Despite a comeback after trailing 27-14 at the half, the Geneseo Green Machine couldn't get that final score they needed against visiting Sycamore Sept. 14 as they fell, 34-31.
"I don't know what it was," said head coach Larry Johnsen. "Sycamore has great play makers, and we can't get into shoot outs with people.
"There were some things tonight that we can build on, but we just can't give up those big plays. We did some things better tonight than last Friday."
After a defensive stop by Geneseo, the Green Machine offense got on the board with a 26-yard touchdown run by Rayce Singbush. Kevin Wolak added the PAT kick for the 7-0 lead.
Sycamore quickly answered on the next possession with a Ben Niemann 72-yard touchdown reception from Devin Mottet, and Mitchell Jordan added the PAT kick for a 7-7 tie.
Geneseo regained the lead five minutes later on a Mitch Miller 5-yard TD run, and Wolak split the uprights for the PAT and the 14-7 advantage.
Again, Sycamore responded less than a minute later with an Austin Colton 62-yard TD run, and Jordan's successful PAT kick to lock the game at 14-14.
Sycamore took over the scoring in the second quarter with a Colton 20-yard TD run, but the PAT kick failed, and a Niemann 37-yard touchdown reception from Mottet with a successful PAT kick by Jordan to put Spartans ahead, 27-14 at the half.
The Green Machine began to claw their way back in the third quarter as the defense shut down the Sycamore offense, and Michael Daniels forced a Spartan fumble and A.J. Marmion scooped up the ball and ran it back for a 60-yard touchdown. The PAT kick failed.
Prior to the defensive touchdown, Wolak booted through a 25-yard field goal for a 27-23 score in favor of Sycamore at the end of the third.
"I was happier with the second half. I thought we did a lot better job," said Johnsen. "Our guys showed their resiliency in the second half. The thing with us offensively is we have to grind it out. We have to do that, and Sycamore made the big plays and we didn't."
Sycamore found the end zone one more time in the fourth quarter on a Niemann 72-yard punt return, while Jordan added the PAT kick for the 34-23 lead.
Geneseo responded with approximately three minutes left in the action with a Luke Snyder 3-yard TD run, and then Miller caught the pass from Snyder for the two-point conversion to make it a 34-31 ball game, however, the Green Machine was unable to get the go ahead score on the board in the final minutes.
Page 2 of 2 - Offensively, Geneseo totaled 294 yard with 203 rushing on 42 carries and 91 passing on 12 catches.
Singbush led the ground game with 95 yards on 13 touches, followed by Miller with 42 yards on 12 carries. Snyder added 34 yards on four carries and Grant Burress ran for 32 yards on 18 carries.
Snyder connected with seven different receivers for the a total of 91 yards — Zach Alexander for 29 yards on five catches; Burress, one reception for 19 yards; Matt Rowley, 12 yards on three catches; Ryan Webster, one catch for 24 yards; Daniels, one catch for 5 yards and Miller, one reception for 2 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Green Machine allowed Sycamore 359 yards of total offense with 222 rushing yards and 133 passing yards.
The defense forced three fumbles and recovered all three with recoveries by Marmion of 60 yards and a touchdown and Trevor Craig and Alexander, each with one.
Caleb Biellier also broke through the line and reached the quarterback for the sack.
The Green Machine (2-2 overall) opens conference play at 7:30 p.m. tonight against Dixon at Bob Reade Field.