All of a sudden, the little-used forward pass would be en vogue under O’Leary.
“You lose a running back who already has 800 yards (in three-plus game) and you are definitely concerned,” O’Leary said. “When that happened, it really became Mike’s team. He showed his value to us after that game.”
For a few weeks, Geaslen also lost four starters on the offensive line, which made things very difficult.
But Geaslen’s game got better.
Geaslen threw for 10 touchdowns and ran for three more, as St. John’s finished 6-5, losing a heartbreaker to Catholic Conference champion and Div. 1 Super Bowl finalist Xaverian in the last minute of their Thanksgiving Day match-up.
“Mike drove us down the field and got us the go-ahead score in the final two minutes,” O’Leary said of the game. “But they came back and scored and Mike got us down to the (Xaverian) 24-yard line before the game ended.”
O’Leary said a few college football programs inquired about Geaslen as a quarterback, as he appears to still be growing at 6-foot-2 and 170 pounds. But the 18-year-old has already committed to play baseball at Northeastern University in Boston in the fall.
“I give Mike a lot of credit,” O’Leary said. “He stuck it out and kept working. And when his time had finally come, he came through.”