Geneva College (1-2)
Bethany College (1-2)
September 25, 2010
Bison Stadium - Bethany, WV
The Geneva College football team will be back in action on Saturday night in West Virginia at Bethany College and will be trying to avoid only the fifth three-game losing streak in the 18 year head coaching career of Geno DeMarco. The Golden Tornadoes are coming off back to back home losses to Albright and Thomas More in which they were outscored 90-47. Geneva has surrendered 117 points in the first three games of the season while the Bison have also seen its share of problems on defense having given up 116 points in their first three games including a 59-21 loss at Washington & Jefferson last Saturday. Both teams enter the contest with identical 1-2 records but it is Geneva that has dominated the series with 28 victories in the previous 36 meetings. The Golden Tornadoes have won five straight against Bethany including a 54-21 win at Reeves Field a year ago. Bethany has not defeated Geneva since a 15-14 decision in 1973.
In last year′s game, Geneva rushed for 335 yards including a game high 153 yard effort from Gerard Muschette. Bethany running back and Beaver County native Eric Walker was held in check with 65 yards on the ground. In 2010, Walker leads the Bison attack with 335 yards on 64 carries and four touchdowns. On the Geneva side, Muschette has scored six touchdowns and has piled up 393 yards on 71 carries. Geneva quarterback David Girardi is completing nearly 64% of his passes for 663 yards and four touchdowns. He has found Corey O′Patchen three times on long distance connections of 71 yards, 58 yards and 42 yards in the last two weeks. O′Patchen leads the Geneva receiving core with 282 receiving yards.
Bethany has relied on the throwing arm of Matt Grimard for the majority of work in 2010. The freshman quarterback has thrown for 302 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Bethany′s first three games. Along with his rushing prowess, Walker is also tied for the team lead with seven receptions for 37 yards.
Both teams are surrendering nearly 39 points per game in the early going of the 2010 campaign. In Geneva′s case, the blame cannot solely be placed on the defense. Several special teams problems have plagued Geneva including a pair of crucial fumbles in each of the last two games that have led directly to opposing touchdowns and have turned momentum away from the black and gold. Turnovers can often play a big part in the outcome of games and Geneva and Bethany have combined for a -9 turnover margin in the first three weeks of the season.
Geneva will continue its two week road trip a week from Saturday when it travels to Saint Vincent College. As for Bethany, the Bison will host Waynesburg University next Saturday afternoon.
NOTES: Only twice in 18 years has Geno DeMarco seen his Golden Tornadoes start a season with a record of 1-3. The Golden Tornadoes opened the 2004 season winning one of the first three games but battled back to a 5-5 record. In 2008, Geneva started 1-5 before turning things around with four straight wins to close out the season. The Geneva/Bethany series dates back to the 1909 season when Geneva defeated the Bison 3-0 in the final game of the season 101 years ago.