Beaver Falls, PA – It took a while for the Geneva football team to play a home game but everyone in attendance on College Hill on Saturday afternoon surely felt it was worth the wait. In four overtimes, Geneva prevailed over the four-time defending champion Thomas More by the score of 50-48. In what ended up being the longest game in Geneva football history, the Golden Tornadoes finally got into the win column and moved to 1-3 on the season and 1-1 in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference with the victory. Meanwhile, Thomas More lost for the second consecutive week and dropped to 1-3 on the season.
The Saints opened the scoring in the final two minutes of the first quarter to grab a 7-0 lead. Geneva scored the next 12 points to end the half on a pair of Bryan Visingardi field goals and a two-yard touchdown run by Jordan Curry. The second half opened with Geneva’s offense going three and out which was followed by a blocked punt and return that quickly gave the Saints a 15-13 lead after a successful two-point conversion. Visingardi’s third field goal of the game at the 6:26 mark of the third quarter tied the game at 15-15.
The teams headed to a fourth quarter that would be filled with much drama. Thomas More seemed to be in complete control after a pair of fourth quarter scores that had the Saints take a 29-15 lead. With less than six minutes left in regulation, Geneva’s offense went to work. A four yard Rocco Colavecchia touchdown with 2:30 left in regulation capped an 11 play, 77 yard drive. After Geneva’s defense held, Thomas More’s punter shanked an eight yard effort that set the Golden Tornadoes up at the 22 yard line with still two minutes on the clock. Colavecchia struck on another four-yard touchdown with 56 seconds left to play in the fourth that sent the game into overtime.
Both teams missed field goals in the first overtime before Thomas More’s Adam Rauch scored on a two yard touchdown in the second overtime session. Colavecchia answered with his third touchdown of the game to tie the score. The third overtime began with a 25 yard hook-up from Zack Hayward to Corey O’Patchen to give Geneva its first lead since early in the second half. The Saints quickly responded to tie the game. Both teams were unable to convert the two-point conversion which sent the game into the fourth and final overtime period.
The Saints scored on the first play of the fourth overtime on a 25-yard pass but once again failed on the conversion. On the final drive of the game, Geneva converted a fourth down to keep the drive alive before Colavecchia again strong armed his way into the end zone for his fourth score of the game from five yards out. On the two-point conversion, Hayward found a small seem in the defense and dove for the goal line to give Geneva its first win of the season. “That was a great football team we just played,” said head coach Geno DeMarco. “What an amazing game to be a part of and our guys just would not be denied in what may have been the best game ever played on this field.”
Colavecchia rushed for 61 yards and four touchdowns while Hayward completed 32-49 passes for 298 yards and a touchdown. Corey O’Patchen led the receiving core with 109 yards on nine receptions. Geneva’s defense, which held Thomas More to only 53 yards on the ground, was led by Dillon Goodell’s 11 tackles and Brett Hutira’s ten.
Geneva heads back on the road for back to back conference games at Bethany and Saint Vincent before returning home on October 20th at 4 pm against Waynesburg University.
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).
Washington Monthly ranks Geneva among the nation’s top ten “Best-Bang-for-the-Buck” baccalaureate colleges for providing students the highest chance of graduating with an affordable degree that has marketplace value.