conversion that extended the lead to six points. Muschette closed out the scoring with his third touchdown of the game to put it out of reach when he scored from two yards out with just under five minutes left in regulation. A late touchdown did not prove to be costly and the Golden Tornadoes escaped Frostburg with an opening game victory.
Senior quarterback David Girardi threw for 164 yards on 14-24, but did throw a pair of interceptions. Geneva committed four turnovers in the game, but was able to overcome those mistakes late in the contest through the work of the offensive line and the running of Mushette and Jordan Curry. Curry finished with 47 yards on the ground on seven carries, most of which came on a decisive touchdown scoring drive in the fourth quarter.
"Let me say this," explained head coach Geno DeMarco. "This could very well go down as one of the top five ugliest performances in my 18 years as a head coach. We were equally bad on both sides of the ball. The only good news is that we stayed healthy and the sun will come up tomorrow. We have a couple pretty good running backs, but I can say that we won′t be entering this game into any beauty pageants. It was not pretty."
Geneva′s defense got a lift from free safety Marcus Costanza with a team best eight tackles. Solomon Hejirika, the leading tackler from a year ago, finished the night with seven tackles in the victory.
Geneva will head back to Beaver Falls to prepare for the home opener next Saturday night against Albright College. The Golden Tornadoes will then welcome two-time defending PAC champion Thomas More to Reeves Field on September 18th.
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).