|This site is not affiliated with Geneseo High School, its Athletes, Coaches, Administrators, or Faculty.
|Green Machine (11-2)
Richmond-Burton Rockets (11-2)
RB - Russell 6 yard run (PAT) (0-7)
G - Atwell 82 yard run (Lembke PAT) (7-7)
RB - Russell 3 yard run (PAT) (7-14)
G - Atwell 1 yard run (Lembke PAT) (14-14)
RB - Pittser 1 yard run (PAT Blocked) (14-20)
G - Akers 44 yard run (Lembke PAT) (21-20)
G - Lembke 21 yard field goal (24-20)
|4A Semifinals - November 21, 2009 - Bob Reade Field
|Article From The Geneseo Republic
The Green Machine is back in the IHSA State Championship Game for the first time since 1993!
"This is great for the community, the school, the students and it's great for everyone in Geneseo." said head
coach Larry Johnsen Jr, who's dad Larry Johnsen Sr led Geneseo to its last state championship in 1982 "Rallying
around something like this means a lot to everybody! I am so proud!" Geneseo knocked off #2
Richmond-Burton November 21 in a tight semifinal matchup at Bob Reade Field, 24-20. Richmond-Burton struck
first on a 6 yard run by Justin Russell after chewing up most of the clock in the first quarter. Kevin Klingenberg
knocked through the PAT for the 7-0 lead with 3:46 left in the first quarter.
To start the second quarter, the Green Machine was deep in their own territory when Jason Johnson got the ball,
but as he was trying to make his way up field, the ball was knocked out of his hands and quarterback Michael
Atwell was in the right place at the right time. Atwell took the ball and sprinted down the sideline 82 yards for
the touchdown to put the Green Machine on the board. Luke Lembke added the PAT to tie the game 7-7. The
Rockets countered with about 7:00 left in the half when Russell ran the ball into the endzone from 3 yards out.
Klingenberg added the PAT to put RB back up 14-7.
Later in the quarter, Geneseo fumbled again but Atwell scooped it up and ran it down the left side to the
Richmond-Burton 1. Atwell then took the ball himself and pushed his way through the line and into the endzone
for the Geneseo touchdown. Lembke split the uprights for the PAT. With under 4:00 left in the half, the game
was tied at 14. Just before the half, the Rockets managed to make their way down the field and score on an
Adam Pittser 1 yard run, but the PAT attempt was blocked. The Rockets took a 20-14 advantage into the half.
"I said at the beginning, the team who makes the big plays when they need to will win the game." said Johnsen.
In the second half, the Green Machine clawed their way back and were able to capitalize on the Rockets
mistakes. "Our kids just make the big plays when they had to, said Johnsen. "And I am real impressed by our
kids." Collin Akers tied the game up on a 44 yard TD run and Lembke put Geneseo up by one with the successful
PAT kick for a 21-20 score. With about 4:00 left in the third quarter, Geneseo got into field goal range and
Lembke drilled the kick from 21 yards out to give the Green Machine the 24-20 advantage.
In the fourth quarter, offensively Geneseo was trying to keep the ball in its possession and defensively the
Green Machine was holding strong and attempting to limit the Rockets scoring chances. In the final minutes, the
Rockets made their way down field, but Aaron Kotecki tackled the ball carrier short of the first down. The
Geneseo offense returned to the field and ran out the clock to advance to the State Finals. The Green Machine
had a total of 268 of offense, all on the ground on 41 carries.
Atwell was the leading rusher for the Green Machine Saturday with 105 yards on 6 carries. Johnson added 67
yards on 15 carries, followed by Akers with 76 yards on 9 carries, and Lembke 22 yards on 9 carries.
Richmond-Burton finished the game with 377 rushing yards on 49 carries and 10 passing yards on one
completion. The Rockets had five fumbles and Geneseo recovered four. Coming up with tackles for a loss for the
Geneseo defense were Mark Cothron, 1 for a loss of 4 yards, Hunter Fiers 3 for a loss of 8 yards, Johnson 1 for a
loss of 2 and Kotecki 1 for a loss of 2.
From Garrett: This is my favorite Green Machine game of all-time and one of my favorite teams as well! As a
fan, I had the opportunity to watch the team celebrate with their classmates 3 times in 4 years back in the early
90's. I cannot put into words just how happy I was to see these kids get to experience the same thing.
Embracing Jim VanOpdorp after the game was an even bigger moment for me. When I started this site in 2001,
I was on my own to do what I can. It wasn't until 2003 that somebody approached me and offered his
assistance......that somebody was Jim! Getting to have that special moment with him is something that I will
never forget!! Unfortunately, Metamora got the best of the Green Machine in the 4A Championship but that did
nothing to diminish memories of that wonderful day! I'm just as proud of the 2009 Green Machine today as I
was 11 years ago!