Malone College (7-4) vs. Geneva College (8-2)
Saturday, November 17, 2007
6:00 pm – Reeves Field – Beaver Falls, PA
All-Time Series: Malone 8-7
Last Meeting: 2006 (Malone 22-13)
“11th ANNUAL NCCAA VICTORY BOWL”
Geneva and Malone have met at least once in each of the past 14 years since the Pioneers started football in 1993. The 2007 season would have been the first that these rivals would not have met on the football field, but Geneva and Malone will get the chance to face off after all in the 11th annual NCCAA Victory Bowl. Geneva will be making its fifth trip to the Victory Bowl having won the previous four, while the Pioneers will be seeking their first Victory Bowl win in their second consecutive trip to the post-season bowl.
Both Geneva and Malone have enjoyed impressive 2007 campaigns. While Geneva is featuring an 8-2 overall record, including back to back dramatic wins, the Pioneers come in having lost their last three games against three top six teams in the NAIA. The Pioneers have dropped games to St. Xavier, St. Francis, IN and Ohio Dominican in the last three weeks to fall to 7-4 for the season.
The last two weekends on College Hill have featured two of the most exciting games in Reeves Field history. Geneva defeated #25 Waynesburg College in an overtime thriller two weeks ago and followed that with a dramatic comeback victory over Grove City that saw Luke Duriancik haul in the game winning touchdown with less than ten seconds left in regulation. While it was the offense that gave Geneva the lead in both of those victories, it has been the Golden
Tornadoes defense that has shined all season. Leading the Presidents’ Athletic Conference in scoring defense, Geneva has yielded just 15.0 points per game. Zach Feltrop, who last week was named the Don Hansen Gazette defensive player of the week and the NCCAA national defensive player of the week, has led Geneva in tackles the past two weeks. For the season, Feltrop has 87 tackles, including four sacks and two interceptions. Brian Wilson has continued his dominance with 25.0 tackles for loss and 12 sacks.
Geneva’s defense may have to give its best performance of the season as it faces the high octane offense of Malone College. The Pioneers are scoring at a clip of 31.6 points per game and have two of the most explosive offensive players in the country. Quarterback Billy Bob Orsagh is putting up eye popping numbers in his first season with the Pioneers. The junior transfer has completed 67% of his passes for 2998 yards and 21 touchdowns. When Orsagh isn’t passing, he is giving the ball to senior tailback Bernard Payton. Payton has rushed for 1452 yards and 16 touchdowns, not to mention his five receiving touchdowns in 2007. Orsagh’s favorite target has been Derek Deardorff with 56 receptions for 985 yards and 11 touchdown receptions.
Malone’s defense has been led by Dan Hromado with 111 tackles, including 13.5 tackles for loss. The Pioneers have allowed over 25 points per game this year and have held only two opponents under 20 points all year. Geneva’s offense will have to find a way to put points on the board with a balanced attack featuring senior quarterback Bobby Bondi and running backs Matt Dean and Gerard Muschette. Dean has seen the bulk of the carries in recent weeks and leads Geneva with 576 yards and four touchdowns. Dean is averaging just shy of five yards per carry.
*Geneva has played in four Victory Bowls and will match Northwestern College, MN with its fifth appearance in the 11-year history of the Victory Bowl. Geneva has won the game a record four times with Olivet Nazarene the next closest with three wins. Geneva won back to back Victory Bowls in 1998 and 1999. The Golden Tornadoes repeated that feat in 2002 and 2003 with victories over Northwestern and North Greenville.
*Malone leads the all-time series with Geneva 8-7, including victories in each of the past two years. Three of the eight victories by Malone have been by a single point, including a pair of one-point wins back in 1995, which was the only time Geneva and Malone met in a post-season game.
*Prior to the Victory Bowl, Geneva’s men’s basketball team will host Malone College in the Tornado tip-off Tournament. It marks the first time in school history that the same two teams will meet in a men’s basketball-football doubleheader at the same site on the same day.