Geneva College (2-2)
Saint Vincent College (1-2)
October 2, 2010
Chuck Noll Stadium – Latrobe, PA
Football can certainly be classified as a game of inches and for the Geneva College football team it was a matter of six inches that helped it get past Bethany College last Saturday night. The Golden Tornadoes managed to keep the Bison out of the end zone from the one yard line on the final play of the game to preserve a 37-33 decision and improve to 2-2 on the season. This week, the Golden Tornadoes look to move to 3-0 on the road as they visit a Saint Vincent College team that is coming off a victory for only the second time since reviving the program in 2007. The Bearcats defeated Thiel College last week for a win in their first official Presidents’ Athletic Conference game. Like Geneva, Saint Vincent has gone through a four-year provisional phase and is competing for the first time as an active member of the PAC. The Golden Tornadoes will join those ranks in 2011 but still have their sights set on upending a Bearcat team that they faced twice in 2009.
In a rare scheduling set up, Geneva and Saint Vincent faced off twice a year ago with the Golden Tornadoes coming out on top on both occasions by scores of 32-17 and 38-20. Geneva has won five straight in a series that it leads 9-4-1. The last time Geneva lost a game to Saint Vincent, John F. Kennedy was in office back in 1961. Last year, Geneva dominated the ground game against the Bearcats racking up a combined 428 rushing yards in the two meetings. In last year’s meeting in Latrobe, Gerard Muschette rushed for 153 yards on 24 carries.
Muschette has continued his rushing assault in 2010 and currently leads the PAC with 136 yards per game. He has compiled 544 yards on 99 carries for an average of 5.5 yards per tote. He is one of the big reasons why Geneva’s offense stands atop the PAC statistics for total offense and is third in scoring offense. Geneva is averaging 411.2 yards per game and is scoring 29.0 points per game. Senior quarterback David Girardi had a career night last week against Bethany. Throwing for 372 yards and three touchdowns, Girardi also ranks number one in the conference with nearly 260 yards per game. He has connected on seven touchdown passes, which is also tops in the conference. Girardi has developed some favorite targets in the first four weeks of the season but none more prevalent than sophomore Corey O’Patchen. Geneva’s latest home run threat, O’Patchen is leading the PAC with 107 yards receiving per game. He has caught a conference best five touchdowns including an 88-yard hook up last week that registered as the third longest touchdown pass in school history. Geneva’s offensive exploits are well documented in 2010, but it has been some defensive break downs and problems on the special teams that have hindered the Golden Tornadoes.
Geneva has yielded 37.5 points per game which is next to last in the conference while also posting a -3 turnover ratio including five special team fumbles in the first four weeks. Despite the problems on defense, Marcus Costanza is having a solid campaign with his team best 29 tackles, which is good enough for 13th in the PAC. Chance Kelosky and Gary Walstrom are also among the top ten in tackles in the conference. Jeremy Kiger and Adam Rose are tied for third in the PAC with four sacks each while freshman Fred Maxwell is among the PAC leaders in passes defended.
While Geneva is doing its work on offense, Saint Vincent has been busy on defense. The Bearcats lead the conference in defensive scoring by allowing only 16.7 points per game. The Bearcats feature PAC tackles leader Armd Fortunato with an average of 12 tackles per game. On offense, Saint Vincent features Mike Kale in the back field with 150 rushing yards on 29 carries. Through the air, the Bearcats rely on the combination of Aaron Smetanka and Jake Smith. Each has played significant minutes and has combined for 648 yards and six touchdown passes. Tom Quirin leads Saint Vincent with 14 receptions for 254 yards and a touchdown.
The Golden Tornadoes will finally return home after back to back road games next week. Geneva will host Waynesburg University in a 4 pm homecoming afternoon kickoff. As for Saint Vincent, it will be heading to the road for a pair of delightful meetings at Washington & Jefferson and Thomas More in back to back weekends.