Geneva's defense makes key stops to turn back WW South

Key defensive Geneva stops coupled with a dominating offense led the Vikings to a 28-6 DuKane Conference win over Wheaton Warrenville South Friday night at Burgess Field.

As a result of two successful Geneva goal-line stands, WW South's only drives to the red zone in the first half ended with field goals. Stopping a fourth down conversion attempt, a quarterback sack and a pass interception stalled three of the Tigers' second half possessions.

Geneva gained a total of 333 yards to the Tigers' 148.

"I thought our defense played extremely well. I think that was the key for us," said Geneva coach Boone Thorgesen "They really kept us in the game and then the offense got rolling."

The second field goal for Maison Haas, a 37-yarder, pulled the Tigers within 7-6 with 2:30 left to play in the half.

Geneva (3-0, 1-0) widened the gap on its next drive. Senior quarterback Nate Stempowski sprinted 72 yards up the left side line for a touchdown with 1:07 left before intermission for a 14-6 lead.

In addition to rushing 128 yards on eight carries, Stempowski completed 12 of 21 passes for 98 yards.

"I just saw the linebackers blitzing so I bounced it," Stempowski said. "I had one dude to beat."

Momentum continued to stay with the Vikings in the second half. Geneva's opening possession of the third quarter end with another Stempowski passing touchdown, a 6-yarder to Michael Rumoro. Not only did the 8-play, 61-yard drive put the Vikings up 21-6, it kept the Tigers off the field for five minutes of the third quarter. Rumoro also scored the team's last TD on a 4-yard run with 28.7 seconds left in the game.

Rocco DiLeonardi sacked Tigers quarterback Luca Carbonaro for 11 yards on a third down play effectively ending WW South's first drive of the second half. On the Tigers' next possession, Charlie Winterhalter stopped a fourth down conversion, tackling Carbonaro a yard short of the first down. A Talyn Taylor interception ended Wheaton Warrenville South's only drive of the fourth quarter.

Taylor (6 catches for 40 yards) scored Geneva's first touchdown of the game at the 6:34 mark of the first quarter. The junior capped a 67-yard, 8-play drive catching an 8-yard Stempowski pass in the end zone.

A Vikings turnover that put Wheaton Warrenville South (1-2, 0-1) at Geneva's 11-yard line set up the Tigers' first field goal. Facing fourth down and goal five yards from the goal line, the Tigers opted for a field goal. Haas split the upright on a 22-yard attempt.

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