What the Geneva Eagles know is this — the dropped their season-opening game of the 2012 season to visiting Edgewood on Friday night, 21-14.
Headed into a Week 2 clash against John Hay this Friday night at Spire Stadium, not much is known... about the Hornets, according to Eagles coach Tony Hassett.
“They are a big-play team,” Hassett said of John Hay, which dropped its opener Friday night at Berea, 33-29. “We are going into this game without any film. So this will a little different in that aspect of the game. I do know they have some outstanding skill at the QB, receiver and tailback positions.
“We will certainly have to step it up and not turn the ball over.”
Therein was a major thorn in Geneva’s side last week, when it lost two fumbles and threw a pair of interceptions. Four turnovers make for a disappointed coach, no matter what, but exacerbated in a one-possession loss.
“The plain-and-simple fact is that we made mistakes that we have not made any scrimmage or practices this year,” Hassett said. “Maybe it was because we have so many players first-time starting on Friday night.
“We had are chances to put points on the board, but came away with nothing. Give Edgewood credit, they certainly made the big play when they had to. They are a solid football team.”
Hassett said while painful, a lesson was learned against Edgewood.
“We must not turn the ball over this week,” he said. “I have a lot of confidence in our team. They will focus on the task at hand.”
The Hornets went 6-4 last season, bowing in the Senate Athletic League championship game to champion and perennial state power Glenville.
Tight end/defensive end Richard Johnson (6-foot-2, 240 pounds) was named Senate Athletic League preseason Most Valuable Lineman by the Plain Dealer. Also mentioned were senior tailback/wide receiver/safety Carlin Ray (5-10, 165) and senior tailback/linebacker Jaiwan Woodley (5-8, 205).
“Their speed is our biggest concern,” Hassett said of the Hornets, who are known to play a strong 3-4 defense are said to be lacking size and strength on the line on both sides of the football. “They have a good quarterback, tailback and receiver.
“We must play with good discipline and great intensity this week and not make mental errors.”
Quarterback Brandon Pakkala threw for 102 yards against Edgewood and Aaron Rossi scored a pair of touchdowns on 1-yard runs. However, the four turnovers proved extremely costly to Geneva.
“We knew Edgewood is a solid football team. We just cannot turn the ball over and make mental errors, especially in the red zone,” Hassett said. “One game does not make a season. We have to forget about it and move on to our next opponent. If it is a win or a loss, we have to move on and get ready for John Hay.”
This game will mark the fifth time the two schools have met on the gridiron, but the first since a 67-14 Eagle victory in 1963 end a run of four-straight seasons they squared off, Geneva winning all but the first, a 32-12 verdict in 1960.
Hassett said the Eagles’ checklist toward a positive outcome is plain and simple.
“We cannot turn the ball over, we must execute and finish on offense and contain them on defense,” he said. “We need 100-percent effort on every play.”
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