Geneva College Golden Tornadoes (0-2)
Thiel College Tomcats (0-3)
September 27, 2008 - 1:30 pm
Alumni Field - Greenville, PA
Geneva licked its wounds during its bye week after suffering a 48-6 defeat at the hands of 11th ranked Salisbury two weeks ago. Maybe the 0-3 Thiel Tomcats are the remedy the Golden Tornadoes will need to find the win column in the first PAC match-up of the season. Then again maybe they are not as Thiel gave 16th ranked and PAC favorite Washington &Jefferson all it could handle before falling by a 34-24 score on Saturday. Thiel may be 0-3 but they have been in every game thus far this season. The closest thing the Tomcats have had to a "blow out" was a 16-0 loss to Albion College in week two of the season.
Geneva will be looking to jump start it’s running game after only gaining 38 yards against Salisbury. Sophomore running back Gerard Muschette will lead that charge with his team high 83 yards so far this season. All of the Geneva running backs will be looking to take advantage of the over five yards per carry the Thiel defense surrendered to the W & J rushers last week. Sophomore quarterback David Girardi will be looking to improve upon his 83 yard passing performance against Salisbury. Girardi will try to take advantage of a Thiel defense that has given up 780 passing yards this season. Senior receiver Luke Duriancik looks to get on track and add to his team leading number of 12 receptions on the season. The remedy Geneva’s defense needs may just be the Thiel rushing game. The Tomcats are averaging just 2.1 yards per carry thus far. Senior linebacker Zach Feltrop will try to feast on Thiel rushers as he looks to add on to his team leading 22 tackles. Junior linebacker Aaron Tommelleo is hot on Feltrop’s trail with 21 tackles.
Thiel is led by junior quarterback Willie Bova who managed to pass for 253 yards against W & J. His main target will be senior wide receiver Tim Van Horn. Van Horn leads the Tomcats with 18 receptions so far this season. Sophomore running back Cody Sirgey will get the bulk of the carries for Thiel on the ground. Sirgey has 159 yards on 54 carries in the early going. No other Tomcat running back has more than seven carries. On the defensive side of the ball, junior linebacker Clint Walker leads the team with 28 tackles but he is followed closely by sophomore linebacker Mike Lewis who has 26 tackles. The Golden Tornadoes also must be aware of junior defensive tackle William Hasse who has 20 tackles with seven of those coming behind the line of scrimmage.
Geno DeMarco has never started a season at 0-3 during his first 15 years at the helm. In fact, DeMarco and the Golden Tornadoes have only started at 0-2 on three seperate occassions. Geneva’s 48-6 loss at the hands of Salisbury was the worst loss for the Golden Tornadoes since a 45-0 loss to California, PA on opening day in 2002. Geneva and Thiel will be hooking up for the 34th time since first meeting back in 1899. The Golden Tornadoes lead the all-time series by the count of 21-9-3 including a 20-3 victory last year to open the season. In that victory, Gerard Muschette scored a pair of touchdowns and Geneva’s defense held Thiel to -25 yards on the ground.
Geneva will be back at home next week for the Homecoming game against Washington & Jefferson. Kickoff for that game is set for 7pm. Thiel will take a trip up Route 18 to Westminister next week to battle the Titans.
Washington Monthly ranks Geneva among the nation’s top ten “Best-Bang-for-the-Buck” baccalaureate colleges for providing students the highest chance of graduating with an affordable degree that has marketplace value.