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|Green Machine (9-1)
Richton Park (Rich South) Stars (7-3)
RS - Vannoy 8 yard run (PAT) (0-7)
RS - Vannoy 4 run (PAT Failed) (0-13)
G - Reed 68 run (PAT Failed) (6-13)
RS - Lewis 21 pass (PAT Failed) (6-19)
G - Reed 3 run (Hazelett PAT) (13-19)
G - Goethals 1 run (Hazelett PAT) (20-19)
|1996 4A Round 1 - November 1, 1996 - GHS Athletic Field
|Article From The Geneseo Republic
Fight To Second
Leafs Advance To Second Round With 20-19 Win
For the third time this season the Green Machine showed it ain't over 'til it's over by coming from behind in the fourth quarter
defeating Rich South 20-19 for a first round IHSA playoff win Friday, November 1.
Coach Denny Diericx commented, "It's gotta rank up there as one of the greatest in the Green Machine legacy." He continued,
"You know, we're down by two touchdowns in a playoff game with a quarterback that hadn't played a whole lot this year
engineering those yards and the way Bart Reed ran. He just fought and scratched. We just kept going with him to see if they
were going to stop him. Our line kept coming off the ball when they had to control things." Coach Diericx continued, "Our kids
just made a great effort. They refused to die. With everything that happened, with Matt Simosky out, Mike Kanke out, and Corbin
Shipp out of the whole third quarter......all that going on and they still just refused to die."
The game opened with Geneseo kicking off. Within two minutes, the Rich South Stars were back to punt. On their opening
drive, the Maple Leafs broke into Rich South territory but a fumble on the Stars' 36 yard line was recovered by the visitors for a
turnover. This drive by the Stars would end up claiming Matt Simosky with an injury and later Mike Kanke also left the field,
injured during a tackle while playing defense. Zach Pierce stripped up to run the offense until he was also injured later in the
game. At that point, early in the fourth quarter, Kevin Goethals stepped up to create a fairy tale ending.
The Stars turned their next first quarter possession into a scoring drive and took the lead, 7-0. In the opening minutes of the
second quarter, Rich South scored again to stretch their lead to 13-0 following another turnover on an onside kick which the
Stars recovered. Control of the ball swung from club to club until a Geneseo drive starting from the Leafs' 27 yard line would pay
off. After advancing to the 32 yard line, Reed took the ball. With 3:46 left in the half, he broke through the line and sprinted 68
yards into the endzone. A failed extra point attempt held the Leafs to 13-6.
The second half opened up with the Stars kicking off to Geneseo. Possession alternated between both teams for nearly 12
minutes when Rich South completed a pass into the endzone from 20 yards out, again following a Geneseo fumble. The extra
point attempt failed, but the Stars were ahead 19-6. The Leafs just weren't ready to fold as Goethals took charge of the offense,
the Leafs' spearheaded another drive into Star territory which paid off in a 10 play 69 yard touchdown effort capped by Red who
entered the endzone on his back from three yards out with a little sidestepping thrown in for good measure.
With a score of 19-13 and eight minutes left to play, the prospect still looked bleak. However, the Leafs continued to dig deep in
the cold wind to find even more heart. The Leaf defense stopped the Stars on their next possession. Pierce caught the punt on
the Leafs 25 yard line, made it to the 33 yard line, but was called back to the 13 yard line because of a clipping penalty. The
clock ticked down to five minutes when the Geneseo drive began keyed by a 15 yard double fake quarterback keeper executed
by Goethals. That play was followed immediately by a 12 yard rush from Reed and two plays later by a 15 yard pass from
Goethals to Myhre to put the Leafs at the Stars' 33 yard line.
Reed carried the Green Machine down to the nine yard line on his next run by breaking through the line and heading upfield. He
was caught by a pack of would be tacklers but rollowed out of the mob and made another 10 yards before two Stars dropped on
him, one of his legs and one on his torso. Reed carried both another five yards before being pulled down. It was Reed again on
the next two carries to advance from the nine to the four to the two. With 1:40 on the clock for the game and third down, Reed
was tapped to carry, but what at first looked like an obvious touchdown was spotted somewhere between one and six inches
away from paydirt. The Leafs would have to put this one over the line twice to get the score.
On fourth down with a clock reading 1:36, Goethals took the quarterback sneak across the line for a fourth down game tying
touchdown. To win the game, sophomore JJ Hazelett who had been brought up to the varsity just for the playoffs, kicked the
most important extra point of his career so far, giving the Leafs a one point victory edge, 20-19. He will have kicking duties the
rest of the season; Simosky had surgery on Wednesday. Coach Diericx was very pleased with Hazeletts performance in the
game. "He did a great job working with someone he has had no practice with."
Defense was the name of the game for the next 90 seconds as the Stars launched a minute's worth of desperation plays, one of
which, at 0:30 was intercepted by Goethals whose 51 yard squirm and scramble to the 2 yard line was called back to the Stars
41 yard line due to a blocking penalty against the Leafs. And that is where the first round playoff ended. With regard to Goethals
performance in the game, Coach Diericx said, "He really stepped forward for a guy who doesn't get the repetitions in practice
like we do with our number one and number two , he probably only gets 15 percent the way we practice, so to do what he did,
run our offense, in a playoff game was tremendous."
Mike Kanke returned to start at QB the following week but unfortunately, the Green Machine fell to Riverside-Brookfield 34-27.
That was the infamous game where RB ran to our Victory Bell afterwards and teased the idea of ringing it.......but of course the
Green Machine would have none of that!