Geneva College (3-0) @ Washington & Jefferson (4-0)
Saturday, October 3, 2009
2:00 pm – Cameron Stadium
All-Time Series: W & J 35-19-2
Last Meeting: W & J 43-14 (2008)
Geneva College has opened the 2009 season with a perfect 3-0 record. Dating back to the end of last year, the Golden Tornadoes have won seven straight, which is the longest win streak since a ten-game winning streak from the end of 1999 to the beginning of 2000. The Golden Tornadoes will put their streak on the line against undefeated and 7th ranked Washington & Jefferson on Saturday in Washington, Pa. If recent history says anything, Geneva will have its hands full against the President’s as the Golden Tornadoes have dropped four straight to W & J and have not won a game against the President’s since 1983. Ironically, the 1983 Geneva defense was led by a linebacker by the name of Geno DeMarco. DeMarco was busy playing his senior season with the Golden Tornadoes when he and his teammates shut-out W & J by the score of 19-0.These days DeMarco will be focusing in on the 2009 meeting between Geneva and W & J from the sidelines as the 17-year head coach will witness two of the three remaining unbeaten PAC teams going head to head.
It has been 26 years since Geneva defeated W & J, but it has been 36 years since the Golden Tornadoes have beaten the President’s in Washington. The last road win for Geneva against W & J came in 1973 when the Golden Tornadoes defeated the President’s 27-13.
W & J leads the PAC in both scoring offense (38.2 pts/gm) and scoring defense (11.8 pts/gm). Geneva enters the weekend third in offense (36.7 pts/gm) and third in defense (19.3 pts/gm). The Golden Tornadoes lead the conference in red zone efficiency having scored on all 12 trips inside the 20 yard line, including 11 touchdowns. Geneva’s defense has allowed only five red zone touchdowns in 11 trips.
Geneva has enjoyed a three-headed monster at running back while W & J has been successful using a two-man rotation at the quarterback spot. Geneva’s Gerard Muschette leads the PAC with 102 yards per game, but Matt Dean (5 TD’s) has certainly been an effective option for the Geneva offense. Both Muschette and Dean rushed for a pair of touchdowns in the 37-13 victory over Thiel last Saturday.
Gino Rometo and Steven Shumaker have split time as signal callers for the President’s. Ranked ninth and tenth respectively in the PAC, they have combined for over 1000 yards through the air and nine touchdowns. Rometo has done most of his work through the air with seven touchdown passes while Shumaker has been the more effective runner with 129 yards on the ground. The two quarterbacks do share one thing in common and that is their favorite target. Craig Besong has been a man among boys in the first four games of the season. He leads the PAC with 118.2 yards of receiving per game. He has already pulled in 34 catches for 473 yards and four touchdowns. In last year’s game, Besong pulled in eight passes for 213 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Derek Taylor, who missed last week’s game with an injury, will return to the backfield and look to improve upon his 120.3 all purpose yards per game.
Junior quarterback David Girardi is coming off the finest performance of his three year career. Girardi threw for a career best 325 yards on 22-33 passing and a touchdown in Geneva’s victory over Thiel. Girardi also pinned Thiel deep inside its 20 yard line with a 52-yard punt. Girardi leads the conference with his 41.4 average on eight punts in 2009.
Geneva will return home on October 10th for a homecoming meeting with Grove City. Meanwhile, Washington & Jefferson will enjoy a bye week before heading to Saint Vincent College on October 17th.