Geneseo can’t stop Sterling

Amy Boldt
Adam Haviland is brought down by the Sterling defender (hidden) after making the reception for the Green?Machine, Sept. 26 against Sterling.

After an early score by Sterling, the Geneseo Green Machine couldn’t overcome the explosive Sterling offense as the Golden Warriors marched to a 31-14 NCIC victory Sept. 26.

“A loss is a loss and it is disappointing,” said head coach Larry Johnsen. “The first half I thought we were on our heels and Sterling put us there. Sterling did a good job and we made mistakes that hurt us.”

Sterling quarterback Niko Rivera capped off a 73-yard, eight play drive to open the game with a 7-yard TD run to put the Golden Warriors up 7-0 after the Raciel Ocampo PAT.

In the second quarter, Sterling Dustin Fritcsh reached the end zone for the second Sterling score on the reception from Rivera for 25 yards. Ocampo added the PAT?for the 14-0 advantage.

The Geneseo offense was in striking distance in the second quarter, but an unfortunate fumble turned the ball back over to Sterling. And then before the half, Sterling put its kicker back to work as Ocampo drilled a 43-yard field goal for a 17-0 lead at the half.

Collin Akers finally got the Green Machine on the board in the second half with a 7-yard TD run in the third quarter. Geneseo got only six points on the drive as Luke Lembke’s PAT attempt was blocked.

In the final minutes of action, Rivera took the ball again and cracked a 39-yard run and Ocampo added the PAT.

Geneseo countered with a 1-yard run by Akers and Jake Ballegeer ran the ball in for the two-point conversion. Sterling led the contest, 24-14.

On an attempt to quickly get the ball back, Geneseo had a well-executed onside kick that was recovered by Adam Haviland and it was Green Machine ball.

However, Geneseo’s drive didn’t last long as Sterling came up with an interception on the 1-yard line to regain control. Sterling then had a three and out and it was Geneseo’s ball again. To seal the deal for Sterling, the Golden Warriors came up with another interception by Clay Hadley and he sprinted it down field 60 yards for the TD. Ocampo added the PAT for the 31-14 win.

The Geneseo offense finished the game with 149 rushing yards on 40 carries and 124 passing yards on 13 completions.

Akers led the ground game for Geneseo with 100 yards on 15 carries, followed by Aaron Kotecki with 18 yards on five carries. Logan Patton ran for 11 yards on eight carries; Michael Atwell, 8 yards  on six carries; Zach Hungate, 7 yards on three carries; Blake Foehrkolb, 3 yards on two carries; and Jake Ballegeer, 2 yards on one carry.

Through the air for the Green Machine, Atwell connected with Haviland for 88 yards; Patton, 18 yards;  Hunter Fiers, 12; and Akers, 6.

The Geneseo defense allowed Sterling 175 rushing yards on 32 carries and 116 passing yards with eight completions. Geneseo’s John?Deppe and Michael Possin both rushed the quarterback and sacked Rivera for a loss of yards — Deppe, loss of 7 and Possin, loss of 6.

Ballegeer and Haviland each came up with a fumble recovery on defense.

The sophomores won a thriller in Sterling earlier in the night, 29-28 in overtime, while the freshmen defeated Sterling, 20-16 early last week.

Geneseo (3-2 overall and 1-1 in the NCIC) will be on the road tonight for a 7:30 p.m. contest with host LaSalle-Peru.

“I hope the players learn we’ve got to play four quarters of football,” said Johnsen.

Andrew Anselmi blocks the Sterling lineman.