Beaver Falls, PA – It has been 33 years since a Geneva team met a Grove City team where they combined for only one win coming into the match-up. Not since Geneva’s winless 1978 team defeated one-win Grove City 13-0 have the two teams struggled so much coming into the action. In 2011, the Golden Tornadoes put their 1-5 record up against Grove City’s mark of 0-5.
While Geneva was busy dropping a 47-33 decision to Waynesburg last Saturday, the Wolverines dropped their fifth straight in a 37-7 loss at sixth ranked Thomas More. Prior to the Thomas More loss, Grove City had dropped three consecutive home games to Lebanon Valley, Westminster and Waynesburg. The Wolverines have not scored over 26 points in a game yet this year and are averaging just 15.8 points per game. Meanwhile, the Wolverines defense is allowing 28.4 points per game.
Geneva’s offense is posting close to 30 points per game in the last three including a 33 point performance at Waynesburg on Saturday. Rocco Colavecchia has been the Jack of all trades for the Golden Tornadoes with action at quarterback, running back and receiver. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find another player in NCAA football that ranks number one in rushing yardage, receptions and quarterback efficiency. Colavecchia has rushed for a team best 182 yards while pulling in 24 catches. At the quarterback position, he has completed 28-45 passes for 466 yards and four touchdowns. Zack Hayward has seen the majority of action at quarterback with 1015 yards on 97-177 passing and six touchdowns. However, Hayward and Colavecchia switched positions for one play last week when Hayward pulled in a 53 yard touchdown pass from Colavecchia for Geneva’s first score of the game.
The Geneva defense has been a work in progress all season. Injuries in the secondary have certainly taken its toll on the Golden Tornadoes as senior free safety Marcus Constanza sat out Saturday’s game but should return this week. Dillon Goodell continues to lead Geneva’s defense with 42 tackles including 8.5 tackles for loss.
On Grove City’s side of the ball, Brian Pell has gotten the bulk of the quarterback action with 382 yards and two touchdowns. Pell’s primary receiver has been Anthony Ritchie with his team leading 21 receptions, 216 yards and two scores. Like Geneva, Grove City has had trouble running the football in 2011. The Wolverines are averaging just 3.2 yards per rush led by Blaine Miller’s 180 yards on 59 carries. Despite its 0-5 start, Grove City has managed to get off to good starts all season. The Wolverines and their opponents are tied at 26-26 in terms of points scored in the first quarter. The problem comes in the second and third quarters where Grove City has been outscored by a total of 60 points through the first five games.
Perhaps the most amazing statistic for Grove City is that it is yet to attempt a field goal through the first five games of the season. Placekicker Ethan Witmer is 7-9 in PAT’s but has not attempted a field goal. Meanwhile, Geneva’s Bryan Visingardi is 6-10 on field goal attempts and 12-14 on PAT’s. The last time Geneva was at home, Visingardi ended the game with a 41 yard field goal to defeat Saint Vincent in overtime. It was the third field goal of the game for Visingardi and earned him PAC Special Teams player of the week honors by the PAC.
Grove City will return home next weekend to take on Saint Vincent while Geneva will hit the road for a date against Washington & Jefferson next Saturday afternoon at 2 pm. The Golden Tornadoes will be back at Reeves Field for the home finale on October 29th for a 1 pm kickoff.
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).