Beaver Falls, PA - The Geneva College football team dropped to 0-4 to start the 2011 season with a 48-27 loss to Bethany College on Saturday night. It is the first 0-4 start for a Geneva team since 1978 and the first time the Golden Tornadoes have fallen to Bethany since the 1970 season. Geneva had hoped its eight game winning streak over Bethany coming into Saturday night would be the remedy for a tough start to the 2011 campaign. As it turned out, the prospects went from bad to worse as Geneva watched Bethany score touchdowns on each of its first five possessions.
Geneva opened the game with an impressive kick-off return from Josh Guiser that set the Golden Tornadoes up at the Bethany College 20 yard line. The short opening drive ended with the first of two 35 yard field goals off of the foot of Bryan Visingardi. The three points was not nearly enough to keep pace with a Bethany offense that was a well-oiled machine on this night. After back to back Bethany touchdowns, Corey O′Patchen pulled in a 35 yard touchdown pass from Rocco Collavecchia on a halfback pass. The touchdown pass was a glimpse of things to come as Collavecchia ended the game at quarterback and threw a 27 yard pass to AJ Delmonico. Despite four touchdowns on five possessions, Geneva was still in position to take hold of the game down ten points late in the first half.
Bethany′s Alex Evans fielded a punt in the last ten seconds of the half and galloped 65 yards for a heart wrenching touchdown with two seconds remaining in the half. Bethany posted two more scores to extend its lead to 48-17 before Visingardi′s second field goal of the game and Delmonico′s late game score.
Geneva yielded 445 yards of total offense while posting 373 yards of its own on the night. Collavecchia rushed for 74 yards on 13 carries while also throwing for 132 yards and a pair of scores on 8-14 passing. He also caught three passes in the loss. Zach Hayward threw for 118 yards and a touchdown before being forced out of the game with an injury in the fourth quarter. Eric Walker, a New Brighton High School graduate and PAC rushing leader, finished the night with 70 yards on 14 carries and three touchdowns to lead the Bison attack. Sophomore quarterback Matt Grimard threw for 274 yards and ran for 49 more in the victory.
The Golden Tornadoes will host Saint Vincent College next Saturday in a special 4 pm homecoming kick-off in search of their first victory of the season.
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).