Beaver Falls, PA – One would not have been complete with the other said senior running back Gerard Muschette. Coming into his final football game for Geneva College, Muschette was chasing the all-time rushing record. He took care of the record early in the fourth quarter but it took three overtimes for Muschette and his teammates to get what really mattered which turned out to be a thrilling 30-24 victory over Westminster College. The victory for Geneva prevented a winless home season and avoided only the fourth losing season in the 18 year head coaching era of Geno DeMarco.
All week long talk of breaking the all-time rushing record was squelched by Muschette who insisted all that mattered was beating Westminster. He got the opportunity to personally do something about overcoming last year’s disappointing loss and figured out a way to find the end zone in the third overtime session giving Geneva its fifth win of the season.
Westminster controlled the ball and the clock in the first half but saw Geneva get on the board first when senior defensive end Adam Rose scooped up a fumble and rambled 81 yards for the opening score of the day mid-way through the first quarter. Shawn Lehocky evened the score on a one yard plunge midway through the second quarter. Following a Titan’s touchdowns in the third quarter, senior quarterback David Girardi found Pat Matty out of the backfield for a 12 yard touchdown to tie the score at 14-14 with 11:05 remaining in the fourth quarter. Zac Henry connected on a 44 yard field goal to give Westminster a three point lead with 2:23 remaining in regulation. Girardi navigated a final drive to the Westminster one yard line before Muschette was stopped at the three forcing a spike of the ball with just 14 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Nick DiPietro sent the game into overtime with a 20 yard field goal.
In just the third overtime in Geneva history, neither team was able to score in the first overtime period. DiPietro missed from 36 yards out on field goal attempt that would have won the game. In the second overtime, Girardi found Corey O’Patchen from 30 yards out prior to Jesse Sylvester’s five yard reception that sent the game into the third overtime session. In Hollywood script fashion, Muschette found a seam in the Westminster defense and scored from 17 yards out which would result in a Geneva victory on the final carry in the incredible career of Muschette.
“It ended the way it was supposed to end,” said head coach Geno DeMarco. “These guys have continued to work extremely hard all season and it was very rewarding to see them have the chance to celebrate on the field with each other in a very competitive ball game. It was a bittersweet moment watching #22 (Muschette) cross the goal line knowing we had just won the game but that we will never see him carry the ball again for Geneva.”
Muschette finished the game with 190 yards giving him 3890 yards in his career. Finishing the day as Geneva’s all-time leading rusher, Muschette was welcomed on the sideline by the two former record holders in Melvin Cobbs and Willie Murray, both of whom finished their careers holding the all-time record.
Girardi threw for 147 yards on 14-25 passing including a pair of touchdowns. Geneva’s most efficient and most accurate passer in school history led the Golden Tornadoes’ offense down the field on the final drive of regulation to force the overtime session.
Chance Kelosky, another senior playing his final game for the Golden Tornadoes, led the defense with 12 tackles while Adam Rose scored a touchdown and was credited with a blocked field goal in the third overtime that led to Muschette’s game winning field goal. “There are not enough adjectives to describe this group of seniors,” said DeMarco. “We have outstanding kids in this program and I couldn’t be prouder of the effort they gave all season.”
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).