Beaver Falls, PA - The Geneva College football team snatched victory from the jaws of defeat on Saturday evening by capturing a 23-20 overtime victory over Saint Vincent College. The win was Geneva′s first ever as a member of the Presidents′ Athletic Conference and the first win of the 2011 campaign. The Golden Tornadoes improved to 1-4 while Saint Vincent fell to 2-2 overall and 1-2 in the PAC.
The win took a bit longer than Geneva would have hoped on Saturday as it watched a seven point lead disappear on the final play of regulation. The Bearcats completed a 24 yard pass as time expired to tie the score at 20-20 before Geneva was able to prevail in the first overtime session.
After Geneva spotted Saint Vincent a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, the Golden Tornadoes responded with a 12 play, 85 yard drive to tie the score. AJ Delmonico caught a 29 yard pass from Zack Hayward to culminate the drive. Bryan Visingardi connected on the first of three field goals. Visingardi′s 23 yard field goal late in the second quarter pulled Geneva to within three points at the half.
It was the Geneva defense that was stout in the second stanza. A group that was allowing over 42 points a game coming into Saturday, kept Saint Vincent off the board until the final seconds of regulation. Meanwhile, Geneva got a 55-yard touchdown reception from Zack Hayward to Corey O′Patchen to give the Golden Tornadoes only their second lead early in the third quarter. Visingardi′s 34 yard field goal with 5:40 left in the fourth quarter extended Geneva′s lead to 20-13 setting up Saint Vincent′s dramatic last second touchdown to send the game into overtime.
After Saint Vincent missed an overtime field goal, the Golden Tornadoes looked to Visingardi again who connected from 41 yards out to give Geneva the victory.
Geneva compiled 403 yards of total offense including a balanced passing attack shared by Rocco Collovecchia and Zack Hayward. Collovecchia connected on 12-17 passes for 165 yards with Hayward completing 6-13 for 140 yards and a pair of touchdowns. On the ground, Geneva rushed for only 98 yards with Collavecchia leading the way with 28 yards on the ground. Corey O′Patchen caught five balls for 116 yards and a big second half touchdown.
"Our guys showed amazing character," said head coach Geno DeMarco. "We have worked extremely hard as a program this year and haven′t seen the results. Tonight our guys earned this victory and it was great to finally see that hard work pay off."
Geneva will look to keep its momentum rolling next Saturday when it travels to Waynesburg University for a 1:30 pm kickoff. The Golden Tornadoes return home in two weeks to face Grove City at 7 pm.
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).