Reading, PA - On the surface, the idea of teams from the PAC playing a two year series with teams from the MAC seemed like a good idea. For Geno DeMarco and the Golden Tornadoes they would just as soon see this mini-series come to an abrupt end. Geneva dropped a 46-10 decision to Albright on Saturday evening which proved to be the second straight loss to the Lions in as many years. The loss dropped Geneva′s 2011 record to 0-2 and marked just the third time in Geno DeMarco′s 19 year head coaching career that the Golden Tornadoes have dropped their first two games to start a season. Geneva and Albright were paired up in the PAC-MAC challenge based on both teams finish from the 2009 season. As it turns out, the Golden Tornadoes were handed a very daunting opponent. "If this team (Albright) doesn′t win this conference this year, I will be shocked," said DeMarco. "They are an extremely talented team and made some very big plays on offense."
The big plays started early for Albright after taking the opening kickoff and scoring on an eight play, 70 yard drive. On Geneva′s first play from scrimmage, sophomore quarterback Zack Hayward threw his first career interception and Drew Peterson took it 33 yards for a touchdown and the Lions led the game 15-0 before most people were comfortable in their sits.
The Golden Tornadoes responded with a score of their own when Hayward completed a two-yard pass to Corey O′Patchen to cap an impressive 13 play, 73 yard drive to cut the lead to 15-7. However, by the halftime whistle, Albright had extended its lead to 25-7 putting Geneva in a significant hole heading into the second stanza. A Hayward touchdown pass was nullified by a pass interference call midway through the third quarter and Geneva was forced to settle for a 34 yard Bryan Visingardi field goal to cut the lead to 25-10. Albright put the game out of reach with a 65 yard touchdown scoring drive early in the fourth quarter followed by another defensive score on a ten yard fumble recovery and return from Michael Rice.
"We possessed the ball for 41 minutes," said DeMarco. "We did some very good things that make me encouraged about what we can do. At the same time, we have to eliminate a ton of mistakes and put together a much cleaner game on both sides of the ball."
Hayward finished the game with 172 yards on 19-36 passing. Geneva continued to struggle with its running game finishing the night with just 46 yards on 27 carries. Dom Saragusa led the rushing numbers with 63 yards on six carries. On defense, sophomore Dillon Goodell led the way with 11 tackles while Scott Erb chipped in with nine tackles.
"The bad news is we are 0-2," said DeMarco. "The good news is that conference play begins next week. We have a huge challenge ahead of us next week and a huge challenge ahead of us for the rest of the season. I am confident we can do some good things with this group and we will keep working hard to get to where we want to be."
The Golden Tornadoes travel to Kentucky next Saturday to face three-time defending PAC champion Thomas More in what will be the first official PAC game for the Golden Tornadoes. Geneva will return home on September 24th for the first conference game at Reeves Field against Bethany College.
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).