GENEVA – Geneva quarterback Hayden McCoy sees growth in his team – no matter what the scoreboard says.
The Vikings are 0-4, heading into Friday’s game with St. Charles East.
Geneva's defense has given up over 40 points in three of the four games and 31 last week. Offensively, the Vikings have scored double digits just once and combined for 16 points over the other three games.
They don’t need to be reminded.
Yet, through the tough stretch, there have been glimpses on drives and in certain quarters that have McCoy and the Vikings believing they could eventually turn the tide.
“Coach [Rob Wicinski] talks about this a lot: The scoreboard hasn’t really been showing how well we’ve been growing lately,” said McCoy, a junior. “We truly have been growing immensely, as we can see through film and stuff like that.”
Normally, you’d say: ‘The scoreboard will take care of itself, if you’re doing the right things,’” McCoy continued. “But, we do see a lot of improvement on offense.”
One area McCoy pinpoints is the play of Geneva's offensive line. Junior running back Konnor Mickelsen agrees with the assessment.
"The amount of growth from week one to now is really awesome to see," Mickelsen said. "They’re really starting to click and are looking a lot more confident as a unit."
Geneva has shown so far that it wishes to establish and maintain a running presence. Matt Osborne leads with a team-high 208 rushing yards. Ethan Mayer follows with 117 yard on just 16 carries.
The problem is that Geneva has been playing catch up by the second half.
“We kind of mixed up our running backs this past week [against St. Charles North],” McCoy said.
Mickelsen and Matt Osborne got a bit of a more prominent role, respectively, as Osborne saw some time at fullback.
In four games, Mickelsen has 31 yards on 10 carries.
“[With Mickelsen] in there, it got a lot of momentum going,” McCoy said. “[Mickelsen] and Ethan both did a great job, though,” McCoy said.
"I feel like I’m getting a better feel for the game," Mickelsen added. "I’ve been able to adjust to the speed and physicality of the game, so I feel much more confident then I did during the summer or week one."
Despite the struggles for McCoy, who is completing 50% of his passes and has a 1-to-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio, he says he’s growing more confident with each passing game.
He’s now turning his attention to an opportunistic St. Charles East defense that largely stifled Wheaton Warrenville South last Friday. Nathan Hull had two interceptions in the first half, and Gino Cerrone ensured the win with another pick late in the fourth as the Tigers were driving.
A positive start to the game may go a long way for Geneva.
“If we do our assignments, the scoreboard will take care of itself,” McCoy said.
“Honestly, just keep doing what we’re doing,” Mickelsen said. “We’re continuing to grow and gain chemistry, and I firmly believe things are starting to click.”