Grove City College (2-3) vs. Geneva College (3-1)
October 10, 2009
4:00 pm – Reeves Field
Beaver Falls, PA
It will be the 81st edition of the Geneva-Grove City rivalry on homecoming 2009. The Golden Tornadoes and Wolverines will continue their series that dates back to 1893 when the two teams battled to a scoreless tie. If there is one certainty about the 2009 match-up, it will not end in a scoreless tie. In fact, Geneva and Grove City feature two of the top offensive units in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference. Both teams come in averaging more than 30 points per game with Grove City posting 34.6 points per game and Geneva checking in with 30.0 points per contest. Geneva saw its seven-game winning streak end last week with a 31-10 loss to seventh ranked Washington & Jefferson. Meanwhile, Grove City got back into the win column with a 41-20 victory over Saint Vincent College.
The Golden Tornadoes enjoyed a promising start against the President’s taking a 10-7 lead into the second quarter before W & J scored the game’s final 24 points in improving to a perfect 5-0. David Girardi provided the only touchdown of the game with a 14-yard run while Nick DiPietro launched a 48 yard field goal to get Geneva on the board in the first quarter. Despite allowing 31 points to the President’s, Geneva’s defense still ranks third in the PAC with a defensive scoring average of 22.2 points per game. Conversely, the Wolverines have allowed opponents to score almost 32 points per game.
Geneva’s opportunistic defense leads the conference in turnover margin. The Golden Tornadoes have already forced 11 turnovers in the first four games. Rich Kolesar has been the biggest thief on the Geneva defense with his three interceptions, which also ranks second in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference. Geneva’s defense will have its hands full this week with the dual threat of Grove City quarterback Andrew DiDonato. DiDinato leads the conference with 330.4 yards of total offense per game. He leads the PAC in passing with a mark of 275 yards per game. He is also in the top ten in rushing with 55.4 yards per game on the ground and four rushing touchdowns.
Geneva features its own solid rushing attack with Gerard Muschette’s 84.5 yards per game, which is good enough for second in the conference rankings. As a team, the Golden Tornadoes are posting just over 125 yards on the ground per game. Last week, Geneva managed only 56 yards of rushing offense in the loss at Washington & Jefferson. David Girardi threw for a career best 325 yards the last time Geneva was at home against Thiel two weeks ago. Girardi was held to only 80 yards through the air against W & J.
The Golden Tornadoes will have revenge on their minds as they welcome a Grove City team that defeated them 38-13 a year ago. The Wolverines opened up a 28-0 first half lead before Geneva had seemingly gotten off the bus. It was the first Grove City victory over Geneva since 1979 ending a five-game Geneva winning streak over the Wolverines. Geneva managed to sneak away with a 13-12 victory over Grove City the last time the teams met in Reeves Field in 2007.It was a Luke Duriancik touchdown reception in the final moments of that game that gave Geneva the victory.
Grove City’s defense features sophomore Jason Ferguson who ranks second in the PAC with 9.6 tackles per game. Ferguson has 48 tackles and a pair of sacks in Grove City’s first five games. Geneva’s Adam Rose is sixth in the conference with 1.25 tackles for loss per game. Rose leads Geneva with three sacks after posting a team best five sacks in 2008.
The Golden Tornadoes will head back to the road next week with a visit to Waynesburg University. Geneva will return to Reeves Field for the first of back to back home games on October 24th for a rematch with Saint Vincent College in a 7 pm kickoff. Grove City will make the long trip to Kentucky next week to take on the defending PAC champion Thomas More College Saints.