Geneva College (2-3, 0-2)
Vs. Taylor University (1-5, 0-3)
Saturday, October 21, 2006 – Reeves Stadium
7:00 pm – Beaver Falls, PA
Football can be a very complex game, however, the Golden Tornadoes are approaching this week’s contest with Taylor University in its simplest form. Geneva needs a victory. After battling Walsh University, the #4 team in the nation, in a defensive struggle last week, Geneva is looking to find some positive results with a victory to even its overall season record. If the trend holds true, Geneva would be in line for its third victory of the season after swapping wins and losses in its first five games of the 2006 campaign.
Geneva’s defense has played remarkable all season. The Golden Tornadoes’ defensive eleven have allowed just six offensive touchdowns in five games. They have held opponents to under 12 points per game. However, Geneva’s offense has struggled to find the end zone and have been shut-out twice in 2006. Last week, Geneva once again had a difficult time running the football. With just 32 yards on the ground, Geneva has twice this year been held under 50 yards on the ground. Through the air, Justin Sciarro has thrown for 1019 yards and four touchdowns, however, the interception bug has hurt Geneva. Two more interceptions in the loss to Walsh proved costly, which brings the total number of interceptions thrown to nine in five games.
Taylor comes into action with a 1-5 overall record, including an 0-3 mark in the MSFA Mideast League. Losing its last three games by a combined score of 91-21, Taylor has also been shut-out twice this year. Like Geneva, the Trojans were unable to put points on the board last week in a 49-0 loss to second ranked St. Francis, IN. For the season, Taylor is averaging just over seven points per game while allowing over 26 points to its opponents. Andre Payne has led the Trojans rushing attack with 388 yards and a touchdown. Payne is averaging 4.6 yards per carry as Taylor’s most dangerous offensive weapon.
Last year, Geneva went to Upland, IN and dismantled the Trojans by the score of 42-0. The Golden Tornadoes lead the all-time series 8-2 in ten meetings. Geneva and Taylor have met each of the past four years as members of the MSFA Mideast League and Geneva has come away win victories in each of those games. Taylor and Geneva played for the first time in 1985 when the Trojans beat Geneva 42-13. The following season saw Taylor defeat Geneva 28-19. Since those two losses, the Golden Tornadoes have beaten Taylor eight straight times. In last year’s game, Justin Sciarro threw four touchdown passes and Michael Cobb and Brandon Nathan each found the end zone as part of Geneva’s convincing victory. Geneva out gained Taylor 465-131 in the victory last season.
First year head coach James Bull was able to accomplish something this season that could not be done a year ago. Bull helped Taylor win a football game in the third week of the season over Greenville College. Last year, the Trojans finished the season at 0-10.
Geneva will finish the season against three teams that have all been ranked in the NAIA top 25 at some point in 2006. The Golden Tornadoes will travel to Ohio Dominican and Urbana in the next two weeks before returning to Reeves Stadium on November 11th to face St. Francis, IN in the regular season finale. Only twice has a Geno DeMarco coached team finished below .500 in a season. In DeMarco’s first season as head coach in 1993, Geneva was 4-5. In 2001, DeMarco saw his team finished the year at 4-6. Geneva needs to win three of its last four games to avoid finishing below the .500 mark in 2006.
Geneva is one of only 118 colleges in the U.S. to be approved for membership in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), and is a founding member.