Geneva Vikings football

Football: Daniel Majewski, Vikings keep the late-season momentum going

Vikings’ goal-line stand holds off Lake Park for second straight win

Geneva's Reilly Waldoch (10) celebrates scoring a touchdown with Alex Williams (12) against St. Charles East on Sept 21 in St. Charles.

ROSELLE – Daniel Majewski currently takes care of Momentum II, the traveling replica sword passed on by defensive captains of the Geneva football team.

“We leave it in the locker room, but I carry it to every game,” said Majewski, a Vikings senior. “It comes from tradition. It’s like carrying momentum forward every game.”

After the DuKane Conference game Oct. 12 at Lake Park, Majewski understandably could have needed the sword to lean on.

His unwavering two-way effort helped the Vikings earn a 27-22 victory, their second straight win after an 0-6 mark.

“We didn’t start off that hot, but we’re finishing on a good note,” Majewski said. “That was actually my first game this season playing both ways – a lot. I was pretty gassed for a bit, but I’ve got to just keep pushing forward because we can get a win if I just keep on pushing.”

At fullback, Majewski rushed for 107 yards on 11 carries in an outstanding ground attack. Senior Brendan Krohe ran for 76 yards and all four touchdowns and senior Reilly Waldoch went for 92 yards as part of the Vikings’ 281 offensive yards.

At middle linebacker, Majewski helped in a last-second, goal-line defensive stand at the 8-yard line. He also scooped up a fumble in the first four minutes of the game that was momentum-changing.

“Win or lose, it was really on the line that last play. We were just saying we’ve got to give it our all, go all out,” Majewski said of the goal-line stand.

Geneva (2-6, 2-4 DuKane) led 27-15, but Lake Park (2-6, 1-5) scored late in the third quarter and regained possession at its 20 with 4:58 left after Waldoch’s 46-yard field-goal attempt went wide.

On fourth down from the 15, a Vikings’ end-zone interception was nullified by a pass-interference penalty. On the final attempt from the 8, the same pass play for the far left corner of the end zone fell short.

“We just wanted to make sure we were in position to make a play. And then we just said somebody make a play. The last two games we’ve had kids make plays. The previous six we weren’t making plays,” Geneva coach Rob Wicinski said. “I’m really proud of the way the kids played. It’s a lot of testament to my seniors.”

Lake Park pinned the Vikings back on the 8-yard line on their first possession. On third down, quarterback Alex Williams was sacked in the end zone for a safety and the Lancers marched the ensuing kickoff to the 8.

On fourth-and-4, the shotgun snap initially was fumbled by quarterback Nathanael Merchant. Tyler Garibay’s hit then jarred the ball loose again, and Majewski returned the fumble to the 34. Aided by Majewski’s 32-yard run to the 8, the Vikings scored five plays later on Krohe’s 1-yard run.

“Definitely a huge momentum changer,” Majewski said.

In a wild second quarter, the Vikings fell behind 8-7, went ahead 14-8 on Krohe’s 3-yard run, trailed 15-14, and took a 21-15 halftime lead on Krohe’s 1-yard run with three seconds left.

After a Waldoch interception, the Vikings’ first possession of the second half ended with Krohe scoring on a 3-yard run on fourth-and-1.

With solid blocking from center Jacob Uhlmann, guards Ryan Rudowicz and Ethan Avitia, tackles Frank Martin and Zachary Wilhelm and tight end Cole Campbell, the Vikings built on their ground attack from a 17-14 win over Wheaton North.

Williams passed just five times and completed two for 21 yards. The key pass was a 20-yarder to Joseph Pantano on third-and-6 to the 12 that continued the final scoring drive.

“It just felt so good. The line was opening the holes that we needed to open. Daniel Majewski was just nailing the secondary,” Krohe said.

“It’s always tough as a senior knowing ahead of time before you even get to your last three games you’re not going to make the playoffs. You feel kind of down, but then you remember you’re playing for the family and brotherhood that’s standing next to you.”