W&J-Geneva Game Notes

More news about: Washington and Jefferson

Washington & Jefferson College Presidents (6-2, 5-1 PAC) at Geneva College Golden Tornadoes (2-6, 2-4 PAC)


Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012 – Beaver Falls, Pa.


Time:  7:00 pm

Site: Reeves Field (3,500)

Series:  W&J leads 38-19-1

Series Streak: +7 W&J


Online Video: http://www.meridix.com/everywhere.php?liveid=GenevaCollege

Live Stats: http://www.geneva.edu/livestats/football/xlive.htm

Audio: 1450-AM WJPA; http://www.wjpa.com/sports.htm


Last Meeting:  W&J 24, GEN 7 -- 10/22/2011

First Meeting:  W&J 26, GEN 0 -- 10/21/1891

Last W&J Win: W&J 24, GEN 7 -- 10/22/2011

Last GEN Win: GEN 19, W&J 0 -- 9/10/1983

Last W&J Win at GEN: W&J 22, GEN 16 -- 10/23/2010

Last GEN Win at GEN: GEN 19, W&J 0 -- 9/10/1983


THE SERIES:  Washington & Jefferson has won 38-of-59 all-time meetings with Geneva, including seven in a row.  W&J is 12-11-1 in Beaver Falls, but only three of those games have been played since 1983, all three of which were Presidents' victories.  The most recent meeting at Reeves Field two years ago ended as a thrilling 22-16 W&J victory.  Craig Sedunov '10 intercepted a second down pass in the end zone with six seconds remaining to preserve the win. 


THE HEAD COACHES: One of college football's most successful coaches, Mike Sirianni (Mount Union '94) owns a 91-20 (.820) record in his 10th season as the  W&J head coach.  The three-time PAC Coach of the Year and 2004 South Region Coach of the Year is fifth among all active NCAA head coaches in winning percentage (minimum five years of experience).  Geno DeMarco (Geneva '84) owns a record of 127-82 during his 20 seasons as head coach at Geneva.  DeMarco is the Golden Tornadoes' all-time wins leader. 


W&J vs. THE PAC:  W&J has amassed a 260-85-4 (.745) all-time record against current members of the Presidents' Athletic Conference.  Washington & Jefferson has claimed 22 PAC Championships throughout history.  The Presidents have won 73 of their last 81 conference games. 


Bethany (69-20)                  

Geneva (38-19-2)    

Grove City (35-13)    

Saint Vincent (5-1)             

Thiel (42-22-2)         

Thomas More (3-5)

Waynesburg (36-3) 

Westminster (32-2)


THE LAST MEETING {W&J 24, GEN 7 -- 10/22/11}:  Washington & Jefferson rushed for 258 yards, including 150 from Tim McNerney, to record a 24-7 PAC victory over Geneva at Cameron Stadium.  McNerney ran 26 times and scored a pair of touchdowns.  The W&J defense, which limited Geneva to 246 total yards, was paced by Neil Sorice's 10 tackles.  The game was scoreless for a majority of the first half until the Golden Tornadoes produced a 13-play, 75-yard drive late in the second quarter (2:47) which ended on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Zack Hayward to Corey O'Patchen.  W&J fought right back 98 seconds later, covering  59 yards in six plays.  Matt Bliss rushed six yards for the score, but the extra-point attempt hit the upright and Geneva led 7-6 at halftime.  Dion Wiegand set up the touchdown with a 24-yard kickoff return.  Washington & Jefferson grabbed its first lead on its second possession of the third quarter.  McNerney raced 15 yards for a touchdown after Max Creighan took a Bliss' pass 19 yards on the first play of the drive.  Alex Baroffio made a leaping catch on the two-point conversion pass to put W&J in front 14-7 with 7:11 left in the third quarter.  Nathan Melhorn forced and recovered a fumble after a 24-yard Geneva pass on the next play from scrimmage and Eric Eberle kicked a 26-yard field goal for a 17-7 lead with 2:02 left in the third quarter.  W&J put the game away with a 64-yard scoring drive midway through the fourth quarter.  McNerney ran five times on the possession, including an 18-yard touchdown run.   The Presidents amassed 428 total yards and used a 26-11 advantage in first downs.  W&J also possessed the ball for 33:45 and forced Geneva to convert only 3-of-14 third-down chances.  Bliss completed 21-of-29 passes for 164 yards, while adding 92 yards on 16 rushing attempts.  Hunter Creel caught a game-high seven passes for 58 yards.  The Golden Tornadoes, who punted 10 times, were led by Rocco Colavecchia's 75 rushing yards.  He also passed for 49 yards, while Hayward completed 6-of-8 passes for 114 yards.  Scott Erb and Tucker Nuetzel led the GC defense with 10 tackles.


SCOUTING GENEVA:  The Golden Tornadoes hope to snap a two-game losing streak.  Last week, Geneva suffered a 26-8 loss at Grove City; however, prior to that, the Golden Tornadoes had played five consecutive games in which the final margin of victory was seven points or less.  GC won two of those games, including a wild 50-48, four-overtime victory over Thomas More.  Geneva trailed by two touchdowns with under three minutes left, but a pair of four-yard touchdown runs from junior quarterback Rocco Colavecchia forced overtime.  GC outgained Thomas More by a 461-231 margin and also held a 27-16 first down advantage.  Colavecchia played the entire Grove City game at quarterback as junior Zack Heyward, who usually shares snaps, sat out with an injury.  The 6-foot-3, 235-pound Colavecchia completed 8-of-26 passes for 82 yards, while rushing 15 times for 56 yards.  Geneva has suffered a number of close losses, including setbacks to Frostburg State (56-53), Thiel (21-14, OT), Bethany (42-36, OT) and Waynesburg (21-20).  GC missed a 45-yard field goal with 11 seconds left in the loss to the league-leading Yellow Jackets, a game Geneva led for a majority of the second half.  Geneva has allowed an average of 33.0 points and 19.9 first downs per game (both 8th in PAC).  Colavecchia, who has a pair of four-touchdown games, is fourth in the league in rushing yards (80.5 ypg), while senior wide receiver Corey O'Patchen is one of the league's top deep threats with 15.6 yards per reception (4 TD).  Junior linebacker Dillon Goodell leads the defense with a PAC-best 85 tackles. 


NOVEMBER REIGN: The Presidents own a 23-6 record under Head Coach Mike Sirianni during the month of November, including an 11-4 record in road games.  Three of those road losses have occurred during the NCAA Division III playoffs. 


EVEN OR ODD:  W&J has outscored its opponents 45-20 during the first quarter and 89-27 during the third quarter of games so far this fall; however, the Presidents have been outscored 58-37 in the second quarter and 61-27 during the final 15 minutes.  Similarly, Geneva's has also been outscored during the second (73-52) and fourth (80-48) quarters.  In Mike Sirianni's previous nine years as head coach, W&J has only been outscored in a quarter for an entire year only twice, the fourth quarters of the 2003 (54-52) and the 2010 (64-29) seasons.


MELHORN SECTION:  Senior linebacker Nathan Melhorn enters Saturday's game with a streak of 26 consecutive games with at least one tackle.  Melhorn has 164 career stops (90 solo) and leads the team this year with 60.


HISTORY LESSON:  Washington & Jefferson is 13 victories shy of becoming the third program in NCAA Division III history to win 700 games.  W&J is competing in its 121st varsity season (687-379-40) and is third behind Wittenberg (714) and Mount Union (706) among NCAA Division III schools.  Widener (659) and Williams (632) round out the top five.  Once W&J reaches 700 victories, it will join an elite group among all college football divisions which currently has 20 members of 700-plus wins (Wittenberg, Mt. Union, Yale, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, Michigan, Texas, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Alabama, Tennessee, Southern Cal, Georgia, LSU, Penn State, Auburn and West Virginia). 


JUST WIN BABY: W&J has clinched its 29th consecutive winning season in 2012. The Presidents' streak currently ranks fifth among NCAA schools of all divisions behind Linfield (57), Florida State (36), Mount Union (34) and Florida (33). 


JUST FOR KICKS:  Junior placekicker Eric Eberle's seven field goals are the most by a President since Kyle Sidebotham made 8-of-13 attempts in 2005.  Eberle's 40-yard field goal at Thomas More helped him become the first W&J kicker since Mike Evan' 97 in 1995 to connect on two 40-plus yard field goals during a single season.  Eberle also booted a career-long, 44-yard attempt at Thiel, which is the longest since Evan's 48-yarder in 1995. 


AMONG THE BEST:  Sophomore defensive end Jon Lowery is 25th in the country with 0.94 sacks per game, while Eberle's seven field goals place him in a 36th-place tie nationally.  Junior wide receiver Alex Baroffio is tied for 32nd in NCAA Division III with 6.8 receptions per game.


RUNNING WILD: W&J's 55 rushing attempts for 359 yards against Saint Vincent were its highest totals since Oct. 18, 2008 when the Presidents accumulated 377 yards on the ground on 55 carries against the Bearcats.  The game two weeks ago marked the ninth time during the Sirianni era that W&J had amassed 300 or more yards rushing.


GETTIN' WIGGY WITH IT: Senior running back Dion Wiegand rushed for a career-high 170 yards against Saint Vincent, becoming the first President since Tim McNerney in 2010 to gain 170-plus yards on the ground. Wiegand and freshman quarterback/defensive back Shane Smith were the first W&J duo to break the 100-yard rushing barrier in the same game since Kevin Mathews (122) and Curt Jones (104) accomplished the feat against SVC in 2007.  Wiegand is fourth in the PAC in all-purpose yards per game (111.9) and kickoff return average (22.2 ypr) and ninth in rushing (59.4 ypg). 


LIGHTING UP THE SCOREBOARD: The Presidents' offense hit the 40-point mark for the first time since the 2011 season opener at Juniata. W&J has scored 40 or more points at least once during every season since 1984 and owns a 103-1 record in those games during that span. The lone loss was a 59-42 decision to Bridgewater in the first round of the NCAA Division III playoffs in 2000.


KEY SITUATIONS:  Defensively, W&J leads the Presidents' Athletic Conference in opponent conversions on third and fourth downs.  On third down, W&J is holding opponents to a 26 percent conversion percentage (29-of-112).  The Presidents are even stingier on fourth down, allowing only three successful conversions in 12 attempts. 


BACK TO ACTION:  W&J is 5-0 under Sirianni following a midseason bye week.  The Presidents' last lost following a week off came in 2007 when the bye week fell on the last week of the regular season.  W&J lost at Bridgewater 30-21 in the first round of the NCAA playoffs two weeks after a 32-14 win over Thomas More. 


WIN AND IN:  With two games left on the schedule, W&J controls its own destiny for the 2012 PAC title.  Road victories over Geneva and Waynesburg would clinch the Presidents' 23rd PAC title in history and first since 2007.  The conference champion earns an automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs which begin Nov. 17.