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Football claims the 2017 Empire 8 title

by Justin Maybach
Tue, Nov 7th 2017 10:20 pm
The College at Brockport football team (above) rushed over to junior running back Christian Hollister as he scored the final touchdown of the Empire 8 matchup against Alfred University. Now, 2017 Empire 8 champions, the team has won all of its games this season, holding a record of 9-0. The Golden Eagles are looking to tear apart any NCAA opposition that stands in its way.
The College at Brockport football team (above) rushed over to junior running back Christian Hollister as he scored the final touchdown of the Empire 8 matchup against Alfred University. Now, 2017 Empire 8 champions, the team has won all of its games this season, holding a record of 9-0. The Golden Eagles are looking to tear apart any NCAA opposition that stands in its way.

The College at Brockport’s football team has played with toughness and resiliency all season long, and was rewarded for its effort this past weekend.

On Saturday, Nov. 4, the Golden Eagles defeated the Alfred University Saxons by a score of 35–25. With the win, Brockport has clinched the Empire 8 Conference title for the first time in program history, along with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. 

With Brockport in front 28–25, Raeqwon Greer, a freshman defensive back for Alfred, hit Brockport sophomore quarterback Joe Germinerio. 

The crowd grew silent and players on both sides of the field took a knee while trainers tended to Germinerio. As Germinerio was placed on a stretcher and taken off the field via ambulance, he was conscious enough to give a thumbs up sign to the crowd, which was met with boisterous applause from the fans at Eunice Kennedy Shriver Stadium.

Shortly after play resumed, the Golden Eagles were forced to punt the ball to the Saxons. On the very next play, senior linebacker Julius Mizro intercepted a pass thrown by Alfred quarterback Bryce Morrison at midfield. He would return the ball 24-yards to the Alfred 24-yard line, giving the Brockport offense great starting field position.

“After Joe got taken out, something in my head just snapped,” Mizro said. “I was gonna do whatever I could possibly do to help the team win the game. Making that play made me feel incredible.”

Mizro’s interception set up a productive drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown run by junior running back Christian Hollister. His touchdown secured the victory for Brockport.

Hollister said that Germinerio’s injury motivated the team to work harder in order to beat the Saxons.

“With Joe going down, we had to step up as a team and get this win for him,” Hollister said. “It gave us a drive to finish the game.”

Before the injury, Germinerio completed 14 of 17 passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 26 yards and scored a rushing touchdown early in the game.

Several receivers made an impact in the game. Sophomore wide receiver Joseph Ortiz led with five receptions for 66 yards while freshman wide receiver Tyree Brown hauled in a 44-yard touchdown reception. Senior wide receiver Jerry Thompson had three receptions for 23 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter.

It was fitting that Mizro and Thompson each made an impact in the game since it was Senior Day for the Golden Eagles. All 21 seniors on the roster were honored prior to the start of the game.

This season marks the first time since 2003 that the Golden Eagles have qualified for the playoffs. Brockport is 9–0 for the first time in program history and can complete a perfect regular season on Saturday, Nov. 11, when they take on the St. Lawrence University Saints in Canton, New York.

Head coach Jason Mangone said Germinerio suffered a concussion, but is recovering very well. He is out for the St. Lawrence game, which means that Brockport will have to rely on junior backup quarterback Jason Hellwig.

After playing St. Lawrence, the Golden Eagles will learn who they are playing for the first round of the NCAA playoffs. The first game will take place on Saturday, Nov. 18, and the location of the game will be determined at the conclusion of the regular season.

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