Thiel College Tomcats (0-7, 0-5) vs. Geneva College Golden Tornadoes (2-6, 2-4)
1:00 pm – Reeves Field
Beaver Falls, PA
Saturday’s Presidents’ Athletic Conference match-up between Geneva College and Thiel College will be all about pride. Neither the Golden Tornadoes nor the Tomcats will be playing any post-season games this year but both still have much to play for in 2011. The Tomcats are in search of their first victory since the 2009 season. Meanwhile, the Golden Tornadoes will look for their third consecutive victory at home after wins over Saint Vincent and Grove City the last two times out.
Saturday’s game marks the 200th in the 19-year head coaching tenure of Geno DeMarco. With more games and more wins than any other head coach in Geneva’s 120 year football history, DeMarco will see his team finish with only the fourth losing season since taking over in 1993. The Golden Tornadoes are coming off a 24-7 loss at Washington & Jefferson that saw them give away a 7-6 halftime lead in dropping the seventh straight game to the President’s. Meanwhile, Thiel was busy dropping a 48-21 decision to Westminster that proved to be the 19th consecutive loss for the Tomcats.
Thiel has yielded at least 30 points in five of its seven losses and is allowing an average of 39.4 points per game. Geneva’s defense has not fared much better giving up 33.4 points per game. The Tomcats, however, have only scored 20 points in a game twice and have been held to 14 points or less five times. Geneva’s offense sputtered for most of the afternoon against W & J last Saturday. Posting only 246 yards of total offense, the Golden Tornadoes rushed for 83 yards on 33 carries. Thiel’s running game has been supplemented by the play of freshman De’Von Drish. Carrying the ball 106 times, Drish is fourth in the PAC with his 58.0 yards per game on the ground. The Golden Tornadoes’ Rocco Colavecchia leads the ground attack with an average of 54.4 yards per game.
The two quarterback system has at times been very successful for the Golden Tornadoes. Colavecchia and Zack Hayward have split time with each showing flashes of brilliance at times. Colavecchia has done the majority of his damage with his legs while Hayward has thrown for over 1200 yards with eight touchdowns. Thiel has experimented with three quarterbacks during the 2011 season with the likes of Andrew Smith (42-81-3), Jared Soell (41-78-2) and David Urey (22-43-1) taking turns behind center. While Nathan Blasevich leads Thiel with 204 receiving yards it has been Date Houpt who has found the end zone a team best three times. For Geneva, Corey O’Patchen leads the receiving core with 417 yards and six touchdowns.
Geneva and Thiel have hooked up 36 times in a series that began in 1899. The Golden Tornadoes have won each of the last four years including a 34-20 victory in Greenville, PA a year ago. Last year’s game featured Gerard Muschette’s single game rushing record of 302 yards and four touchdowns as Geneva turned a six point halftime deficit into a 14 point victory. The last time Thiel defeated Geneva was on opening day in 2006 when the Tomcats defeated the Golden Tornadoes 7-0 at Reeves Field.
Geneva will enjoy its only bye week of the season next Saturday before heading to New Wilmington to face Westminster in the season finale on November 12th. Thiel will visit Washington & Jefferson next Saturday before a meeting with rival Grove City on the final weekend of the regular season.
Geneva is one of only 118 colleges in the U.S. to be approved for membership in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), and is a founding member.