October 20, 2011

W&J-Geneva Game Notes

More news about: Washington and Jefferson

Geneva College (2-5, 2-3 PAC) at Washington & Jefferson College (3-3, 2-2 PAC)

NCAA Division III Football – Presidents' Athletic Conference

W&J Homecoming Weekend 2011

Live Video: http://www.livesportsvideo.com/golive/goliveevents.asp?q=WashingtonandJeffersonCollege

Live Audio: http://www.wjpa.com/sports.htm (Bob Gregg, Mark Uriah)

Live Stats: http://www2.washjeff.edu/Athletics/xlive.htm

Time: 2:00 pm

Site: Cameron Stadium (3,500)

Series: W&J leads 37-19-1 Series Streak: +6 W&J Last Meeting: W&J 22, GEN 16 -- 10/23/2010 First Meeting: W&J 26, GEN 0 -- 10/21/1891 Last W&J Win: W&J 22, GEN 16 -- 10/23/2010 Last GEN Win: GEN 19, W&J 0 -- 9/10/1983 Last W&J Win at W&J: W&J 31, GEN 10 -- 10/3/2009  Last GEN Win at W&J: GEN 27, W&J 13 -- 10/27/1973

THE SERIES: W&J has defeated Geneva six consecutive times and owns a 37-19-2 lead in the all-time series. Geneva has not defeated W&J since a 19-0 victory at Reeves Field in 1983. Since that setback, W&J has averaged 30.3 points in the six games versus the Golden Tornadoes, including a 22-16 victory last year in Beaver Falls.

THE HEAD COACHES: Mike Sirianni (Mount Union '94) owns an 82-17 (.828) record at W&J in his ninth season as the head coach. Sirianni is a three-time PAC Coach of the Year and the 2004 South Region Coach of the Year. Geno Demarco (Geneva '84) has a 123-75 record (.621) in 19 seasons at his alma mater. He is the school's all-time winningest coach. Under DeMarco, Geneva qualified for the NAIA national tournament four times.

W&J vs. THE PAC: W&J has amassed a 252-83-4 (.743) all-time record against current members of the Presidents' Athletic Conference. The Presidents have won 65 of their last 72 conference contests.

Bethany (68-20) Geneva (37-19-2) Grove City (34-12) Saint Vincent (4-1) Thiel (40-22-2) Thomas More (3-4) Waynesburg (35-3) Westminster (31-2)

THE LAST MEETING {W&J 22, GC 16; 10/23/2010, Beaver Falls, Pa.}: Washington & Jefferson received a third-straight, 100-yard performance from Tim McNerney and its defense held off a late rally to defeat the Golden Tornadoes 22-16 at Reeves Field. W&J's defense gave up 348 yards of offense to the Golden Tornadoes, but came up with a stop when it needed it most. Geneva drove 52 yards in less than three minutes to set up a 2nd-and-10 from the W&J 14-yard line with W&J holding onto a six-point lead and just six seconds to play. The Presidents broke huddle after a timeout and dropped nine players into coverage, one being Craig Sedunov who picked off Geneva quarterback David Girardi in the end zone to end Geneva's last hopes for a comeback. McNerney starred on offense for the Presidents, rushing 24 times for 107 yards and two touchdowns. Geneva running back Gerard Muschette rushed 39 times for 212 yards, while also leading the Golden Tornadoes with six catches for 24 yards. The Presidents were outgained on offense by more than a two-to-one margin (348-168), ran 30 less plays than Geneva (84-54), only managed 10 first downs and held the ball for 15 less minutes. In the first half, the Presidents faced deficits in rushing yards (138-43), passing yards (88-58) and first downs (14-5), yet led 14-13. W&J's opening drive of the second half stalled and an errant snap over the head of punter Joe Kelly forced a 30-yard loss, setting up Geneva in excellent field position at the W&J 12-yard line. However, the Presidents forced Geneva into a 4th-and-2 from the four-yard line and Girardi's incomplete pass ended the threat. Both teams traded punts until W&J took over at their own 20-yard line. Gino Rometo threw his only interception of the day to Fred Maxwell and Geneva took over at the 27-yard line. Nick DiPietro connected on another field goal on that drive, this time from 27 yards out to give Geneva a 16-14 advantage with 2:22 left in the third quarter. Both teams punted before the Presidents took over at the 14:49 mark of the fourth quarter. Rometo converted a fourth-and-five with a 20-yard strike to Alex Baroffio at the Geneva 37-yard line to extend the drive. He then found Ben Hoffer, who made a diving catch in the end zone, which was followed by Max Creighan's ensuing grab on the two-point conversion attempt, to give the Presidents a 22-16 lead with 12:32 left in the game. W&J's defense stood tall on the next drive, stopping Muschette and Geneva on a fourth-and-two to gain possession. The Presidents were forced to punt on their last two possessions, setting up Geneva's final drive starting at its own 34-yard line with 2:58 to play that ended with Sedunov's interception. SCOUTING GENEVA: Geneva owns a 2-3 PAC record in its first year as an active member of the league. The previous four seasons, Geneva played a PAC schedule, but its games did not count towards conference standings due to its four-year NCAA Division III provisional period following its move from NAIA Division II. Last Saturday, the Golden Tornadoes pulled out a 23-7 home victory over Grove City. A week after allowing 47 points in a loss to Waynesburg, Geneva forced six turnovers, racked up 373 yards of total offense and used two fourth-quarter touchdowns to earn the win. Tucker Nuetzel and Dillon Goodell each posted 10 tackles, while Jon Bushmire had two interceptions and a forced fumble. Jon Baldwin also picked up an interception in the end zone to turn Grove City away from the scoreboard in the fourth quarter. Rocco Colavecchia, who sees action at quarterback, running back and wide receiver, finished with 178 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Colavecchia has passed for 494 yards and four touchdowns, rushed for 360 yards and four scores and caught 24 passes for 179 yards. Zach Heyward is the starting quarterback and has passed for 1,092 yards and seven touchdowns, while tossing six interceptions. Goodell paces the defense with 52 tackles, including a team-high 10 for a loss. Geneva leads the PAC in time of possession as it has held the football on average for just over 32 minutes per game.

BEEN A WHILE: W&J has lost three regular-season games this season, something that has not happened since it suffered four losses in 1998. The Presidents' two PAC losses are the most since 1983, which is also the last time they did not finish a season with a winning record.

NO HOME COOKING: W&J is 0-2 at home this season, the first time since 1998 that it failed to win at least one of its first two home games. That season, W&J started 0-3 on its own turf. The last time the Presidents played an entire season without a home win was 1973 when they went winless in five games in Washington.

CATCHING ON: Sophomore wide receiver Alex Baroffio reeled in 13 passes, the second-highest, single-game total in W&J history, against Saint Vincent two weeks ago. He racked up 187 yards receiving, a personal best, and also scored a touchdown. Baroffio is the PAC's leading receiver this year, having caught 44 passes for 707 yards and six touchdowns. His 156.8 all-purpose yards per game are the highest average by a President since 2007.

MILESTONES APPROACHING: Senior linebacker Neil Sorice, the PAC's leading tackler with 62 stops, is six tackles away from the 200th of his career. Junior running back Tim McNerney is 14 touchdowns shy of tying R.J. Zitzelsberger '06 and Joey Nichols '03 for fifth place on the all-time list.

DIFFERENCE MAKERS: Junior safety Brian DeFranco and sophomore safety B.J. Monacelli had career-best games at Saint Vincent. DeFranco, who originally started his career as a Presidents' baseball player, tied Sorice for the team lead with 11 tackles (1.5 for a loss). Monacelli had six tackles, intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble.

CREEL WORLD: Junior wide receiver Hunter Creel has caught at least three passes in all six games this fall and has scored a touchdown in four of the last five games. Creel, who did not have a varsity reception in his first two years, is tied for second on the team with 29 receptions for 289 yards and four touchdowns.

BLISTERING PACE: Sophomore quarterback Matt Bliss is on pace for the most yards by a W&J quarterback since Bobby Swallow '09 passed for 3,778 yards in 2008 (13 games). Bliss has thrown for a PAC-high 1,674 yards and 13 touchdowns. He has produced at least one touchdown pass in all six games and a pair of 300-yard days, including 305 at Saint Vincent. Bliss is averaging 309.2 yards of total offense per game which is on pace to break the record held by Chris Edwards '06 in 2005.

CHALK IT UP: The Presidents are hoping to increase their consecutive winning season streak to 28 years. The current 27-year streak ranks as the 10th-longest in NCAA Division III history and 16th among all divisions. Only Linfield (55 years), Ithaca (39) and Mount Union (33) own longer active streaks among Division III schools.

HISTORY LESSON: Washington & Jefferson has won 678 games in 120 varsity seasons (678-376-40) which is third behind Wittenberg (705) and Mount Union (691) among NCAA Division III schools. Widener (648) and Williams (625) round out the top five. Geneva has been playing football for 118 years and has posted a 523-463-49 record.

CENTURY MARK: Saturday's game against Geneva will be the 100th for Head Coach Mike Sirianni. He is second on the Presidents' all-time wins list, behind only John Luckhardt who won 137 games in 17 years at W&J. Washington & Jefferson averages 424.4 yards of total offense with Sirianni as head coach. Heading into this season, only four coaches among all NCAA divisions with at least five years of experience had a better winning percentage than Sirianni: Mount Union's Larry Kehres (309-23-3), Boise State's Chris Peterson (67-5). Tuskegee's Willie J. Slater (51-11) and Trinity's (Conn.) Jeff Devanney (38-6).

THE FIRST TIME: The first game in the W&J-Geneva series was played almost 120 years to the day on Oct. 21, 1891. The Presidents were victorious that Saturday in Washington 26-0. Later that season (Nov. 28), W&J took four-horse covered wagons over National Road to Morgantown, W.Va., for the first game in WVU history. The Red & Black cruised past the Mountaineers 72-0.

HONORARY CAPTAINS: Washington & Jefferson celebrates Homecoming 2011 this weekend and 12 members of the school's Athletic Hall of Fame will be on hand prior to the game to serve as honorary captains. Five of those hall of famers are former football players, including: Jason Baer '96, Mike Jones '95, Dan Primrose '97, Ryan Silvis '01 and Matt Szczypinski '96.

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