Washington, PA – Geneva’s football team had much to play for on Saturday in a match-up against the 7th ranked team in NCAA Division III. The Golden Tornadoes were riding a seven game winning streak dating back to last year and had started the 2009 season with a perfect 3-0 record. Both streaks ended abruptly with a 31-10 loss to Washington & Jefferson. After a promising opening quarter that saw Geneva take a 10-7 lead, the Golden Tornadoes watched W & J score the game’s final 24 points. While the loss dropped Geneva to 3-1, the President’s improved to a perfect 5-0 to start the 2009 season.
W & J took the opening kickoff and drove 67 yards on six plays for the first touchdown of the game. Craig Besong scored the first of his two touchdowns on a 15 yard reception from Gino Rometo. Geneva answered with a 48 yard field goal from Nick DiPietro mid-way through the first quarter. The Golden Tornadoes took their only lead of the day when David Girardi scampered 14 yards to cap a six play, 39 yard drive late in the first quarter that gave Geneva a 10-7 lead.
Unfortunately, the Golden Tornadoes were held off the scoreboard in the final three quarters and W & J got its offensive machine in motion. Second quarter touchdowns from Brian Baldrige and Besong gave the President’s a 21-10 lead heading into the locker room. W & J scored the only ten points of the second half and held Geneva to only 136 yards of total offense for the game. On W & J’s final scoring drive, the President’s held the ball for nearly 11 minutes and 20 plays that was capped off by a field goal to put the game away.
Geneva’s running game mustered just 56 yards and was led by Gerard Muschette’s 32 yards on eight carries. Through the air, David Girardi threw for 80 yards on 12-24 passing. Defensively, Solomon Hejirika led all Geneva tacklers with 6.5 for the game. The Golden Tornadoes did force a pair of W & J turnovers with Rich Kolesar coming up with his third interception of the season and Jake Delmonico picking off his first interception of his young Geneva career.
Geneva will look to bounce back next Saturday when it hosts Grove City College in a homecoming match-up that is scheduled to kick-off at 4 pm. In a series that dates back to 1893, Geneva and Grove City will be meeting for the 81st time.
Geneva College is a comprehensive Christian college of the arts, sciences and professional studies. Founded in the tradition of the Reformed Christian faith, Geneva prepares students to serve Christ in all areas of society: work, family and the church. Geneva College’s philosophy of education is based on the Foundational Concepts of Christian Higher Education. Geneva is a founding member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU).
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.