HARPERSFIELD TOWNSHIP — Geneva’s backfield consisting of senior quarterback Ben Scibona, senior back Charlie Taylor and junior running backs Brady Peet and Dylan Hamilton created problems for Edgewood’s defense.
“It’s a four-headed animal, man,” Geneva coach Chip Sorber said of his backfield. “That’s what we do here. We’re an unselfish offense. We share the ball. With those four guys back there we’re pretty good, and Ben’s [Scibona] a capable thrower.”
The group scored six touchdowns in a 56-25 Chagrin Valley Conference win over Edgewood at Spire on Saturday night.
Scibona led the way with 130 points, followed by Taylor at 100, Hamilton with 60 and Peet contributed 50.
The backfield made an early statement, as Scibona carried the ball to the right, while the Edgewood defense thought he handed it off to one of the three other backfield threats going left. Instead, Scibona ran down the right sideline untouched for a 49-yard touchdown to give Geneva a 7-0 lead with 5:26 left in the first quarter.
Taylor added another rushing touchdown early in the second quarter to extend the lead to 14-0. He broke an arm tackle ran down the left sideline for the 20-yard score.
Following a surgical 4-of-4 for 38-yard drive, Edgewood’s junior quarterback Zach Winchell cut the lead to 14-7, but the Eagles’ backs quickly responded. Peet carried to the right for a 26-yard touchdown to put Geneva up 21-7 midway through the second quarter.
Another impressive Winchell drive produced a touchdown. The Warriors quickly scored off a 9-yard fumble return by Seth Enos to cut the Geneva lead to 21-19. The 2-point conversion pass from Winchell fell incomplete.
“When they got a penalty, we kind of slowed them down,” Sorber said. “But really we didn’t slow them down very well in my opinion. We got a lot of work to do. They did a nice job, exploited us, and we were very undisciplined in staying in our pass rushing lanes and some of our coverage was a little soft when we should’ve been a little harder.”
That was as close as the Warriors got, though, as Geneva continued to lean on its backfield. Taylor added a 5-yard touchdown less than a minute later with 2:32 left in the half. Hamilton ran in for the 2-point conversion to give Geneva a 10-point lead.
“We knew if they could just lean on us and run the ball the whole time then we’d really be in trouble,” Edgewood coach Jon Butchko said.
After forcing a quick punt, Geneva’s offense quickly extended its lead before halftime. Scibona found junior running back Clayton Queen in the right side of the end zone for a 30-yard touchdown to give the Eagles a 35-19 halftime lead.
Despite a late second-half push by Winchell and the Warriors, a 4th and 6 overthrow ended any hopes of a late comeback.
“He played well,” Butchko said of his quarterback. “I don’t think he played a perfect game, and he’s often his toughest critic, but he distributed the ball within the flow of the offense. I don’t know how many different receivers he hit, but we always try to hit as many as we can … He’s like a volume shooter in basketball, and we really think he’s a good quarterback. Probably one of the premier in this area.”
Geneva improves to 2-0 and will play at West Geauga next Friday.
“We still have tons of work to do,” Sorber said. “We’re a young football team, but we gotta get better. We have a week to do it and [we] gotta be ready by next week.”