Loberg's 4 TDs help Geneva gets back on track vs.Saints

When Geneva's offense needed a spark, quarterback Nate Stempowski found Michael Loberg.


The senior tight end caught 4 touchdown passes as the Vikings downed St. Charles East, 42-20, in a DuKane Conference matchup at Burgess Field.

The Vikings (6-2, 4-2) wrapped up a playoff berth while dropping the Saints to 1-7, 1-5.

Stempowski carried much of the load himself, running for 175 yards and a score. Troy Velez added 102 yards and a rushing touchdown for the Vikings.

The Saints had a potent receiving weapon of their own in the form of Sheko Gjokaj, who caught 12 balls from quarterback Mac Paul for 172 yards and a pair of scores.

The Vikings' offense sputtered early. Despite reaching the red zone 3 times, they scored just once, with Stempowski finding Loberg all alone in the end zone. But they also fumbled at the Saints' 3-yard line and turned it over on downs at the 11.

The Vikings defense made plays when it needed to, with Eli Curry and Rocco Lampiasi hauling in interceptions.

Geneva broke the game open in the third quarter, scoring 3 times. Loberg scored once in each quarter, the last on a fourth-quarter screen.

“Nate gave me all the passes I needed, the O-line blocked great, it's really just a team thing,” said Loberg. “Every ball that I got thrown was perfect from Nate. Coaches called great plays, we ran the ball great.”

The Paul-to-Gjokaj combination kept the Saints in it until late. His first score, a 25-yarder in the second quarter, made it 7-6. It stayed that way until Loberg caught his second TD with 7 seconds left in the first half.

“It was one of those games where we really didn't get into a rhythm,” said Geneva coach Boone Thorgesen. “Give credit to St. Charles East. We moved the ball well in the first half, we just didn't put it in the end zone. That fumble on the first drive was a killer.”

After intermission, the Vikings started to move the ball consistently. They took the second half kickoff and moved 55 yards, all on the ground, with Velez taking it over from 5 yards out.

The Saints answered with Gjokaj's second score, but the Vikings added 2 more scores to pull away.

Paul finished 21 of 37 for 286 yards for St. Charles East.

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