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G - Tracey 1 yard run (PAT Failed) (6-0)
A - Sant Amour 6 yard run (PAT) (6-7)
G - Little 1 yard run (2PAT Failed) (12-7)
|4A First Round - November 9, 1983 - Rocky Stadium
|Article From The Geneseo Republic
Turnovers And A Fourth Down Pass Key A 12-7 victory Over Alleman!
With fourth and one at the Alleman 8, two things happened, neither of them good. Fullback Ron Tracey was hit
by a helmet in his thigh, suffering a painful bruise. He left the game, not to return and an illegal procedure
penalty put the Leafs at fourth and six. But the big play was to come! On fourth and six, quarterback Fred Little
lofted a 12 yard pass in the rain and mist of Rocky Stadium and Doug Emerick cushioned it against his wet
jersey for a first down. That was THE play of Geneseo's 12-7 preliminary round victory over Alleman on
Wednesday evening, November 9. Two plays later, Little bulled into the endzone with just 0:41 left on the first
half clock and all the scoring was done for the game.
The victory continued Geneseo's phenomenal opening round string. The Green Machine has never lost that first
game in ten years. Additionally, the Leafs have never lost twice in the same season to the same team. In 1977,
Rochelle won during the regular season only to lose in the first round. The Green Gang turned the trick over the
Pioneers in 1980 and after losing 2807 in the second game of this season, Geneseo again prevailed when it
counted. The win sets up a quarterfinal bout with Morris which won 20-11 over Kewanee. The seriousness of
Tracey's injury was not known at the Republics press time.
The Green Machine scored first after Jim Hartman recovered a Pioneer fumble at midfield. And turnovers on a
sloppy slippery field were decisive. Alleman had five.....two fumbles and three interceptions for the usually dead
eye Chuck Verschoore who was 1-5 passing during the game. Working from the wishbone, it took the Machine
2:12 to score in five plays after starting at the Alleman 49. Tracey blasted in at the 2:05 mark of the first
stanza. A low snap muffed the conversion kick. Wingback Trent Foltz electrified the crowd with a 32 yard dash
on the march, carrying to the two earlier in the drive.
Alleman responded with a seven play 54 yard scoring drive of its own as Crick Sant Amore charged in from six
yards away at the 11:29 mark of the second period. The TD was set up by a 19 yard pass completion. An
ensuing 10 play Leaf drive was stalled by a fumble on the center snap at the Alleman 27, a march keyed by a 26
yard and 11 yard runs by Emerick. The Pioneers returned the turnover favor moments later as Little picked off a
Verschoore aerial. The crucial Geneseo drive began on the Alleman 42 and took 10 plays and over five minutes.
The Green Machine dominated the first half. Of Geneseo's 188 total yards for the game, 150 of them came in
the first half. Alleman had 58 yards total offense in the second quarter after a minus 10 in the opening period.
Alleman came out in clean jerseys to open the second half and they did seem like a different team.
In the third period, Geneseo managed just 21 yards on eight plays while Alleman overpowered the Green Gang
defense. But despite opening large holes in the defensive wall, particularly on its opening drive, the Pioneers
sputtered at critical junctures. A 14 yard loss on a bad pitch out, a knocked down pass by Barry Jacocks (he
intercepted one late in the game to spoil Alleman's last real threat) and several penalties kept Alleman out of
Geneseo was helped by the weather as Alleman's vaunted option offense was completely dampened both by a
slippery ball from the persistent rain and by muddy, slippery field conditions. Additionally, Leaf punter Mike
Hermann consistently booted his fourth down kicks over the heads of the Alleman return men and on two
occasions, 15 yard rolls followed the initial bounce off the spongy turf.
"We thought it was might important to score early in the game we had a couple of breaks and we were able to
come up with the one key play when we needed it," Coach Johnsen said after the game. "I certainly didn't feel
safe with a five point lead at the half, especially with those type of field conditions. One slip her or a lost fumble
there, and it can mean a quick touchdown for the other team. When you're leading by just five points, it's not
very easy to protect it for 24 minutes," he concluded. Alleman's last chance began with just under two minutes
to go, that one crushed by Jacock's interception a half minute later.
The statistics were about as close as they could be. Geneseo gained 168 yards on 46 rushing while Little was 2
of 3 passing for 20 yards. Alleman hiked the ball four fewer times while gaining 161 yards on the ground and 19
passing. Emericks 61 yards paced the Leafs (14 carries 4.4 avg.) while Foltz had 52 yards on six carries (8.7
avg.). Tracey had 40 yards on 12 totes, all in the first half, a 3.3 average. Crick Sant Amour gained 76 yards for
the losing Pioneers (12 totes, 6.3 avg.) and Bo Dow notched 57 yards on 13 carries, a 4.4 average.
In the last minute, Little ran three quarterback keepers with Alleman calling timeout after the first two, then
Geneseo took a delay of game penalty. Rather than risk a punt, Little ran again, giving the Pioneers the ball on
their own 39 with 24 seconds left to play. This time, Tony Finley intercepted a pass for the Maple Leafs, who
then watched time run out for the win. "Sure we wanted to pass more but we couldn't get any decent footing,"
Alleman coach Mike Tracey (Leaf Ron Tracey's first cousin) noted. "It was an excellent game, considering the
conditions," confessed coach Larry Johnsen, splattered with mud from head to toe.