Back on track for GHS football

Amy Boldt
Zach Hungate flies over the Ottawa defenders during the Green Machine’s first NCIC win of the year Sept. 19 at Bob Reade?Field.

The Geneseo Green?Machine needed not to dwell on last week’s game with Quincy and bounce back to face their first NCIC test of the year in the visiting Ottawa Pirates Sept. 19 at Bob Reade Field. And the Green?Machine did that in fine fashion as they rushed to a 21-0 victory.

“I am really proud of our guys,” said head coach Larry Johnsen. “They really showed their true colors, there are other things we can do, but we got back on track. All the players stepped it up.”

Geneseo jumped out to an early lead 7-0 in the first two minutes of the contest on a Zach Hungate 36-yard touchdown run. Luke Lembke added the PAT kick.

The game remained 7-0 through the second quarter as neither team could find the endzone. The Green Machine went into the locker room with a 7-0 advantage.

Late in the third quarter, Geneseo’s Jake Ballegeer punched in a 4-yard TD run and Lembke added the PAT to put the Green?Machine up two scores, 14-0.

In the final quarter of action, Aaron Kotecki capped off the night with a 61-yard sprint downfield for the score. Lembke split the uprights to give Geneseo the 21-0 lead with 11 minutes and 25 seconds left.

The Geneseo offense hit the ground running, what they do best, as they chewed up 245 rushing yards on 37 carries and had zero passing yards.

Leading the charge were Kotecki with 82 yards on six carries and Hungate with 79 on eight carries. Ballegeer rushed for 31 yards on eight carries, followed by Logan Patton with 30 yards on five carries. Michael Atwell ran the ball for 16 yards on five carries, while Collin Akers had three carries for 4 yards and Lembke, two carries for 3 yards.

“It was a good team effort on offense,” said Johnsen. “We really responded well.”

Geneseo’s defense had another good night as they held Ottawa to 108 rushing yards on 44 carries and allowed 83 passing yards.

“Our defense played well, they were flying around to the ball and they are getting more confident,” said Johnsen. “I?am really happy with how our defense played.”

The defense managed to contain Ottawa’s top rusher Ethan Armstrong to 54 yards on 14 carries.

Three Geneseo defenders were also able to fight through the line and reach the Ottawa quarterback for the sack — Blake Croegaert, one sack for 5 yards; Hunter Fiers, one for 12 yards; and Kotecki, one for 6 yards.

Five Geneseo defenders also came up with tackles for a loss Friday night — Croegaert, two for a loss of 8 yards; Kotecki, two for a loss of 8; Fiers, one for 12; and Ballegeer and Michael Possin combined for one for a loss of 2.

The Green?Machine (3-1 overall and 1-0 in the NCIC) will travel to Sterling tonight to face the Sterling Golden Warriors at 7:30 p.m.

Jake Schlindwein (bottom) slams Ottawa’s ball carrier to the ground.