FOOTBALL FINAL: Wild Finish for a Wild Season—Vikings Top Sabres 35-34 in Double OT
Who'da thunk it. Geneva vs. Streamwood finale turns out to be the most exciting game of an unusual season.
In a wild finish of a weird Geneva season, the Vikings beat Streamwood in double overtime Friday at Millennium Field.
"I can't say how pround I am of this group," Coach Rob Wicinski said after the game. "You get into overtime like this, we kind of gave up two touchdowns down the stretch, they could have rolled over, but they didn't. It's an interesting deal, an interesting deal. I'm refreshed. It's refreshing in some ways."
It was. Two teams, 3-5 coming in, with nothing to play for but pride, showing a lot of emotion and heart in the final game of the season.
The Vikings played sloppily in the second half, no doubt, but in the end, when it counted, the defense stopped the Sabres' attempt at a 2-point conversion from the 1-yard line to hold on to a 35-34 victory.
The first half started slowly, with the Vikings managing a 30-yard Kevin Dulop field goal in the first quarter and a 1-yard Bobby Hess plunge with 4:19 left in the second. The touchdown capped a six-play drive highlighted by a 44-yard Hess run for a 10-0 halftime lead.
The second half was crazy, full of penalties and strange calls—including a Viking fumble that was ruled dead, allowing Geneva to keep possession—trick plays, a wildcat offense with T.J. Miller at the helm, a 2-point conversion run by Pace Temple, and two huge pass plays by Streamwood. When the dust cleared, the game was deadlocked at 21 apiece.
In the first overtime, the Sabres drew first blood, scoring on a 5-yard run by Kyle Strong and kicking the extra point, putting Geneva's back to the wall. But Hess (146 yards, 2 TDs) ran three times, scoring on a 1-yard plunge, and Dunlop calmly kicked the extra-point to force the second overtime.
The Vikings started first in the second OT and scored on third-and-5 on a trick play. Hess took the handoff and threw to Connor Feeney, alone in the end zone, and Dunlop delivered the extra point once more. The Vikings led 35-28.
Geneva sacked Sabres quarterback Mason Polich, but a pass interference call gave Streamwood the ball on the 1-yard line, and Strong punched it in. To their credit, the Sabres went for the win, but five Vikings stopped Strong inches from the goal line.
Game over. Vikings 35, Streamwood 34.
Geneva ends the season 4-5, missing a playoff berth for the first time since 2002. But it was a strong finish after an 0-5 start.
"These last four games, they did not blink. They did not waiver," Wicinski said. "That's a heavy burden on the seniors, and they handled it really really well. The demeanor is what impresses me. I had fun coaching these last four games. It was fun."
Score by Quarter
- Geneva 3-7-3-8—OT 7—OT 7—35
- Streamwood 0-0-7-14—OT 7—OT 6—34
- 1st / 4:12 G#30 Kevin Dunlop, 30-yard FG — 3-0
- 1st / 4:19 G#32 Bobby Hess, 1-yard run — 10-0
- 3rd / 4:49 G#30 Kevin Dunlop, 32-yard FG — 13-0
- 3rd / 2:26 S#43 Kushtrim Berisha, 6-yard pass from #14 Deji Giwa — 13-7
- 4th / 11:54 G#6 T.J. Miller, 6-yard run; 2-point conversion by #8 —21-7
- 4th / 9:51 S#1 Blake Holder, 44-yard pass from #16 Mason Polich — 21-14
- 4th / 5:35 S#14 Deji Giwa, 55-yard pass from #16 Mason Polish — 21-21
- 1st OT S#22 Kyle Strong, 5-yard run — 28-21
- 1st OT G#32 Bobby Hess, 1-yard run —28-28
- 2nd OT G#82 Connor Feeney, 5-yard pass from #32 Bobby Hess — 35-28
- 2nd OT S#22 Kyle Strong, 1-yard run — 35-34
- #6 T.J. Miller — 65 yards, 5 carries, 1 TD
- #8 Pace Temple — 5 yards, 1 carry
- #17 Nick Derr — 8 yards, 3 carries
- #22 Joe Boenzi — 23 yards, 7 carries
- #32 Bobby Hess — 146 yards, 29 carries, 2 TDs
- #17 Nick Derr — 7-of-15 for 84 yards, x TD
- #32 Hess — 1-of-1, 5 yards, 1 TD
- #8 Pace Temple —3 catches, 25 yards
- #11 Kevin Curtain — 2 catches, 25 yards
- #15 Kyle Brown —3 catches, 34 yards
- #82 Connor Feeney, 1 catch, 5 yards, 1 TD