Green Machine wins

Amy Boldt
Michael Possin drags down the LaSalle-Peru quarterback for the sack Oct. 3.

It was a comeback for the books as the Green?Machine overcame an 18-point deficit to stun LaSalle-Peru Oct. 3, 32-24.

“We showed a tremendous amount of resiliency,” said head coach Larry Johnsen. “The first quarter didn’t go our way and it was up for grabs. Even in the middle of the third quarter with the fumble. I?was just really pleased that we didn’t give up. We made good adjustments at the half.”

Geneseo jumped out to an early 6-0 lead with a 63-yard punt return by Luke Lembke, but the PAT kick failed. LaSalle-Peru answered with a 2-yard run and the PAT kick was good for the 7-6 lead.

LaSalle-Peru turned up the offense and capitalized on Geneseo’s mistakes in the second quarter. The Cavaliers came up with two scores — the first on a 28-yard field goal and the second on a 23-yard pass reception for  a touchdown. At the half, the Cavaliers held on to a 17-6 advantage.

“LP had us on the ropes in the first half, we were in trouble and on the verge of a blowout if we didn’t do things better,” said Johnsen. “We were on our heels and we can’t do that.”

LP came out to start the third quarter and punched in a touchdown on a 28-yard pass reception for a 24-6 lead. Geneseo countered with its second TD of the game to begin the comeback.

Ballegeer ran the ball in from 1-yard out to cut into LP’s lead, but the two-point conversion attempt failed. At the end of the third quarter, LP led the contest, 24-12.

It was all Geneseo in the fourth quarter as the Green Machine rallied to capture the win.

“The big key was up front we started taking control,” said Johnsen. “We changed up our formation and got hot.”

Adam Haviland started things off in the fourth quarter for Geneseo with a 13-yard reception for the touchdown from Michael?Atwell and Lembke’s PAT kick was good for a 24-19 score.

Ballegeer then took the ball into the endzone on a 15-yard run to give Geneseo the lead, 25-24.

Logan Patton capped off the game with a 20-yard run into the endzone for the score and Lembke added the PAT to lead Geneseo to victory.

Geneseo finished the game with 216 rushing yards on 47 carries and 39 passing yards on three completions.

Ballegeer led the way on the ground for Geneseo with 79 yards on 15 carries, followed by Aaron Kotecki, 39 yards on seven carries. Collin Akers  ran for 37 yards on 12 carries; Zach Hungate, 28 yards on five carries; Patton, 25 yards on six carries; and Atwell, eight yards on two carries.

Atwell passed for 39 yards with three completions on nine attempts and had one interception. Atwell connected with Haviland for all three catches for 39 yards.

Defensively, Geneseo allowed LP 98 rushing yards and 101 passing yards.

Joe Snyder came up with a fumble recovery for Geneseo, while Haviland snagged an interception. Michael Possin broke through the LP?offensive line to sack the quarterback for a loss of yards.

Snyder, John Deppe, Curt Jensen and Possin all had tackles for a loss of yards Friday night.

The sophomore team defeated LaSalle-Peru, 35-0 Oct. 3 and the freshman squad fell to LP, 6-0.

Geneseo (4-2 overall and 2-1 in the NCIC) will host Streator tonight at 7:30 p.m. for homecoming and senior night. 

Joe Snyder tackles the Cavalier ball carrier during Geneseo’s NCIC victory Oct. 3.