BEAVER FALLS, Pa. – A week after the Geneva College football team rushed for big yardage against Grove City, the Golden Tornadoes found running room much harder to come by on Saturday against the Westminster Titans, who came in with the top defense in the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC). After recognizing its graduating seniors before the game, Geneva could never get its offense going before falling 21-7 against the visiting Titans. Westminster finished its season 7-3 overall, 7-2 in the PAC, while Geneva fell to 2-7, 2-6 in the PAC.
Neither team was able to get much going offensively early on a cold and cloudy afternoon. Geneva managed just one first down in the first quarter, but the Golden Tornado defense played well and kept the game scoreless.
Westminster was the first to get on the board, though, when Shamon Walker scored from four yards out midway into the second quarter. Geneva responded with its only drive of the half, finished off by a 23-yard touchdown run from Trewon Marshall (Leetsdale, Pa./Quaker Valley) to tie the score at 7-7. It would prove to be one of the only times Marshall was able to find much room against the tough Westminster defense.
However, on the second play of Westminster's next drive, Cole Konieczka found Connor Cox behind the Geneva defense, and Cox hauled in the pass and raced 58 yards to put Westminster ahead again, and it would prove to be a lead the Titans would not give back up as they headed to the locker room with a 14-7 lead.
The Geneva defense continued to keep the Golden Tornadoes in the game, giving up yardage but stiffening late in drives to prevent Westminster from extending its lead. That effort kept Geneva within one score heading into the fourth quarter, but Geneva's offense could never get on track, and Westminster finally got on the board again early in the fourth quarter with another touchdown pass from Konieczka to give Westminster a 21-7 lead.
Geneva had one last chance after Luke Lloyd (Claysville, Pa/Avella) found Harrison Kozlow (Fredericksburg, Va./Chancellor) for a 42-yard pass, and after a Westminster personal foul, Geneva had first-and-goal from the Westminster seven-yard line. After two rushes moved the ball to the one-yard line, Geneva fumbled going into the end zone on third down and Westminster recovered, effectively ending any chance Geneva had of a comeback as the Titans closed out the 21-7 victory from there.
"Westminster came in with a good game plan, and we just could never get our offense going," Head Coach Geno DeMarco said. "We knew they had a tough defense, and today they got the better of us. I was proud of the way our defense kept us in the game all day, and if we don't fumble going into the end zone there late, maybe the outcome would have been different. But the bottom line is we just didn't make the plays we needed to, and Westminster did.
"I'm really grateful for our seniors, though. Obviously Trewon gets a lot of the headlines, but all those guys have contributed so much to our program over their years here, and it's always hard to say goodbye to players who have worked so hard. I wish we could have sent them off with a win, but I know all of those seniors have matured so much and are well-prepared for life after football because of their time here at Geneva."
The final stats weren't any nicer for the Golden Tornadoes, as Westminster outgained Geneva 446-166. Marshall managed just 60 yards rushing, leaving the senior 23 yards shy of 4,000 career rushing yards. Freshman Dakota Allen (Plant City, Fl./Newsome) led the defense with 14 tackles, while junior Tyler Cann (Lehighton, Pa./Lehighton) added 12 stops.
Geneva has one game remaining in its season, the rescheduled game at Carnegie Mellon that was postponed due to the tragedy that took place in Squirrel Hill two weeks ago. Kickoff for that game is next Saturday, November 17, at 1:00 p.m.