Geneva’s Nate Stempowski tosses 5 TD passes as Vikings cruise past Kaneland

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MAPLE PARK – On Sept. 2 in Maple Park, Geneva junior quarterback Nate Stempowski did what his coach did so often when he played at Kaneland years ago.

Stempowski tossed five touchdown passes and the Vikings cruised past the host Knights, 38-14, in nonconference action.

“Nate is a great player and he’s a dynamic quarterback and he’s just going to be better and better,” Geneva coach Boone Thorgesen said. “He makes plays with his feet, he makes plays with his arm, and it’s fun to watch him play and he played a great game today. I’m so proud of him. He’s worked hard and you’re seeing what we all saw in the summer.”

Thorgesen was an All-State quarterback at Kaneland and the Offensive MVP of the former Western Sun Conference in 2006.

Stempowski connected with Thomas Diamond for a 45-yard strike in the first quarter.

Stempowski’s first of two touchdown passes to Talyn Taylor saw the sophomore wide receiver show a couple of his many talents. Taylor made a leaping catch and then redirected himself to beat the defense for a 59-yard score.

“It’s nice when you have a guy you can throw it to like him,” Thorgesen said. “And Talyn has a burst to him and he has a second gear that you don’t see often.”

Geneva (2-0) led only 17-7 at halftime, but a 28-yard TD pass to Anthony Pantano and a 7-yard strike to Taylor increased the Vikings’ lead to 31-14 late in the third quarter.

The Vikings broke things open with 7:19 remaining in the game when Stempowski found Michael Lomberg in the corner of the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown.

“It’s kind of crazy. I usually run a lot, but this time I came out passing and threw the ball well and my receivers got open,” Stempowski said. “The coaches put some good plays together and the guys got open and made the plays successful. It’s fun.”

Kaneland (1-1) started strong by opening the game with a 64-yard touchdown pass from Troyer Carlson to Dominick DeBlasio on its opening drive, but wouldn’t score again until Carlson connected with Aric Johnson for an 8-yard score with 3:30 left in the third quarter.

The Vikings took advantage of two Kaneland turnovers, using excellent field position to turn those miscues into touchdowns.

“Geneva’s well coached and they played well,” Knights coach Pat Ryan said. “They tackled well and ran the ball well and capitalized on our mistakes. We had too many and they capitalized on them. We can’t turn the ball over. We can’t jump offsides and we’ve got to do a better job of running the ball.”