May 23, 2024
Sports - Kane County

Sports - Kane County

Vikings erratic in season opener

GENEVA – At times Saturday night, the Geneva football team looked like a well-oiled machine in a 34-7 season-opening victory against Dundee-Crown. At other times, the Vikings sputtered a bit against the distracted and over-matched Chargers.

“I’m glad to win,” Geneva coach Rob Wicinski said. “We worked hard to get to this point. I thought our special teams were solid. ... I thought we had some big plays out of our wideouts, which was nice to see.”

Michael Faught hauled in a 44-yard pass from Mike Mayszak for a first-quarter touchdown, and Joe Augustine caught a 34-yard TD toss in the second quarter as the Vikings cruised to a 28-0 halftime lead. Mayszak completed seven of 14 passes without an interception for 163 yards.

The Vikings looked crisp on the game’s opening possession, marching 60 yards for a touchdown in less than 3 minutes. The big play of the drive was a pass in the flat from Mayszak to junior running back Michael Ratay for 32 yards. Ratay capped the drive with a 3-yard run, one of his three touchdowns in the game. He finished with 85 yards rushing on 16 carries.

“He’s solid,” Wicinski said. “I don’t know how much room he had. It looked like he created a lot of that stuff for himself.”

As a team, Geneva finished with only 80 yards on the ground.

“I think we’ve got to be more consistent with our running game and that’s that young offensive line that we have,” Wicinski said. “You either get better or get worse. You don’t stay the same. So we’re hoping to get better going into the second week.”

The Vikings might have some question marks on offense, but the defense was impressive. Dundee-Crown quarterback Logan Kissack was under constant duress and lost three first-half fumbles. Geneva’s 6-foot-4, 230-pound senior defensive end Matt Caliendo recovered the first fumble and forced another when he leveled Kissack in the second quarter.

“I saw him coming around on the boot and it looked like he was stumbling a little bit, so I decided to hit him,” Caliendo said. “We just wanted to come out and play hard, hit hard. We had a lot of fun tonight.”

The game was not much for Dundee-Crown for reasons that had little to do with the action on the field.

Hours before kickoff, the Chargers learned that the father of senior running back Matt Cutinello had died in his sleep overnight while on a hunting trip. Matt Cutinello played in the game, scoring Dundee-Crown’s lone touchdown.

During the game, Chargers junior linebacker Tommy Newman, a close friend of Cutinello, collapsed on the sidelines with what Dundee-Crown coach Mike Davis called an asthma and anxiety attack. He was taken from the field by ambulance, but Davis said he was expected to be fine.