AURORA – Carter Powelson did all the dirty work for the Geneva football team Friday night.
A converted defensive end, Powelson had a smashing debut as the Vikings’ feature running back against Metea Valley in the schools’ nonconference season opener in Aurora.
Yet it was Jackson Reyes and Aldo Senese, not to mention Mason Pawelgo on a game-altering 85-yard punt-return touchdown, who received all the glory for Geneva in its 20-15 victory.
Senese hauled in an 11-yard scoring reception from Geneva quarterback Alex Porter, and Reyes, who earlier scored on a 5-yard run after Powelson chewed up 66 yards on seven consecutive touches, iced the game with the Vikings’ second pick with two minutes, 24 seconds to play.
The Senese score capped a 76-yard drive, highlighted by three Porter to Tyler Tuisl connections, with 6:15 to play.
“It’s a team sport, and I love to have everyone included,” said Powelson, who finished with a game-high 157 yards on 25 carries. “I should have scored on that (screen) play (that preceded Reyes’ touchdown). It is what it is.”
Boone Thorgesen, the former Kaneland star who played collegiately at Northern Illinois University, earned his first win for the Vikings in as many attempts as the Vikings’ rookie coach.
Ironically, a future Northern Illinois player, the Mustangs’ Jalen Johnson, was his primary concern.
“We were worried about him all summer,” said of Johnson. “He’s a (heck) of a player for a reason. He can take over a game. I thought our boys did a great job covering him.”
Johnson burned his man on a 53-yard bomb down the right sideline to give Metea Valley (0-1) a 9-7 lead at the break.
Johnson, who also had an interception, finished with exactly 100 yards on his five receptions from quarterback Logan Frederick.
“I feel like great receivers require great attention to detail,” Johnson said of the Vikings’ frequent double-teams. “I expect it week in and week out. Logan and I have a good deep connection. I looked that ball in. We definitely have a lot of things to work on.”
But Pawelko had the only score of the frenetic third quarter as he split a first wave of would-be Metea Valley tacklers and busted free along the left sid5eline for his 85-yard special-teams touchdown.
But Metea would retake the lead at 15-14 on twin superlative receptions by John Flynn early in the fourth quarter.
Flynn sustained the 57-yard scoring drive with a 24-yard third-down conversion and 12-yard go-for-broke fourth-down score four plays later.