Geneva College (1-1) @ Westminster College (2-0)
Saturday, September 15, 2007
1:30 pm – Burry Stadium
All-Time Series: Westminster 61-40-8
Last Meeting: Westminster 12-7 (2001)
“THE RIVALRY” RETURNS
Since it was decided that Geneva College would make the transition to NCAA Division III and the Presidents’ Athletic Conference, the most anticipated match-up has been the one that will take place this Saturday in New Wilmington, PA. Geneva and Westminster have hooked up 109 times beginning with Geneva’s 42-0 victory over Westminster in 1891. Since that first contest, these two schools have developed one of the most recognizable rivalries in Western Pennsylvania.
Six years ago to the day, Westminster defeated Geneva 12-7 at Reeves Stadium in an emotional battle that took place just four days after the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center. The five year lay-off marks the longest stoppage in the long history of this rivalry.
Prior to the 2001 loss to the Titans, Geneva had run off three straight victories from 1995-97. The longest streak of the series took place from 1958-87 when Westminster defeated Geneva 30 straight games. The streak finally came to an end in the 1987 NAIA play-offs with Geneva pulling out a 16-15 victory to advance into the national semi-finals.
Two games into the 2007 season, Geneva and Westminster have both showed promise for the upcoming season. The Golden Tornadoes have started the season with a record of 1-1, including an eight-point loss to defending PAC champion Washington & Jefferson last Saturday. Meanwhile, Westminster is coming off a 2-8 record in 2006, but the Titans have already matched their win total from a year ago with victories over Allegheny and Saint Vincent in the first two weeks of the season.
Senior quarterback Bobby Bondi may look back at his game against W & J as a turning point to his 2007 season. Bondi almost single handedly got Geneva back into the game with a frantic fourth quarter rally that fell just 15 yards short. In the loss, Bondi rushed for a career high 100 yards and added 230 yards through the air. For the season, Bondi leads Geneva’s rushing attack with 165 yards on 38 carries. He has also thrown for 395 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Geneva’s defense, which held Thiel to just 150 yards of total offense, yielded 28 points and 406 yards of offense to the top offensive attack in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference a year ago. Linebacker Aaron Tommelleo and defensive end Brian Wilson lead the defense with 15 tackles each. Wilson already has four sacks and 10.0 tackles for loss in the first two games.
Westminster has gotten off to a fast start in 2007 led by running back Nick McKolosky. He has rushed for 233 yards and three touchdowns, all of which came in last week’s 48-7 victory over Saint Vincent. The Titans have outscored their opponents 61-13 to start the new season. Brett Myers has completed over 70% of his passes for 234 yards and a touchdown, while Kevin Franz has also seen significant time with a pair of touchdown passes to his credit.
Last week, Westminster held Saint Vincent to 175 total yards while the Titans ran up 438 yards of total offense. The Bearcats managed just six first downs in the game and just 56 yards on the ground.
Geneva will finally get a chance to play on its new synthetic surface next Saturday when they host Bethany College. The Golden Tornadoes and the Bison will hook up for the first time since the 1983 season when Geneva defeated Bethany 17-6 in the final game of the season. Meanwhile, Westminster will officially open its PAC schedule with a home game against Grove City.
Geneva College placed in the Top 20 Regional College North Rankings as identified by U.S. News & World Report.