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The Geneva Vikings' offense was firing on all cylinders during Friday night's Upstate Eight River bout at Memorial Field against the Elgin Maroons.
After the opening kickoff, Geneva (5-2, 4-1) only needed 3 minutes to take the lead and never let it go, rolling to a 42-20 win and becoming playoff eligible in the process.
After a pair of 22-yard passes from junior quarterback Daniel Santacaterina to wideout Pace Temple, Santacaterina took it in himself from 21 yards out. Santacaterina finished the night 5-for-9 passing for 147 yards and 3 TDs and added 71 yards rushing on 4 carries with 2 scores.
"Our offense didn't happen overnight. It's been a growing process for us. Santacaterina worked with his wide receivers all summer long. (His relationship) is just repetition, repetition, repetition," said Geneva coach Rob Wicinski.
The Vikings did not punt once during the first half, amassing 12 first downs in the first 24 minutes alone. Santacaterina had a hand in 5 of the 6 first-half touchdowns, throwing for 3 TDs and rushing for another 2. Wicinski attributes such a dominating performance on offense to his team's ability to stay focused and "take care of business."
The Maroons (0-7, 0-4) started out sluggish in the first half with two turnover-on-downs, 2 fumbles (1 lost) and an interception. However, the second half proved much more fruitful for the Maroons. Quarterback Ryan Sitter (14 of 30, 175 yards, 2 TDs, INT, 3 rushes for 25 yards, TD) settled in and started hitting his favorite targets like Dontrelle Gaddy and Jaylen Clemons, who each caught touchdown passes. Sitter also added a rushing touchdown in the second half as well. While Elgin coach Kyle Rohde was happy with his team's play in the second half, he knows the Maroons need to start the game better.
"We have to come out with the same excitement in the first half that we came out with in the second half tonight," Rohde said. "In the second half our protection was better and that let us throw the ball more effectively. The other thing is that we are still having guys who aren't doing the things that they need to be doing in the classroom so we have to shift our lineup around."
Liam Bums added a rushing touchdown for the Vikings in the first half. He had 13 rushes for 86 yards for Geneva.