GENEVA – The Geneva football team’s game Friday night at Burgess Field against Yorkville was supposed to be easy.
But the Vikings, ranked by The Associated Press as the No. 5 Class 7A team in the state, fell behind 10-0 in a first quarter that saw the Geneva defense allow a long drive and big pass play from Yorkville.
Though the game wasn’t pretty, Geneva eventually wore down Yorkville, scoring 21 unanswered points to claim a 21-10 victory over the Foxes, typically one of the doormats in the Western Sun Conference.
One of the bright spots for the Vikings was the two-headed running back combination of Jay Graffagna and Michael Santacaterina. Graffagna ran for a game-high 138 yards on 16 carries and Santacaterina scampered for 46 yards on 14 carries, punching in two touchdowns for the Vikings.
“Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside,” Geneva coach Rob Wicinski said, smiling about his running back combination. “Jay has made leaps and bounds from last year and Santacaterina got some valuable experience playing varsity last year. Both of them, our two-headed monster, have done a nice job.”
Geneva (3-0, 1-0 WSC) took the lead for good on a 4-yard run by Santacaterina with 7:42 to go in the second quarter, putting the Vikings up, 14-10.
The Vikings have plenty to work on for next week, specifically concentrating on cutting down on penalties and missed assignments.
The biggest reason Yorkville (1-2, 0-1) was able to keep the game close was because of big plays, especially in the first half.
The Geneva front seven was able to consistently shut down Yorkville’s running attack, holding the Foxes to 16 total yards on the ground, but Yorkville quarterback Luke Parece was able to hook up with his receivers for long passes of 26, 65, 31 and 28 yards.
The Vikings also struggled with penalties, picking up 12 for 110 yards, including a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on defensive tackle Frank Boenzi on a punt, which led to the standout’s ejection from the game.
Boenzi also will be suspended for next week’s showdown against Glenbard South.
“[We have to work on] discipline in our ranks,” Wicinski said. “We had some blown assignments, but they did a nice job. We need to tighten up as a coaching staff and get back to work for next week … We have to work on a lot of stuff.”
GENEVA 21, YORKVILLE 10
Yorkville 10 0 0 0 – 10
Geneva 0 14 7 0 – 21
First quarter YV – Maxwell 30-yard FG, 6:33. YV – Parece 14-yard pass to Eaton (Maxwell PAT), 14.3. Second quarter GEN – Santacaterina 2-yard touchdown run (James PAT), 8:34. GEN -- Santacaterina 4-yard touchdown run (James PAT), 7:42. Third quarter GEN – Graffagna 7-yard touchdown run (James PAT), 6:52..
INDIVIDUAL STATISTISCS RUSHING – Yorkville: Parker 22-26, Anderson 1-3, LaMatinia 5-0, Parece 4- -13. Totals: 32-16. Geneva: Graffagna 16-138, Santacaterina 14-46, Quinn 4-10, Beitzel 7- -15. Totals: 41-179 PASSING – Yorkville: Parece 10-28-2-246. Geneva: Beitzel 8-17-0-73. RECEIVING – Yorkville: Richardson 3-117, Anderson: 2-40, Eaton 2-42, LaMantinia 2-32, Tudisco 1-16. Geneva: Williams 2-21, Quinn 1-18, Delabar 2-17, James 1-9, Santacaterina 1-6, Campbell 1-2. TOTAL YARDS: Yorkville: 262, Geneva: 252.
Sophomore game: Geneva 28, Yorkville 14.