GENEVA COLLEGE (3-5)
THIEL COLLEGE (0-7)
October 30, 2010 – 1 pm
Head coach Geno DeMarco and the Geneva College football team are treading in unfamiliar waters this week. Following a 22-16 loss to Washington & Jefferson last Saturday night in a game that Geneva controlled in almost every phase, the Golden Tornadoes are now in a must win situation in their final two games of the season to avoid only the fourth losing season in Geno DeMarco’s 18 year tenure. Geneva enters Saturday’s contest at winless Thiel (0-7) with an overall record of 3-5 and now must defeat the Tomcats and then beat rival Westminster on the final day of the regular season to avoid the first losing season since 2006.
Geneva’s overall record really doesn’t tell the whole 2010 story. The Golden Tornadoes suffered early season losses due in part to poor timed turnovers, inconsistent special teams and a youthful defense that was still trying to acclimate itself to the college game. In recent weeks, that same defense has risen to the challenge in holding Grove City to only 13 points two weeks ago and keeping W & J ten points under its season average. The turnovers have subsided and the special teams have provided a lift in recent weeks especially the right leg of senior kicker Nick DiPietro. DiPietro nailed a career tying three field goals last week and has seven field goals on the season.
The one constant for Geneva this year has been its offense. With the exception of the Grove City game, the Golden Tornadoes have done excellent work with the football especially when the ball is in the hands of senior tailback Gerard Muschette. With his third 200+ yard game of the season a week ago, Muschette sits 410 yards shy of Geneva’s all-time rushing mark. He is also just one touchdown shy of matching the Geneva record of 41 touchdowns in a career. Leading the PAC in rushing, Muschette has compiled 1163 yards and 13 touchdowns on 215 carries. In Geneva’s 37-13 victory over Thiel a year ago, Muschette scored twice and rushed for 85 yards on 13 carries.
While Geneva’s offense continues to grind away, the Thiel offense has seen its struggles from day one. The Tomcats have managed only three touchdowns all season and have been outscored 218-26 in their first seven games of the season. Averaging less than four points per game, the Tomcats are averaging just 190 yards of offense per game.
Geneva’s defense will continue its progression this week Allowing nearly 30 points per game through the first six contests; the Golden Tornadoes have allowed just 17 points per game in their last two. The emergence of a young secondary has been one of the main reasons for the turnaround. The play of Jon Baldwin, Fred Maxwell and the entire secondary has been outstanding. Maxwell came up with his first career interception last week to go along with three pass break-ups. Gary Walstom continues to lead the defense with 55 tackles on the season.
The Golden Tornadoes will enjoy their only off week of the season next Saturday before preparing for the arrival of Westminster College on November 13th at 1 pm.
NOTES: Geneva leads the all-time series with Thiel 23-9-3 including victories in the last three years. The series began in 1899 with a 6-5 Thiel victory.