|This site is not affiliated with Geneseo High School, its Athletes, Coaches, Administrators, or Faculty.
Rockton Hononegah Indians
G - Tracey 56 yard run (Clary 2PT) (8-0)
RH - Tansor 19 yard pass from Sauberlich (2PT) (8-8)
G - Carey 2 yard run (2PT Failed)
|4A First Round - November 10, 1982 - Hononegah High School
|Article From The Geneseo Republic
Green Machine Chalks Up Ninth Straight Preliminary Round Victory
Geneseo's Green Machine scored two touchdowns against Rockton Hononegah.....and they were an entire game apart.
Fullback Ron Tracey took the Leaf's first offenseive play 56 yards for a touchdown early in the opening quarter. And in the first
overtime game in Geneseo grid annals, Quarterback Chet Carey fumbled the ball back into his own grasp and skittered around
left end for a TD as the Maple Leafs upended a dogged Rockton Hononegah squad 14-8 on Wednesday, November 10 in the
opening round of the state 4A football playoffs.
The Green Gang nearly clutched themselves into a loss, though, and the game should not have gone into overtime at all. A pair
or key defensive penalties, coupled with a 29 yard pass put Rockton back into the bout. With less than five minutes remaining,
Rockton took over on their own nine yard line following a pinpoint Leaf punt. Then, penalties hurt the Leafs. A fifteen yard late
hit call moved the ball to the 35. A face mask penalty erased a ten yard sack and gave Rockton possession near midfield. Indian
signalcaller Scott Sauberlich uncorked a 29 yard arial to Dave Tansor who smashed to the 31. Tansor then snared another
Sauberlich pass to score from 19 yards out with 1:47 left. "Their score was their only opportunity. The defense played well the
entire night until that last drive," Leaf mentor Larry Johnsen analyzed later. After Hononegah's TD, Coach Johnsen called a time
out to put pressure on the Indians but the tactic didn't work and Rockton converted the TD to tie the contest. The two teams
traded interceptions in the waning moments of the game, Brad Heriford nabbing one for the Leafs as regulation time expired.
The Leafs had never been there. Fans in the stands were confused about the procedure. The refs muffled the first coin toss
which followed a three minute intermission. Rockton won the flip and chose defense so they'd know what they had to do when
there scoring turn came from the ten yard line. A fake to Tracey sucked in the linebackers and Jack Fields crashed to the give
yard line. There was confidence in the stands on that surging white uniformed line. Randy Clary spun to the three and then
Carey fumbled the ball on the third down, the pigskin popped right back into his arms and he slammed past the left defensive
end for the six pointer, chased by three Indians. Despite the Leafs' season long success at converting TD (30-36 and all but 7
on the ground), Carey's PAT attempt was short.
Hononegah head coach Donn VanSchelven felt the fumble actually made the play work, but Coach Johnsen pointed out it
wasn't by design. "I don't like the ball lying on the ground," Mr. Johnsen said, smiling slightly "He (Carey) made a great play out
of a bad play." The senior Leaf caller had more passes intercepted than he completed and underthrew a wide open receiver in
the endzone just before half. "We'd heard he was a great athlete and he proved it," Coach VanSchelven said after the game, his
eyes bleary from crying along with his players.
The wisdom of taking defense seemed obvious. With an excellent high school kicked on the Indian squad, Hononegah neede to
score and then kick the PAT rather than attempting a run to win. It wasn't to be. The Green Gang saw overtime and liked it.
What had been a defensive struggle all evening long, returned to that as the Leaf front wall stiffened. The Indians tried two
running plays for a net gain of a yard. On third down, quarterback Sauberlich was sacked for an eight yard loss by Geneseo's
Pat Stohl. On the climatic fourth down, Sauberlich had better protection but his goal line pass to flanker Scott Cofoid was
The Indians didn't know what hit them on Geneseo's first play from scrimmage. After a Hononegah fourth down gamble at
mid-field backfired, the Leafs game fullback Tracey the ball as usual on first down. Tracey did the unusual however, picking his
hole over center, shredding a would-be tackler and sprinting 56 yards for a touchdown that looked as if it would hold up all night.
Until its final desparation drive, Hononegah didn't penetrate beyond Geneseo's 48 yard line. An adjustment in pass patters gave
Sauberlich more time to throw and he passed for 65 of his 73 yards.
In 1978, the Green Machine whipped Rockton 20-0 when both schools were in 3A. Geneseo won its third straight 3A title that
year. "I hope history repeats itself," a weary fan exclaimed Thursday morning, November 11. Both teams were nearly equal in
first downs; eleven for the Indians, one less than that for the Green Machine. Total yardage was a different matter as Geneseo
rolled up 262 total yards, all but ten of them on the ground. Hononegah gained 149 yards, split 76 rushing and 73 passing.
That "weary fan" who hoped history repeated itself got his wish!! The Green Machine followed up the Hononegah victory by
knocking off Peoria Spalding (26-3) in the Quarterfinals and then Lombard Montini (46-15) in the Semifinals. The Green
Machine finished up by winning their fourth (and most recent) state championship 44-36 over Springfield Griffin (now Sacred