Geneva College Golden Tornadoes (2-5)
Bethany College Bison (2-5)
November 1, 2008
1 pm - Bethany Bison Field
If you hear a sound coming from Geneva this week it is probably a sigh of relief. The Golden Tornadoes football squad survived a late charge from Saint Vincent to come away with a 42-19 victory. The win moves Geneva to 2-5 on the season. Ironically, the Golden Tornadoes next opponent, the Bethany Bison, come in with the same 2-5 record and they are also coming off a big win last weekend against Waynesburg. Bethany amassed 315 passing yards and forced five turnovers to lead them to victory. The Bison record is also deceptive because they have only lost one PAC game by more than six points.
The key to Geneva’s offense last Saturday was balance. The Golden Tornadoes rushed for 232 yards and passed for 204. Junior running back Matt Barge led Geneva’s rushing attack with 106 yards. However, perhaps even more impressive was the performance turned in by junior running back Matt Dean. Dean rushed for 82 yards on just five carries for an incredible 16 yard average. Sophomore quarterback David Girardi continued his good play with 204 yards passing and no interceptions. Girardi found senior tight end Adam Chatlos five times for 95 yards. Chatlos is now second on the team with 20 catches. He is only three behind senior wide receive Luke Duriancik’s team leading 23 catches. Bethany’s defense relies heavily on junior defensive back Nelson Mitzen. Not only does Mitzen lead the Bison with 57 tackles but he also leads them with three interceptions. Up front Bethany has gotten impressive performances from juniordefensive lineman John Gyure. Gyure has 37 tackles on the season and he leads the team with ten tackles for a loss and seven sacks. The Bison defense loves to force turnovers. So far this season they have forced opponents to fumble ten times and to throw nine interceptions.
Bethany runs a balanced offense but it has gotten more production from its passing game. Freshman quarterback Chad Smith leads the Bison offense with 1482 passing yards. However, he has also thrown nine interceptions. His favorite target is junior wide reciever Matt Cruse, who leads Bethany with 37 catches. Smith also likes to throw to junior tight end Jorge Laboy, who has 33 receptions on the season. The Bison rushing attack is a two-headed monster in the form of freshman running back Eric Walker and sophomore running back Marcus Santini. Walker has 479 yards on theground and Santini also has 375 yards rushing. Geneva’s defense got a massive 11 tackle effort from senior linebacker Dan Terracciano last Saturday. The Golden Tornado defense also caused three turnovers against Saint Vincent, including a pair of turnovers that directly resulted in touchdowns. Aaron Tommelleo returned a fumble 80 yards and Brian Wilson scored on a seven yard interception return. The Geneva defense only allowed the Bearcats to gain 270 yards of total offense.
Last season the Golden Tornadoes defeated the Bison by a score of 28-13 at Reeves Field. Geneva’s ground game gained 339 yards and was lead by Matt Dean’s 102 yards. The Golden Tornado defense only allowed Bethany’s offense to gain 67 rushing yards and they held them to just 284 yards overall. Geneva has a significant 26-7-1 advantage in the all-time series against the Bison. The first meeting came in 1909 and Bethany last beat the Golden Tornadoes in 1973.
Next week Geneva will finally return home to face Thomas More. Kickoff is set for 1:30 pm. The Golden Tornadoes will stay at home to finish the season against the arch-rival Westminster Titans. Bethany on the other hand gets the pleasure of traveling to Washington & Jefferson next week to face the Presidents.
Geneva has earned the approval of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) for its fundraising and financial practices.