By DAVID NEGIN
For the Star Beacon
HARPERSFIELD TOWNSHIP —
Geneva coach Tony Hassett knew of what Riverside quarterback Maxx Brubaker was capable.
Riverside coach Dave Boars and his team are glad he is healthy enough to do it.
Brubaker passed for three touchdowns and ran for another as he led Riverside to a 42-12 win over the Eagles at Spire Stadium Friday night.
With the win, the Beavers (4-2, 3-0) have now reeled off four consecutive wins and find themselves in a tie Madison atop the Premier Athletic Conference standings after five-time defensine champion South fell at Chardon, 14-7
“Brubaker is probably, in my opinion, is the best throwing quarterback we have faced this year and maybe for the rest of the year too,” Hassett said after watching the senior left-hander pass for 186 yards and run for 65 against his defense. “He is an outstanding player.”
In just his second game back after separating his shoulder in the opening half of a week 1 loss to Perry, Brubaker looked as if he hadn’t missed a beat.
“I feel back at home,” Brubaker said. “It was really tough for me sitting out and watching my teammates play. It is the best feeling being back on the field with my boys. I think I am fully healed and have a good grasp of the offense, so I expect better things in the weeks to come.”
It was also obvious he has a good grasp of where fellow classmate Drew Tornow is on the field.
Brubaker connected with Tornow on all three touchdowns (42, 15, and 25-yards) in the opening half.
“It’s incredible,” Tornow said of having Brubaker back. “Fitz (sophomore Nick Fitgerald) did a great job taking over, but we’ve been working with Bru all summer. Our timing is clicking now. He just puts the ball right where it needs to be.”
Riverside took advantage of several Geneva mistakes.
Beaver Pat Remington recovered a muffed punt at the beginning of the second quarter, giving the visitors the ball at the Geneva 11 yard line.
The Beavers scored three players later on a 2-yard run by Cameron Jefferies, giving Riverside a 17-6 lead.
Then, after both teams exchanged scores, Riverside’s Adam Horvath (who earlier had a 22-yard field goal) intercepted a Brandon Pakkala pass with 2:29 remaining in the half.
Riverside’s Erik Thomas broke for a 39-yard run six plays later, but fumbled the ball. Geneva had two chances to recover it, but it slipped through its hands and Tornow recovered it with 16 seconds left.
Brubaker found Tornow on the next play, giving the Beavers a 29-12 advantage and breaking the backs of the Eagles (3-3 overall, 1-2 in the PAC).
“They beat us in ever phase of the game tonight from the word go,” Hassett said. “Special teams, upfront, defensively... they created the turnovers. We came out, for whatever reason, we were flatter than flat. No excuses, they just beat us.”
Geneva’s Aaron Rossi lead all rushers with 163 yards on 25 carries (1 touchdown), while Pakkala had 84 yards rushing. Riverside outgained the Eagles, 402-315, while holding Geneva to just 25 yards passing and scoreless in the second half.
“I see ourselves as a contender,” Tornow said. “I don’t think we’ve really made the final step yet. I think we still have some room to improve, but I think we’ve got a shot.”
“We are finally where we hoped we’d be six weeks ago,” Bors said.
Negin is a freelance writer from Madison.