GENEVA – In the Geneva football team’s 55-6 drubbing of Streamwood in the regular-season finale Friday night, the Vikings proved that blonds have more fun.
After topping Metea Valley a week ago to clinch the playoffs, Geneva players decided that Mohawks and dyed blond hair was the best way to commemorate the occasion.
With blond locks flowing, Geneva closed out the regular season with a near-flawless performance against the one-win Sabres. The Vikings blew the game open in the first half, limiting Streamwood’s offense to just 78 yards while scoring on each of its five possessions. Add in the Vikings’ first special teams touchdown of the year – a 70-yard kickoff return from Chris Barger – and Geneva heads into the playoffs on a high note, winners of six straight games.
“I’m just really happy for our 16 seniors; they’ve never had a winning season until now,” Geneva coach Rob Wicinski said. “They’ve done a nice job this year stepping up and doing things together. We haven’t had any special teams touchdowns until tonight, so that’s a real statement.”
Barger’s kickoff return came on the heels of Streamwood’s only score of the game, putting the Vikings up, 41-6. Before that, it was all T.J. Miller, as the senior running back rushed for 83 yards in the half while finding the end zone on scores of 8, 2 and 5 yards that capped off quite a final game at Burgess Field.
“We knew coming in that we’d be able to run and we did it in practice all week,” Miller said. “The offensive line and fullbacks gave us holes to run through all night. Everyone blocked and played well tonight.”
The Vikings (7-2, 5-1 UEC River) kept Streamwood’s defense honest with six effective passes, mostly on play-action passes that resulted in a pair of Daniel Santacaterina touchdown passes in the first half. The junior found Joe Boenzi on a perfectly executed bootleg for a 3-yard strike that gave the Vikings a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
Santacaterina’s second touchdown came on the first play after the Vikings recovered a fumble on a Streamwood punt attempt. The Vikings scooped the ball up at the Streamwood 29, setting up Pace Temple’s 29-yard touchdown catch that made it 34-0.
Geneva’s defense was extra stingy in the first half, limiting the Sabres to minus-1 rushing yard as the Vikings sacked Streamwood quarterback Mason Polich four times.
On the second of the four sacks, Geneva’s Stephen Kemp recovered a Polich fumble on the Streamwood 40-yard line that set up the Vikings’ fourth score of the half.
“I’ll have to look at the tape, but I think these guys were all in the right spots tonight,” Wicinski said of his defense. “First indications are we were pretty good. We’ve had trouble with fits and just having good integrity so this was nice.”
In the past, Miller said that the Vikings’ offense usually went with blue hair and the defense black, but the team decided to go blond this time. Geneva players are hoping that their blond moment in the season finale will carry over into next week’s first-round playoff game.
“I think this is a good win going in to the playoffs that will keep our minds right,” Miller said. “When the playoffs start, we’re going to be strong.”
Geneva will have a team playoff pairings viewing party at 8 p.m. tonight to see who its first-round opponent will be.
GENEVA 55, STREAMWOOD 6
Geneva 14 27 7 7 – 55 Streamwood 0 6 0 0 – 6
HOW THEY SCORED
G – Miller 8 run (Browere kick), 6:42 G – Boenzi 3 pass from Santacaterina (Browere kick), 2:49Second quarter
G – Miller 2 run (2-pt failed), 10:05 G – Miller 5 run (Browere kick), 6:52 G – Temple 29 pass from Santacaterina (Browere kick), 4:11 S – Drwal 5 pass from Polich (kick failed), 1:09 G – Barger 70 kickoff return (Browere kick), 0:56Third quarter
G – Miller 29 run (Browere kick), 9:59Fourth quarter
G – Perry 4 pass from Chambers (Browere kick), 11:47
RUSHING – Geneva: Santacaterina 1-6, Miller 14-121, Woodworth 4-37, Burns 10-48, Nebel 1-11, Crawshaw 8-14, Chambers 2-5. Totals: 40-242. Streamwood: M. Polich 14 minus 16, Tatone 2- minus 15, Brown 8-28, Draper 1 minus 5. Totals: 26 minus 8.PASSING – Geneva: Santacaterina 6-8-102, Chambers 1-1-4. Streamwood: M. Polich: 7-12-90, N. Polich 0-1-0.RECEIVING – Geneva: Brown 3-63, Boenzi 1-3, Temple 1-24, Woodworth 1-12, Perry 1-4. Streamwood: N. Polich 5-82, Brown 1-3 Drwal 1-5.TOTAL YARDS – Geneva 348, Streamwood 82