The Saint Vincent football team is 3-0 for the first time since 1957 following a 28-21 victory at home over Geneva College.
After the teams went into the locker room tied 14-14, the Bearcats scored a pair of touchdowns in the opening four minutes of the second half, then held the Tornadoes on a drive at the end of the game to secure the victory.
The Bearcats got on the board late in the first quarter, after starting a drive on their own 15-yard-line. Quarterback Derek Stewart completed passes to Damon Black Jr and Dalton Dietrich to move the ball to the Bearcat 35, then Jhanard Dorsett ran for 12 yards near midfield. Stewart then connected with Black for a 38-yard pass, moving hte ball to the visitors' 15. Stewart then attempted to find Black in the end zone, but Geneva was called for pass interference, placing the ball at the three. Dorsett then carried it into the end zone for a touchdown. Sam Elliott's extra point made it 7-0 with 1:42 remaining in the first quarter.
On the ensuing drive, which stretched into the second quarter, Geneva methodically moved downfield, scoring on a 13-play, 69-yard drive that culminated in Javid Ellis' quarterback keeper from 10 yards out. Neil Harrison's PAT tied the game, 7-7.
After a Bearcat punt, the GTs went back to work, putting together a 9-play, 54 yard drive, taking the lead on a 1-yard run by Trewon Marshall that put the visitors in front, 14-7.
The lead didn't last long, however, as Jhanard Dorsett was responsible for 89 yards of offense in just two plays. First, he returned the kickoff 22 yards to the Bearcat 33. On the first play of the drive, he broke tackles and ran 67 yards for a touchdown, tying the game, 14-14.
Saint Vincent kicked off to start the second half, but on the second play of the drive, Geneva's Marshall was stripped of the football by Matt McCarthy, and Devin Anderson recovered the fumble at the GTs 19-yard-line. On the next play, Shavona Craft took it the distance, and Elliott's point after made it 21-14 in favor of the hosts.
The SVC defense didn't allow Geneva to move the ball, forcing them to punt on a 4th-and-10. The snap went over the head of punter Robert Fish, and SVC's Damien Charles scooped up the ball at the Geneva 22 and took it into the end zone to extend the Bearcat lead to 28-14 with 11:46 on the clock in the third quarter.
Later in the third, Geneva put together another long scoring drive, taking the ball 72 yards in 9 plays to cut the margin to just one touchdown with 1:34 remaining.
The fourth quarter became a defensive battle. First, SVC was stopped on a fourth down play near midfield, but on the first play of the drive for Geneva, Garrett Virostek knocked the ball loose and Nick Nitowski recovered for the Bearcats at the Geneva 43. Once again, however, Geneva held SVC on a fourth down play and took over, this time at their own 30.
The Golden Tornadoes moved the ball well into Bearcat territory, but again it was Virostek coming up with the big defensive play, causing another Geneva fumble. Cameron Mack pounced on the loose ball to end the scoring threat with 4:38 remaining in the fourth.
Yet again, SVC was stopped by the Geneva defense on a fourth down play, with the visitors taking over this time on their own 29-yard-line, with 1:53 to go. Four straight completions by Ellis moved the ball to the Bearcat 21. After a timeout with 1:06 remaining, Geneva threw two straight incompletions, and SVC then took a timeout to prepare for a fourth down play with 55 ticks left. Once again the Geneva pass was incomplete, and the Bearcats took over on downs in the final minute, securing the win.
Dorsett led the ground attack for SVC with 98 yards on just 9 carries, while Craft gained 35 yards on 12 runs. Stewart was 12-for-22 through the air, connecting with Black four times for 61 yards. DJ Oceant-Kelly caught 3 passes for 66 yards.
Defensively, Virostek had a breakout game, with 14 tackles in addition to causing two fumbles. McCarthy had 9 tackles and a caused fumble, while Anderson had 9 tackles and one fumble recovery.
Geneva finished the game with 24 first downs compared to just 10 for SVC, and had 365 yards of total offense, while SVC tallied 276. Marshall carried the ball 33 times for 134 yards, with Ellis running 19 times for 87 yards. Skyler Cron led the defense with 8 stops.
Saint Vincent is now 3-0 overall, 1-0 in the Presidents' Athletic Conference. Geneva drops to 1-2, 0-1 in the PAC. The Bearcats will host Grove City College on Saturday (September 24) at 1PM. It will be Homecoming at Chuck Noll Field.