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Football Headed to Final Four for the first time in its history

by Justin Maybach - Staff Writer
Tue, Dec 5th 2017 09:00 pm
The College at Brockport football team (above) celebrates after sophomore linebacker Jason Karteron made a great stop against Plymouth State. After the Golden Eagles' thrilling win over Delaware Valley University, which is the seventh best ranked team in Division III, Brockport has officially reached the Final Four for the first time in the college's history.
The College at Brockport football team (above) celebrates after sophomore linebacker Jason Karteron made a great stop against Plymouth State. After the Golden Eagles' thrilling win over Delaware Valley University, which is the seventh best ranked team in Division III, Brockport has officially reached the Final Four for the first time in the college's history.

The College at Brockport football team is having a season to remember as it continues to win games and break records in the month of December.

On Saturday, Dec. 2, Brockport played in the quarterfinal of the NCAA playoffs against the Delaware Valley University Aggies in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. The Golden Eagles hadn’t reached the quarterfinal round since the 2002 season, when they lost to the John Carroll University Blue Streaks.

Both teams entered the game undefeated with the hopes of advancing to the Final Four for the first time in history. In the end, Brockport prevailed with a 31–28 victory when senior kicker Brett Renzi hit a 33-yard field goal as time expired.

Sophomore quarterback Joe Germinerio threw for 297 yards and a touchdown while breaking the all-time record for passing yards in a season. Germinerio has thrown for a total of 3,274 passing yards. 

The offense was guided by sophomore wide receivers DaQuan Hubbard and Joseph Ortiz. Hubbard finished with five receptions for 125 yards while breaking the single season receiving yards record. On the other hand, Ortiz finished with 11 receptions for 119 yards and a touchdown while breaking the single season record for receptions.

Brockport got off to a great start by building a lead in the first quarter. Germinerio ran for a one-yard touchdown and threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Ortiz, which gave the Golden Eagles a 14–0 lead. Later in the game, freshman wide receiver Tyree Brown ran for a one-yard touchdown and Germinerio ran for a seven-yard touchdown.

At the end of the third quarter, Brockport was in front 28–7 and the game appeared to be over. However, Delaware Valley came back firing on all cylinders. At one point, the Golden Eagles were caught off guard when the Aggies successfully recovered an onside kick, which aided their attempt at a comeback. The score was 28–28 less than six minutes into the fourth quarter. 

A defensive battle ensued as neither team could produce a successful scoring drive. Brockport’s defense pinned Delaware Valley deep in its own territory and forced a punt. The Golden Eagles got the ball at the Aggies 48-yard line with less than a minute remaining in the game. 

On the final drive, Germinerio completed three passes for 26 yards and junior running back Justin Morrison added a six-yard run to set up the game-winning field goal with two seconds left on the clock. Delaware Valley called two timeouts to ice Renzi, but it did not work as Renzi drilled the kick straight down the middle and gave Brockport the victory.

Renzi showed humility by crediting junior fullback Casey Goldberg and junior punter Eric Yaeger for the field goal. Goldberg snapped the ball to Yaeger, who held the ball in place for Renzi at the end of the game.

“It goes back to Goldberg and Yaeger,” Renzi said after the game. “When you work at it as much as you do, you just have to trust yourself.”

Germinerio also showed humility by crediting the offensive line for all the hard work that they’ve put in this season.

“It’s definitely a great feeling, but you’re only as good as the guys around you,” Germinerio said. “I give all the credit in the world to my offensive line who’ve kept me upright all season and allowed me to find guys open downfield.”

With the win, Brockport has extended its record for most wins in a season and has advanced further than any other team in program history. This marks the first time in over 10 years that an East Region team has advanced to the Final Four. 

The Golden Eagles will fly to Belton, Texas, to take on the University of Mary Hardin — Baylor Crusaders on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 3:30 p.m.

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