Green Machine makes history in win over Rock Island

Claudia Loucks
Geneseo’s Green Machine scores a victory, 23-15, over the Rock Island Rocks at Rock Island on Friday, April 16.
Geneseo’s Nash Clementz, No. 6, in the Geneseo freshman-sophomore football game when Geneseo shut out the Rock Island Rocks, 20-0.

Geneseo’s 23 -15 victory over Rock Island on Friday, April 16, was more than a win; it also marks the first on-field victory over the Rocks since 1924. Hunter Clark-Holke had three field goals in the first half of the game.

Head Coach Larry Johnsen Jr. said, “It was a big win for the Green Machine.”

Geneseo scored on all of its five possessions in the first half. Senior quarterback Nathan Beneke threw for 176 yards while hitting 9 of 14 targets in the first half, connected with Jaden Weinzierl with a 64-yarad pass play in the first quarter.

Senior running back Bruce Moore scored Geneseo’s first rushing touchdown in the first half of the game and scored a second time on a 1-yard carry with just over 2 minutes remaining before halftime.

Coach Johnsen cited penalties against his team and said, “Still haven’t solved the penalty issues. They continue to put us in a bind. Fortunately, we had enough big plays to overcome them.”

He said it took the defense “a series to adjust to the speed and athleticism of Rock Island. There’s no way to simulate that in practice, so we had to do the best we could. Once we adjusted, I really thought we played well. Created turnovers and held them on 4th down. They are really explosive and could score on any play.”

Johnsen credited his players and commented, “Offensively, I thought some other people really stepped up. I thought Mason Jones and Jaden Weinzierl had nice games at the Slot Position. Both made some really big plays to keep drives going. Kade Ariano and Brennan Wages also made some nice catches from the Split End position also.”

The Green Machine coach said, “I’m really happy with the progress, but I still think there is more in the tank. Hopefully, we put four quarters of Geneseo football together against Moline because in order to win, we will need to do that.”

The Geneseo freshman-sophomore squad shut out Rock Island, 20-2, in the April 16 game.

Geneseo faces Moline on Friday, April 23, at Bob Reade Field in Geneseo.