Geneseo Green Machine loses in Season opener

by Claudia Loucks correspondent
Geneseo’s Green Machine takes the field on Friday, March 19, in its first game of the spring season against Galesburg in Geneseo.

The outcome may not have been what GHS Varsity Football Coach Larry Johnsen Jr. had hoped for, but he is happy with being able to play a game again.

Even though the Geneseo team rallied in the second half of the game against Galesburg on Friday, March 19 at Bob Reade Field in Geneseo, they suffered a loss to Galesburg, 21-14.

Prior to the start of the game, Geneseo paid tribute to the late Bob Reade, the coach who passed away in July of 2020 and for whom the field is named.

Coach Johnsen found the positive in this Covid-shortened spring football season, and said, “It was great to get back out on the field to play a game. It’s been a long time since we’ve last played and the players have had to deal with a lot of tough situations to get to this point.”

He added, “After looking at the game tape, I thought we did a lot of good things for a first game. There were obviously self-inflicted issues that we have to fix.”

The Leafs were down 14-0 in the first half until quarterback Nathan Beneke connected with tight end PJ Moser on a 20-yard pass for their first score. Bristol Lewis caught a pass from Beneke that resulted in a 64-yeard strike. Bruce Moore finished the job with a 1-yard rushing touchdown with just over 3 minutes left in the game.

Beneke finished 16 of 23 for 203 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Moore led the Green Machine in rushing with 34 yards and 14 carries.

“Galesburg is a tough first game because they do a lot of different things,” Johnsen said. “Any first game is tough because you don’t have any game tape on what they do. You try really hard to find that line where you’re preparing for the season as well as preparing for an opponent you really don’t know that much about.”

In looking ahead, he stressed the importance of having a “good week of practice but we need to be patient. We have some areas where there is a lot of inexperience due to playing in the spring season, very important areas. We haven’t had the time to get enough reps.”

“I know that everyone is in the same situation, but with the amount of inexperience we have in some key areas, it’s going to take longer,” Johnsen said.