Waynesburg University (7-1) vs. Geneva College (6-2)
Saturday, November 3, 2007
1:30 pm – Reeves Field – Beaver Falls, PA
All-Time Series: Waynesburg 38-27-4
Last Meeting: 1991 (Waynesburg 14-0)
For the first time in 16 years, Geneva will face one of its long time rivals in Waynesburg University. In a series that started 99 years ago, Geneva and Waynesburg will renew their friendship at Reeves Field on Saturday night with much at stake. For Geneva, it will try to win for the third straight week and remain in contention for an NCCAA Victory Bowl or ECAC Bowl game at season’s end. For the Yellowjackets, they will try to rebound from a one-point loss to Washington & Jefferson last week that put a wrench in their conference title hopes. Waynesburg is still holding out hope for an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament, but a loss to Geneva would severely hamper those plans.
Geneva used another strong defensive effort, along with solid special teams and a timely offense to dispatch Saint Vincent last week by the score of 56-27. John Minarik blocked a pair of punts that led directly to touchdowns as the Golden Tornadoes cruised to a 36-0 halftime lead over the Bearcats. Saint Vincent tried to make things interesting with 27 second half points against the PAC’s top rated defense, but freshman quarterback David Girardi filled in for an injured Bobby Bondi and ran for a pair of touchdowns and threw for another. Bondi, who injured his ankle in the second quarter, is expected to start against Waynesburg.
While Geneva was cruising past Saint Vincent, Waynesburg was going through a gut-wrenching defeat to Washington & Jefferson. In a battle for first place in the PAC, Waynesburg watched a seven-point second half lead disappear as the Yellowjackets lost for the first time in 2007.
Despite the loss, Waynesburg features one of the top offensive units in the conference and perhaps the top offensive player. Running back Robert Heller has rushed for 1594 yards and 20 touchdowns in the first eight games of the season. Heller is averaging 199 yards per game and just less than six yards per carry. On Saturday, Heller will go up against the top defensive unit in the league and a group that has allowed only 70 rushing yards per game. Geneva’s defense leads the PAC in scoring defense having allowed just 15.1 points per game.
While Heller has dominated defenses in 2007, his teammate Dan Andreassi has been busy dominating offenses. Andreassi leads the PAC in tackles for loss (26.0) and sacks (18.5). Waynesburg’s defense is the only group that has been better than Geneva against the run in allowing just over 50 yards on the ground per game.
Waynesburg does boast some explosive talent on both sides of the ball, but don’t sell Geneva’ s group short. The Golden Tornadoes feature Brian Wilson at defensive end that is right behind Andreassi in both tackles for loss (18.5) and sacks (10.0). Teammates Brad Roman and Zach Feltrop lead the defense in tackles and have aided Geneva in forcing turnovers as the Golden Tornadoes are second in turnover margin at -7. If turnovers prove to be the difference, Waynesburg could be in trouble as the Yellowjackets have turned it over 20 times which is the second most in the conference.
Robert Heller has done the majority of damage for Waynesburg, but Geneva has seen a more balanced attack. In fact, the Golden Tornadoes feature six players with at least two touchdowns, including four each for Matt Dean, Bobby Bondi and Gerard Muschette. Neither club has been consistent through the air. Both Bobby Bondi of Geneva and Kyle Kyper of Waynesburg have shown flashes of brilliance, but have also seen their share of problems. Bondi has connected on 53% of his passes for 969 yards and five touchdowns, while Kyper has completed less than 50% of his attempts for just 678 yards and six scores.
Geneva will close out the regular season at home next weekend against Grove City College. Meanwhile, Waynesburg returns home to take on Westminster in the season finale.
*Geneva is still in contention for a possible NCCAA Victory Bowl bid or an ECAC Bowl bid. Regardless of which bowl Geneva ends up in, if any, it would be played on Saturday, November 17th. The Victory Bowl bids are handed out on November 7th and the ECAC bids will be announced on November 12th.
*Geneva will recognize its 2007 senior class prior to next Saturday’s game with Grove City. Twenty seniors will be honored as the biggest graduating class that 15-year head coach Geno DeMarco has seen during his tenure.