Beaver Falls, PA – Playing the same team twice during a college regular season is odd enough, but the way Geneva and Saint Vincent played out at Reeves Field on Saturday night could stand alone as bizarre. A 7-7 halftime tie turned into a 38-20 Geneva victory which improved the Golden Tornadoes to 6-1 on the season. The Bearcats fell to 0-8 on the year but not before giving Geneva all it could handle on Saturday night.
Saint Vincent gave the ball away twice on its first three offensive plays. After fumble on the second play of the game set Geneva up with a first and goal, the Golden Tornadoes came up empty on the scoreboard for just the second time all season in the red zone. A missed 30 yard field goal kept the game scoreless. Geneva got another chance after Rich Kolesar’s fifth interception of the season set up the offense with a first and ten from the 11 yard line. This time the Golden Tornadoes cashed in on the opportunity when Matt Dean scored the first of his three touchdowns from two yards out.
The Bearcats tied the game late in the second quarter sending the game to a 7-7 halftime score. The second half produced much more offense as the Golden Tornadoes posted 31 second half points, but not before Saint Vincent took the lead on a blocked quick kick and ten yard return from Tom Quirin. The extra point was botched and Saint Vincent led 13-7. Geneva got a key kick-off return from AJ Delmonico that once again set Geneva up in Saint Vincent territory. Matt Dean scored from 48 yards out to tie the game. Geneva’s Drew Santarsiero missed the extra point but got another opportunity after a roughing the kicker penalty. Santarsiero made his second attempt to give Geneva a one-point lead.
Nick DiPietro nailed a 36 yard field goal before another Saint Vincent score gave the Bearcats a short-lived 20-17 lead before the ensuing kickoff. The bizarre kickoff return gave Geneva a lead it would not relinquish. AJ Delmonico scored on a 74 yard return that looked as though it would be wiped away by a Geneva penalty. But it was deemed that the foul occurred after the play and the touchdown stood. After a ten minute delay to hash out the call, the home fans were given the good news by the official.
Dean scored his third touchdown of the game from four yards out and Gerard Muschette put the game away with a seven yard touchdown run to cap a ten play, 73 yard drive.
David Girardi threw for 169 yards on 20-25 passing while the ground game was led by Dean’s 66 yards on seven carries. Sam Thurston pulled in nine catches for 92 yards as Girardi’s favorite target.
Geneva’s defense forced four turnovers in the game and came up with four sacks. Geneva’s defense led the PAC in takeaways coming into the game and it did nothing to hurt those numbers on Saturday night. Solomon Hejirka led the way with nine tackles while teammate Rich Kolesar picked up seven tackles to go with his fifth interception of the season.
The Golden Tornadoes will be right back at Reeves Field next Saturday afternoon to take on Bethany College in the regular season home finale at 1 pm. Geneva closes out the regular season at Thomas More and Westminster.
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).