One thing is clear to Geneva head football coach Rob Wicinski: the Vikings will need the services of Lavonte Jones down the stretch if they are to make playoff run.
And the 5-foot-9 senior speedster looks ready for the part after he rushed for 134 yards and a touchdown in a 34-0 homecoming win for Geneva over Streamwood Friday at Burgess Field, that included its customary halftime fireworks show.
But Jones fired off his own pyros in Upstate Eight River action on a 73-yard burst down the right sideline early in the second quarter. The running back finished the drive off on the next play from 4 yards out to give Geneva (2-2, 1-1) a 21-0 lead to cap a 2-play drive with 10:24 left in the half but Wicinski joked that Jones should've had the touchdown on the long run, instead.
"Well that was his own fault, he went the wrong way," Wicinski said lightheartedly. "He had nobody to blame but himself for that one. He should've stayed to the outside but you know what, I'm not running, I don't have his eyes."
Jones countered by saying, "there was a safety or a corner coming down on so I cut in thinking I wouldn't make it to the sideline. So I cut in and he caught me at the last five. But we'll fix it on film."
The film will also show Geneva's 355 to 209 edge in total yards and all 5 touchdowns it racked up in the first half. Reilly Waldoch rushed for 50 yards and 2 touchdowns, including one on Geneva's first series, a 4-yard run with 8:44 left in the first quarter that got the Vikings' homecoming festivities started on the right note after Wicinski called his number to convert a 4th-and-2 the previous play.
"I think it was big, opening up with a fourth down conversion right away," Waldoch said. "It led to a touchdown and it just helped us, it was a spring board for us."
Geneva went 4-for-4 on drives thereafter in the half, as quarterback Bobby Murray (8-for-10, 149 yards, 2 TD) found Jacob Temple (3 catches, 53 yards) on a 34-yard passing play for a 14-0 lead. After Jones' run came a 64-yard touchdown pass and run by receiver Ian Hanson with 6:37 left which was then followed by Waldoch's run 37 seconds before half.
"We were locked in and our line was pushing," Waldoch said of Alex Ruth (6-4, 250), Frank Martin (6-4, 290), Riley Anderson (5-10, 180), Jake Ulhmann (6-1, 230) and Simon Parsons (5-11, 230). "They were opening holes for Lavonte and I, it was solid from them."
And now Geneva can show a little power with Waldoch and a little finesse with Jones all the while the air is there, too.
"We've just got to keep getting better," Wicinski said. "We've got a lot of good teams in front of us and the whole season in front of us. We've just got to keep getting better."
Unfortunately for Streamwood (0-4, 0-2), it still remains scoreless this season. Quarterback Brendan Marton threw 41 times and completed 17 passes for 154 yards, 104 of which went to Jamel Sheppard on 10 catches. But the Sabres punted 5 times and saw 3 drives stall inside the Vikings' 20 and one inside the 40, late.
"We made mistakes tonight, they scored on them and quite a few on big players," Streamwood coach Don Guindon said. "A good team will make you pay for it."