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ZACK WALK of Geneva stiff arms Eric Wilkerson (17) of Edgewood during Friday night’s Northeastern Conference clash at Gerald M. Corlew Stadium.

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — They may be squashing grapes in Geneva this weekend for the Grape Jamboree, but the Geneva Eagles will be spreading the butter, because after its 31-21 victory over the Edgewood Warriors on Friday at Corlew Stadium they are on a roll.

Make that two rolls as in two straight victories. Eagle coach Tony Hassett seems to have the right mix in his backfield as quarterback Tyler Erb delivers the passes and runner James Murray churns out the yards the old fashioned way— he earns them!

“It’s a winning streak — a little one,” Hassett said. “But we’ll take it. Our confidence is growing all the time and if we can eliminate the mistakes we’re going to be a pretty good team.”

Murray proved his work again as he rushed for 196 yards in 39 carries. That follows last week’s 145 yards against Lakeside.

“James shows good body lean and is always trying to get the extra yard,” Hassett said. “But we’d like to see him bounce out to the outside a little more because we think he could gain even more yards.”

Erb throws just enough passes to keep a defense honest. Although his percentage hovers nears 50 percent, he seems to get the most out of what he has and keeps the chains moving.

But Edgewood scored first. The Warriors (1-5, 0-1) took over at their 20 after Geneva’s opening drive stalled and marched 80 yards in fine fashion as Josh McCormack ran it in from the 3.

Geneva answered (2-4, 1-0) when it pinned Edgewood back to its own 1 on a 57-yard punt. Three plays later, after an Edgewood punt, the Eagles got the ball back at the Warrior 18. It only took Murray two runs to tie the game.

“Field position was a big problem for us at times,” Warrior coach Lance Hostetler said. “We couldn’t open up the way we wanted to and when you have that it kind of constricts your offense, but I tip my hat to Coach Hassett.

“I’ve watched them over the course of the year and have seen some of their strategies and they keep improving. They seem to be getting better and better every week.”

On Geneva’s first possession of the second quarter, it went 59 yards in nine plays as Leon Phillips scored the first of his two touchdowns as he cashed in from the one at 5:57.

In the third quarter, both teams traded fumbles on consecutive plays, but only Edgewood was able to take advantage as it drove 27 yards in five plays as quarterback Marc Bartone called his own number for a 1-yard plunge.

The next series of plays turned out to be crucial for the Eagles. Edgewood was tiring on defense as Geneva ran 11 plays that went 72 yards with Phillips going the last 22 yards.

A 27-yard field goal by Geneva’s Cranfill in the fourth quarter was the final blow for the Warriors. Bartone finally aired it out late in the game as he hit Tremaine McCabe on a 64-yard touchdown pass.



McClimans is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.

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