September, 14 – Beaver Falls, Pa. – In a game that saw 84 total points, 1,270 total yards of offense and two Bethany school records fall, the Bison football program was defeated, 51-33, at the hands of Geneva College on Saturday evening in Beaver Falls.
The first quarter started out slow between the two heavyweight offenses. The Bison got the ball first and drove 67 yards in 11 plays and found themselves with a fourth and goal from the three yard line. Bethany decided to attempt a field goal, which was missed, to keep the score at 0-0.
After each team then traded possessions with no scores, the Golden Tornadoes took the ball with 5:22 remaining in the first quarter. Geneva then drove down the field, scoring on a three-yard run by Rocco Colavecchia as time expired in the quarter, taking a 7-0 lead.
Bethany would get two more chances, settling for just one first down over the two drives, before Geneva scored again, this time on a touchdown run by Dylan Jones, expanding the advantage to 14-0 with just over eight minutes to play in the half.
Just two plays after the Geneva score, the Bison struck for their first score on an 82-yard touchdown pass from Matt Grimard (Lowell, Mass./Dracut) to Chris Collins (Youngstown, Ohio/Ursuline). The extra point try failed, leaving the Bison down eight points, 14-6.
With 2:04 remaining in the first half, Dion Williams stepped in front of a Zack Hayward pass for his second interception of the season, setting the Bison up with a first and 10 on the Geneva 30. Again, the Bison needed just a few plays, as Grimard connected on three straight passes, the last being to Jaylen Jennings (Indian Head, Md./Henry E. Lackey) for an eight-yard touchdown strike to cut the score to 14-12. Bethany than missed the two-point conversion and stayed down by the same score.
With Grimard’s touchdown pass to Jennings, the senior passed Bob Fromm for number one on the Bethany College career touchdown passes list, registering number 53 for his career on the eight-yard strike.
With just 1:06 remaining in the half, the Golden Tornadoes struck quickly, taking just five plays, including a 28-yard touchdown pass from Hayward to Lemuel Fuller with 13 seconds to play in the half. The teams would then go into the half with the Bison trailing, 20-12.
Geneva would get the ball back to start the second half and would take just four plays, culminating in an 11-yard scamper by Colavecchia to extend the lead to 27-12.
Bethany would come right back once again as a 52 yard run by Phil Acrie (Pittsburgh, Pa./Linsley), set the Bison up with a first and goal from the Geneva six. Two plays later Grimard would find Jennings again, this time for a five-yard connection, to cut the lead to 27-18. The extra point was good, and the Bison were back within eight, 27-19.
With the game still sitting at 27-19, the Bison would cut into the lead once again as Grimard threw his fourth touchdown pass, a nine-yard completion to Eric Blinn (Beaver, Pa./Western Beaver) in the back of the end-zone. Once more the two-point conversion was no good and Bethany remained behind, 27-25.
In the fourth quarter, the Golden Tornadoes ran away with game by notching two more touchdown runs by Colavecchia to put Geneva up 44-25. In the final two minutes, the Bison cut the lead to 44-33 on Acrie’s second touchdown run of the season, but an extra touchdown run by the Golden Tornadoes finished the scoring at 51-33.
Offensively for the Bison, Grimard was 30-for-53 for 462 and four touchdowns. With the four TD passes, Grimard now sits on top of the Bethany all-time passing touchdowns list. His second of the game passed Bob Fromm for first all-time and he now has 54 for his career.
Along with the career mark, Grimard also surpassed Bethany single-game marks in passing yardage as well as total offense. His 465 yards passing broke a record that has stood for 33 years, when Jeff Beer threw for 430 yards at Thiel on October 3, 1980. Grimard's 482 yards of total offense also breaks a single-game high of 453 set by Milton Joyner at W&J on November 10, 2007.
Grimard's 30 completions were spread around to five different receivers, with Blinn catching over 50 percent of the passes. Blinn finished with 16 catches for 183 yards and a touchdown. His 16 catches also vaulted him into the Bethany record books, as he grabbed he most catches by any Bison receiver in history.
Collins nabbed four catches for 113 yards while Jennings posted his first multi-touchdown game of his career.
The Bison will return to action on Saturday, September 21 as they come home to Bison Stadium for the first time for a non-conference game against Randolph-Macon. Kick-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.