Dan-Way-Co Football: DWC rolls by Geneva on the road

Dansville-Wayland-Cohocton spoils Geneva Homecoming with 42-12 victory

Sean Curran
The Evening Tribune
Dansville-Wayland-Cohocton's Evan Pruonto races down the sideline for a touchdown on Friday evening in Geneva.

GENEVA — The Dansville-Wayland-Cohocton combined football team put together a master class on the defensive side of the ball as they scored 16 defensive points and allowed the offense to score on a few short drives in order to cruise to the 42-12 victory over Geneva on Friday evening in Geneva.

The DWC defense got a pair of defensive touchdowns with forced fumble recoveries, they also forced a safety and some pressure on a punt resulted in the offense getting the ball on the one-yard line, which was taken into the endzone one play later.

“The defense was awesome. Coach (Chad) Pieri coached the defense tonight and he made my job really easy. We’ve been trying to get on track offensively, and when you help out that much — I mean most people can figure it out from the one yard line,” said DWC Head Coach Rich Welch. “We had a couple of defensive touchdowns and a safety. That’s a lot of defensive points and it’s something that the boys should really be proud of.”

Dan-Way-Co's Nate Gardner attempts drags down the Geneva quarterback on Friday evening in the endzone.

The defense wasted no time making an impact in the game. After a brilliant kickoff landed Geneva on the three yard line, Edwin Washington sniffed out a screen play and flew into make a tackle. His arm knocked the ball out of the receivers hand and into the endzone, where Nate Gardner dove on it to give DWC the 8-0 lead just three seconds into the game.

The defense then forced a quick 3-and-out on the next possession, and the DWC offense got to work with a quick drive down the field that was capped off by a Nick Belanger QB sneak from one yard away to push the lead out to 14-0 just under three minutes into the game.

Geneva then got its first drive of the night going as they chewed up some clock and moved down the field. But just as the Panthers were about to enter DWC territory, Gardner forced a fumble that was picked up by Caleb Rigdon, who won a foot race to the endzone for a 45-yard touchdown return that made the score 21-0.

Geneva finally got on the scoreboard at the end of the first quarter as Quadere Lawson broke free for an 81-yard touchdown run that cut the DWC lead to 21-6 at the end of the first quarter.

Dan-Way-Co took over possession late in the first and their drive lasted into the second quarter. DWC methodically drove the ball down the field until Collin Mehlenbacher found a wide open hole from 10-yards away and walked into the endzone to increase the lead out to 27-6 early in the second quarter.

DWC's Andrew Morrow stretches for the goal line during Friday's win over Geneva.

DWC got yet another defensive stop on the next possession for Geneva and took back possession late in the second quarter. Evan Pruonto wasted no time getting DWC back on the board as he bounced off several tacklers on the sidelines, stiffed armed another and then dove across the goal line for a 64-yard touchdown run that gave Dan-Way-Co the 33-6 lead at the halftime break.

“We had some kids out this week, so we had a little bit of adversity throughout the week, but they just never let it get to them. They bounced right back, and we are proud of them,” said Welch. “A lot of teams I don’t think would be able to do that. But the kids just stayed focused and did everything we asked.”

After the intermission, the DWC defense got a few more points on the board. After a huge sack on a first down play that pushed Geneva back to the one yard line, the DWC defense forced a safety on the very next play to increase the lead to 35-6.

Then, early in the fourth quarter, the defense made one final play when some pressure on a punt forced a bad snap that was recovered on the one yard line, where Belanger quickly sneaked it across the goal line to push DWC’s lead out to 42-6.

Dansville-Wayland-Cohocton's Nate Gardner fights off a tackle on the sideline during Friday's game against Geneva.

Geneva scored one final touchdown in the fourth quarter as Lawson found the endzone to bring the score to its 42-12 final.

DWC is now in complete control of their playoff destiny. If Dan-Way-Co can win each of their last two games, they will have earned a home playoff game in the Class B tournament, which is something that Welch has emphasized to the kids.

“We don’t look forward, but at the same time we always present the data. It’s there. You can put yourself into a great position if you win out. But that’s the key,” said Welch. “If we win out, we will probably have a home playoff game. We’ve only had one in Dansville in a long time, and Wayland-Cohocton has probably had a few more, but it will be great for both communities.”