BEAVER FALLS, Pa. – The Bethany College defense held Geneva scoreless for three quarters, but the Golden Tornadoes scored three times in the final period to claim a 21-0 victory over the Bison Saturday night in rainy Beaver Falls, Pa.
The game, which was a non-conference affair, evened the Bison’s record at 1-1 on the season, while Geneva improved to 1-1 for the season.
The first half was a scoreless standoff, as the teams combined for just 207 total yards. The best Bison drive of the half came on their second possession of the game, as senior Jalen Holmes (New Castle, Pa.) broke off a 36-yard run on the first play. Later in the series, junior QB Chase Kinemond (Shadyside, Ohio) hit senior wideout Robert Seman (Canfield, Ohio/South Range) to convert a third down, but the drive ended four plays later on an incomplete pass on fourth down.
Geneva’s ensuing drive reached midfield, but it stalled out when Bison sophomore Daniel Gibson (Pittsburgh, Pa./Woodland Hills) came up with a sack on third down. The Golden Tornadoes had another chance midway through the second quarter. A roughing the punter call against BC gave Geneva life on a drive that reached the Bethany 43-yard line. But the march was snuffed out a couple plays later on an interception by Bison senior safety Aaron Frye (Vandergrift, Pa./Kiski Area).
Late in the half, each team moved into enemy territory, but was unable to translate those chances into points. Bethany could not convert a fourth down at the Geneva 45 with a minute to play and the GTs advanced to the Bison 40 following a face mask penalty. The Geneva threat ended when a pass deep downfield was picked off by Bison freshman Terel Phillips (N. Miami Beach, Fla./Westminster Academy) and the game went to halftime scoreless.
The Bison had the best chances for points in the third quarter. Starting a drive at the GT 48, Kinemond converted a pair of third downs with completions to senior Tyler Ambush (Germantown, Md./Northwest) and Seman and then a three-yard run by Holmes on a fourth-and-two pushed the Bison to the home team’s 11. Bethany would stall out at the six but a field goal attempt was blocked by Geneva to keep the game scoreless.
With their next possession, Geneva drove out to their own 33, but Bethany forced a fumble that was recovered by senior linebacker Matt May (Egg Harbor, N.J./Cedar Creek). With the rain and wind picking up, BC faced a fourth and two, but Holmes was stacked up by the Geneva defense and the ball turned back over to the hosts.
One play after that stop, the game was halted due to lightening with 1:57 left in the third quarter. The teams returned to the field following a 41-minute delay and Geneva’s offense went to work. They marched to the Bison 24 and a roughing the passer penalty following a third down incompletion gave Geneva new life with a first down at the Bison 12. Two plays later, Geneva’s Nick Monteleone scampered 12 yards for the game’s first TD and the extra point put the home team in front 7-0 with 13 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Bethany started to move the ball on its ensuing drive, but then a Kinemond pass was intercepted and returned all the way to Bison 12. Geneva capitalized on the turnover, as QB Devin Kelosky took it into the end zone from five yards away to double the home team’s advantage to 14-0 midway through the fourth quarter.
Geneva would tack on one more score late in the game on a 13-yard scoring run by QB Javid Best to push the final margin to 21-0. Bethany’s defense held the Golden Tornadoes to 80 yards in the first half, but Geneva posted 180 yards in the second half in coming away with the win.
The Bison defense had several big performances, led by senior linebacker Donovan Hayden (Hyattsville, Md./Northwestern), who made 17 tackles, including 1.5 for loss. Joining him in double figures was Gibson and freshman defensive end Charles Blango (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon) with 10 stops each.
For the Green and White offense, Holmes carried 22 times for 105 yards, while Ambush caught six passes and Seman hauled in five receptions.
Bethany is back on the road next Saturday with a road contest at Thiel to open PAC play. Kickoff in Greenville, Pa., is scheduled for 1 pm.