Prep Football

Geneseo controls line of scrimmage, sends QND to 0-3 start

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Sep. 8, 2018 12:01 am

QUINCY -- Simon Holtschlag took a look at the size of Geneseo's linemen during pregame warmups and was worried.

"Seeing them walk around before the game, you could tell those were just some big farm boys," the Quincy Notre Dame senior linebacker said.

Those big farm boys paved the way for three Geneseo running backs to surpass the 100-yard mark on Friday night as the Maple Leafs controlled the line of scrimmage in a 44-7 victory over the Raiders in a light rain at Advance Physical Therapy Field.

The Raiders, meanwhile, were limited to 6 yards rushing on 20 carries.

Geneseo's Zachary Olson rushed for 130 yards and three touchdowns, Alex McAvoy rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown, and Colton Pischke rushed for 102 yards and a touchdown. Those three averaged 8.8 yards per carry.

"We had a three-hour bus drive and bad weather. How are you going to respond?" Maple Leafs coach Larry Johnsen said. "I was really happy how we responded. As time went on, we just took over the line of scrimmage."

Geneseo (2-1) took control of the game from the first two series.

QND (0-3) took the opening kickoff and lost 1 yard in three downs. Geneseo took over after a punt on its 28-yard line, then marched 72 yards on 10 straight running plays. Olson carried the ball for the final 9 yards for the touchdown at the 6:16 mark of the first quarter.

The Maple Leafs' only turnover came when, on a QND punt after its second possession, punt returner Carson Cocquit fumbled the wet ball and the Raiders recovered at the Geneseo 29. However, the Raiders didn't take advantage, losing 6 yards on the next four plays.

The Maple Leafs moved the ball effectively again, going from their own 35 to the QND 9 before settling for a 26-yard field goal by Cocquit.

A 62-yard punt by Brendan Maas after QND went three-and-out on its next possession pinned Geneseo at its own 9, but a 91-yard, seven-play drive was highlighted by a 50-yard scamper by Olson and later capped when quarterback Jaren Brucher threw his first pass -- a 25-yard touchdown to Billy Cosgrave.

A 20-yard touchdown run by Pischke with 2:46 left in the second quarter put the visitors ahead 24-0, and a 14-play, 75-yard drive to open the third quarter was culminated in a 1-yard plunge by Olson.

"We haven't changed much what we do offensively, but we're starting to figure out our kids' strengths," Johnsen said. "We're pushing people around. We're older (than QND), and we have the numbers. Our kids are starting to get confident in what we're doing."

The Raiders are still searching for that confidence.

Dalton Venvertloh, who rushed for 159 yards in the first two games, carried the ball nine times on Friday and didn't make it back to the line of scrimmage five times. Two fumbles on long snaps with a wet ball cost the Raiders 33 yards.

"We couldn't get the ball moving in the run game," Holtschlag said.

The Raiders' problems started on first down. QND had seven drives in the first three quarters and had 6 yards combined on the first play of each series, with four negative plays.

"This is 110 percent on me as the head football coach," Raiders coach Jack Cornell said. "This is a tough loss, but it's on me. I'm going to take a bullet for my team. There's things racing through my mind right now of all of the mistakes I made. We didn't put our players in good positions to win and have success.

"The best way to have success on third down is to have success on first and second down. I have to do a better job in getting them in better positions to succeed. We have a lot of playmakers, and we have to figure out what our identity is."

The Raiders scored their only touchdown with 8:22 to play in the game when, on first down, sophomore quarterback Ike Wiley threw a 58-yard strike to sophomore Grant Hyer.

QND has lost the first three games of the season for the first time since 1996, when it lost to Calhoun, Unity, Beardstown and California, Mo. The Raiders finished that season with a 4-5 record.

Holtschlag, who had a team-high 12 tackles, doesn't want this season to get away from the Raiders.

"Me and Jonny (Bottorff) were talking in the fourth quarter, and we said the captains need to keep the team together," he said. "These young guys have never faced adversity like this before. We're going to have to work for it."

"Everybody wants to talk about our youth, and we are young, but there are six people on our football team who don't have time to wait," Cornell said. "That's our seniors. They want to win now. That's what I want for them. We're not in a position to look to the future, and we've got to grow up."

Geneseo 44, QND 7


22 First Downs 7

363 Yards Rushing 6

52 Yards Passing 128

415 Total Yards 134

4-3-0 Att.-Comp.-Int. 23-10-1

3-1 Fumbles-Lost 5-2

0-0 Penalties-Yards 9-60

Geneseo 7 17 13 7--44

QND 0 0 0 6--6

Scoring Summary

First Quarter

G--Zachary Olson 9 run (Carson Cocquit kick), 6:16

Second Quarter

G--Cocquit 26 FG, 10:04

G--Billy Cosgrave 25 pass from Jaren Brucher (Cocquit kick), 4:53

G--Colton Pischke 25 run (Cocquit kick), 2:46

Third Quarter

G--Olson 1 run (Cocquit kick), 5:34

G--Alex McAvoy 40 run (kick failed), 2:25

Fourth Quarter

G--Olson 19 run (Cocquit kick), 9:28

QND--Grant Hyer 58 pass from Ike Wiley (kick failed), 8:22


RUSHING--Geneseo, Zachary Olson 17-130, Alex McAvoy 13-112, Colton Pischke 9-102, Kyle Hofer 8-29, Jaren Brucher 3-(-10), Jacob McConnell 3-(-5), Gavin McGuire 2-3. QND, Dalton Venvertloh 9-29, Simon Holtschlag 1-1, Ike Wiley 9-(-8), Brendan Maas 1-(-16).

PASSING--Geneseo, Jaren Brucher 3-4-0-52. QND, Ike Wiley 10-23-1-128.

RECEIVING--Geneseo, Zachary Olson 2-27, Billy Cosgrave 1-25. QND, Grant Hyer 4-82, Nathan Obert 2-12, Johnny Ohnemus 3-19, Dalton Venvertloh 1-3, Ben Kasparie 1-15.