Great stories begin when someone decides not to give up.

Great stories begin when someone decides not to give up.

After suffering a pair of setbacks, Geneseo played like a team with something to prove on the gridiron during the Green Machine’s 21-0 victory over LaSalle-Peru, at Howard Fellows Stadium, on Oct. 6.

The Green Machine’s Drew Rapps kept his legs churning through contact on a counter that looked like a minimal gain, but he turned it into a 41-yard touchdown run.

Rapps’ run expanded Geneseo’s lead to 14-0 in the third quarter, and the Green Machine looked to have found its swagger.

“It shows we’re not done yet,” Rapps said. “We are ready for Kaneland, ready for Morris and if so the playoffs. We aren’t going to lay down when this happens.”

After suffering losses to Sterling and Rochelle, Geneseo was able to find that winning mentality after sparking to life in practice before they faced LaSalle-Peru.

“It’s been tough, but we have played two really good teams,” Geneseo Coach Larry Johnsen said. “Against Sterling, I was disappointed in our effort. Against Rochelle, it was 14-7 for three-and-a-half quarters and it kind of fell apart. I was really happy with the way we bounced back.”

Geneseo got off to a hot start converting two third downs on their way to a four-yard Rapps touchdown run on the opening drive.

LaSalle-Peru was able to move the ball on its opening drive, but a muffed snap allowed Geneseo’s Heath Henderson to dive on the loose ball for the takeaway.

“We were all just doing our assignment, and I just happened to fall on it,” Henderson said. “That’s just the way it goes, it was a team recovery right there.”

Both teams played aggressively with fake punts and trick plays, but penalties made it so neither team could land a knockout blow until Rapps’ run.

The Green Machine’s Zac Olson tacked on a final score with less than a minute remaining to give Geneseo a 21-0 lead.

Rapps finished with 12 carries for 83 yards, and Zac Olson rushed 13 times for 88 yards.

The Green Machine’s Isaiah Rivera completed 4-of-8 passes for 67 yards.

Geneseo’s Kyle Wise was a difference maker at wide receiver with two catches for 38 yards, and Jake Winslow had a catch for 16 yards.

The Green Machine defense was stout against L-P’s triple-option offense securing its first shutout of the season.

The Green Machine’s Ryver Griffin and Payton Clauson each had a pair of tackles for losses, and Josh Decker came up with another fumble recovery.