Sunday, Jun 24, 2018
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High School

Genoa stages rout after slow start

GENOA - For a few moments, there may have been some doubts creeping into the minds of the Genoa football team.

A couple of fumbles and a fourth-down pass for a touchdown gave Edison a 7-0 lead a little more than six minutes in a Division IV regional quarterfinal.

But then the doubt was erased. Emphatically.

The Comets scored 42 points before halftime and rolled to a

62-7 win over the Chargers.

"I thought we came out a little tight," Genoa coach Mike Vicars admitted. "I think there's some pressure on this group after going 10-0. There are really a lot of expectations on them, and I don't think they responded very well."

Two early fumbles set up Edison deep in Comet territory. The Chargers faced a fourth-and-9 on Genoa's 24, and QB Zach Yovanov threw a pass down the middle that Kale Divers caught for a TD.

"Last year in the playoffs Huron scored a touchdown on us first," the Comets' Connor Wendt said. "We knew we had to recover from that and get back in the game.

"We came into the game knowing we were the better team, so we knew being a touchdown behind wasn't the end of the game. It stunned the crowd [when we fell behind], because they got really quiet. But we got going after that."

Genoa responded to the deficit - the first time the Comets have been behind this season - by driving 61 yards on eight plays, with Wendt scoring on a 1-yard TD plunge to tie the contest.

"I think we settled down after that first [touchdown] drive," Vicars said. "We were establishing coming off the ball and getting a good line surge.

"Then we scored, and I think our guys settled down. After that we were fine."

The Comet kickoff team started pinning the Chargers deep on their side of the field, and the defense began stuffing Edison, which had just 59 yards in the first half. When the offense kicked things into gear, the rout was on.

"Our kicker [Tyler Pickard] and kickoff team some times don't get enough credit for setting us up in good field position," Vicars said. "We kept pinning them deep, and after that we just amped it up."

Greg Hillabrand scored on a 3-yard run, and just before the first quarter ended Wendt caught a 57-yard TD pass from Matt Bassitt.

In the second quarter the Comets got three more scores - Hillabrand scored on runs of 28 and 10 yards, and Wendt caught a 60-yard scoring strike from Bassitt.

In the second half Genoa used reserves, yet still scored on an 8-yard run from Chris Cuevas. Later in the third quarter Pickard kicked field goals of 24 and 40 yards - both on first-down plays - before the Comets added a final fourth-quarter TD on a 4-yard run by Devin Sibby.

Genoa finished with 465 yards of total offense, including 304 yards on the ground. Hillabrand led the Comets with 97 yards on 14 rushes, while Sibby had 95 on 14 second-half runs.

Bassitt completed 8 of 11 passes for 161 yards, with Wendt catching six of those passes for 147 yards.

Meanwhile Genoa limited the Chargers to just 139 yards of total offense, including just 48 yards passing.

It all led to a happy dance at midfield by the football players, who were serenaded by the band playing, "Jump On It."

"It is a neat thing we instituted a couple of years ago," Vicars said after finishing his dancing. "It's something we started a few years ago, and it's neat that the band and the football team can do something like that together."

Contact John Wagner at:

or 419-724-6481.

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