Geneseo notches big week 1 win

Amy Boldt
Collin?Akers races to the end zone to score the first touchdown of the game for the Green?Machine Aug. 29.

After the first-game jitters were out of the way, the Geneseo Green Machine got down to business and doing what they do best, getting the ball into the end zone. And Geneseo did just that, seven times, for a dominating 49-0 win over Chicago Manley on Aug. 29 to open the season.

“I am really happy,” said head coach Larry Johnsen after his first game. “I thought we looked pretty sharp and everyone got to play. We kept getting stronger and stronger, faster and faster and we were clicking. I thought the guys responded real well.”

The game was at a 0-0 stalemate after the first quarter, however, the Green Machine had a chance to go up early 3-0, but a Jason Johnson field goal missed the uprights.

Geneseo got back at it in the second quarter pounding the ball down the field to put 28 points on the board.

Collin Akers put the Green Machine in the end zone for the first time in the 2008 campaign with a 9-yard run and Johnson split the uprights for the PAT. Adam Haviland followed with Geneseo’s first TD reception of the year on a 35-yard pass from Michael Atwell. Johnson added the PAT.

Then it was Logan Patton’s turn as he scored the Green Machine’s final two TDs of the half. Patton’s first touchdown was on an 18-yard run, while the second was from 2 yards out. Johnson booted through both PATs and Geneseo took the 28-0 advantage into the half.

Patton kept on running in the third quarter with a 20-yard TD run and Johnson successfully put through the PAT. Jake Ballegeer reached the end zone for the Green Machine’s second touchdown of the quarter on a 1-yard run. Johnson added the PAT to put Geneseo up 42-0 to start the fourth.

The Green Machine was held to only one touchdown in the final quarter on  a 2-yard TD run by Joe Snyder to cap off the night. Johnson added his seventh PAT of the game.

Geneseo’s offense started the season off right doing what the Green Machine is known for, running the ball, as the squad ran for 221 yards on 34 carries.

The Geneseo offense also took the time to work on its passing game, which also proved to be successful. Atwell completed two passes to Haviland out of seven attempts for a total of 60 yards and one touchdown. Atwell and Haviland were the two players vying for the quarterback position this season for the Green?Machine, but as it turned out Atwell won the QB spot and Haviland ended up being Atwell’s No. 1 receiver Friday night.

“We found some players that stepped up where they had the opportunity,” said Johnsen. “Adam (Haviland) was one of those that took advantage of an opportunity. He didn’t dwell on not being the quarterback and moved forward to see what he could contribute.”

Although he didn’t reach the end zone, Johnson led the Green?Machine in rushing yards with 65 on eight carries, followed by Patton with 52 yards on six carries.

At the quarterback position, Atwell got in on the running game with 26 yards on four carries, while Akers added 25 yards on two carries. Andrew Walters also posted 25 yards on two carries, followed by Snyder with 16 on four carries, Ballegeer had 9 yards on three carries and Josh Ward, two carries for 3 yards.

On the defensive side of the ball, Jeremy Olson came up with the lone fumble recovery, while Ballegeer broke through the line to sack the Manley quarterback for a loss of five yards.

Those pushing the Manley offense back for tackles for a loss were Hunter Fiers with two tackles for a loss of 14, John Deepe, two for a loss of nine, Ballegeer, one for a loss of five, Zach Hungate, one for a loss of five and Michael Ward, one for a loss of two.

The Green Machine’s Michael Possin came up big for Geneseo as he blocked one of Manley’s punt attempts.

“You work all winter, spring and summer and it is nice to get a payday with your first win,” said Johnsen. “But we do have some things to work on.”

The Green Machine (1-0 overall) will host Moline tonight at 7:30 p.m.

Hunter Fiers brings down the Manley ball carrier for a loss of yards on the play.