Grove City College (4-5) vs. Geneva College (7-2)
Saturday, November 10, 2007
1:30 pm – Reeves Field – Beaver Falls, PA
All-Time Series: Geneva 39-32-7
Last Meeting: 1983 (Geneva 10-0)
“Senior Day 2007”
A total of 20 seniors will be recognized prior to Geneva’s regular season finale against Grove City College. Each of those players will be closing down the regular season against one of Geneva’s old friends in the Wolverines. Geneva and Grove City started their series back in 1893 and have played a total of 78 times. It has been 24 years since the two schools have hooked up on the football field since a 10-0 Geneva victory back in 1983.
It will be Geneva’s final regular season game, but it will not be the final game of the 2007 season. Geneva has accepted a bid to play in its fifth NCCAA Victory Bowl, having won the previous four meetings. The Golden Tornadoes will host Malone College at Reeves Field next Saturday, November 17th at 6 pm. While the Golden Tornadoes will prepare to meet its most recent rival Malone College next week, Geneva will welcome one of its rivals from years past this week.
Geneva will be looking to maintain its momentum from its three game winning streak. Last week, Geneva played just the second overtime game in Reeves Field history and came away with a 24-17 victory over Waynesburg University. After squandering a 17-point halftime lead, Geneva’s Gabe Gordon found the end zone on a five-yard end around on the first possession of overtime. Geneva ’s defense, which held Waynesburg 14 points under its season
offensive average, was on the field at the end of overtime to seal the victory. Zach Feltrop knocked down a fourth down pass in the end zone to preserve the victory. Feltrop had 12 tackles, along with a fumble recovery and an interception. Geneva still ranks second in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference for scoring defense by allowing just 15.3 points per game.
Grove City is coming off an impressive 44-0 victory over Saint Vincent College last week. The Wolverines are in search of a .500 season as they enter Saturday’s match-up at 4-5. Grove City has relied heavily on a stingy defense and a balanced offensive attack that is posting 20 points per game. Brian Mercer has emerged as the top ball carrier with 384 yards and an average of 5.6 yards per carry. Mercer also leads the Wolverines with six touchdowns. Andrew DiDonato has been effective with his arm and his legs this year. DiDonato has 268 yards rushing to go along with almost 1500 yards through the air. He has thrown seven touchdown passes while completing close to 60% of his passes. On defense, Grove City ranks third in scoring in the PAC and has only allowed two opponents to score more than 17 points in a game. Adam Eichler, the younger brother of former Geneva offensive lineman, Erich Eichler, leads Grove City with 84 tackles. Teammate Bill Waugh has 80 tackles, including 3.0 tackles for loss. Mike Baker has done a solid job defending the secondary with a team best five interceptions and nine pass break ups in 2007.
Long time Grove City coach Chris Smith is looking to turnaround a team that went just 3-7 a year ago. Smith has his team primed for a strong finish and a 5-5 overall record. For Geneva, it has come back from a 4-5 overall record last year and is just one victory away from an 8-2 finish. Only five teams in the history of Geneva football have reached nine wins in a season and this year’s club could get that chance with a win in the season finale and a victory in the Victory Bowl. The most recent team to win nine games in a season was in 1997 when the Golden Tornadoes finished with a record of 11-2.
*Geneva will host Malone College in its fifth Victory Bowl appearance. Geneva has won all four of its previous appearances beginning with a 27-6 victory over Maranatha Baptist in 1998. Geneva has also defeated Mid-America Nazarene (1999), Northwestern College, MN (2002) and North Greenville, SC (2003). It will be the second time that Geneva will host the game.
*At the beginning of the week, Geneva head coach was ranked among the top five coaches in NCAA Division III Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year balloting. Voting is only one variable considered by the NCAA selection committee that will make the final selection in December.
*The last two Geneva home games against Saint Vincent and Waynesburg have each exceeded 3 1/2 hours. The Saint Vincent game last 3 hours and 35 minutes, while last week’s overtime thriller with Waynesburg took 3 hours and 55 minutes to complete.