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Daily Herald's 2016 Season Coverage
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updated: 10/7/2016 11:51 PM

Geneva keeps its playoff hopes alive

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By Kevin McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent

Lance Arni had a career night Friday for Geneva.

The senior running back torched Elgin for 4 touchdowns on a game-high 165 yards on 29 punishing carries as the Vikings scored 29 unanswered points in their Upstate Eight Conference River Division football game.

Geneva kept its playoff hopes alive with a 43-12 must win to improve to 3-4 overall, 2-2 in the league, while keeping Elgin winless after seven weeks.

"It was a neat feeling," Arni said of his career-best 26 points that included a 2-point run following his third touchdown of the opening half in Geneva. "It was awesome."

After Noah Davison secured an interception for Geneva on the first play from scrimmage, Arni had the first of his touchdowns on the ground with a 5-yard burst.

Ian Hanson had a 19-yard reception from Geneva quarterback Kyle Evert for the key sequence in the 7-play march.

Trevon Morris' 57-yard scamper was the Maroons' most-promising first-quarter offensive highlight, but Arni and Geneva mounted a 99-yard scoring drive in the final moments of the opening quarter.

On the 11th play of the drive, Arni raced 18 yards to double the Vikings' lead to 14-0.

But Elgin (0-7, 0-4) would respond with scores on consecutive drives to inch within 14-12 of Geneva.

Shareick Morris' 26-yard collaboration from Cameron Jackson was soon followed by a short scoring run by Dae'Vion Arthur.

Geneva would commit a major mental lapse on its next possession, enabling Jackson to connect with Trevon Morris for a 10-yard scoring reception three plays later.

Arni more than answered the bell, however, by rumbling in from 11 yards out with less than three minutes to play before halftime.

When Geneva judiciously milked the clock on its next possession, the Vikings led 29-12 at halftime on a Garrett Sneed short reception from Evert.

"We knew we had to take care of business," Arni said. "We had to keep the foot on the gas pedal. We had to make the most of it on the offensive end."

The second half was marred by turnovers, penalties and two fearful injuries to Elgin players, including Jackson.

Arni scored on the Vikings' opening second-half possession, and Evert called his own number on the final Geneva possession of the game to account for the final score.

In between the Elgin players left the field in ambulances.

"They are serious injuries, head and neck injuries," said Elgin coach Anthony Mason, who speculated both athletes suffered concussions.

The Maroons' best scoring chance of the second half evaporated when Geneva forced its third turnover after Elgin secured first and goal at the Vikings' 1-yard line.

"We haven't been executing," Mason said. "We have been talking about executing all season."

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