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Football finds rushing attack in rivalry game

by Paul Cifonelli - Sports Editor
Tue, Sep 24th 2019 08:00 pm
Senior running back Justin Morrison finds a hole to run through.
Senior running back Justin Morrison finds a hole to run through.

With the offense scoring just one touchdown in the first two weeks, The College at Brockport football team was in a place it has not been in a few years. In 2018, Brockport averaged 41.7 points per game, which is a tough number to repeat. The Golden Eagles found some offensive magic on Saturday, Sept. 21 when they defeated Buffalo State 55-22 in the I-90 Bowl.

After Buffalo State opened the scoring with a field goal, Brockport used its running game to take over. The Golden Eagles ran for 365 yards, with senior running back Justin Morrison and freshman quarterback Freddy June each racking up at least 100 yards apiece. Sophomore running back Jala Coad ran for 98 yards and sophomore running back Zach Samborski tallied 79 yards on the ground. June and Coad each ran for two touchdowns, while Morrison found the end zone once.

The rushing attack, which looked to be one of the team’s biggest strengths prior to the season, appeared unstoppable against Buffalo State. The Bengals had no answer for the multitude of runners the Golden Eagles threw at them. While some could believe sharing carries would cause a divide between the running backs, Coad is more than happy to share with Morrison and Samborski.

“With me being the youngest, it’s a pleasure sharing the rock with these guys because I know any one of us can get the job done,” Coad said. “Overall, it’s a great feeling because we also learn and pick up other ideas from one another every day.”

June also helped the offense through the air, throwing for 191 yards and three touchdowns while also throwing an interception. Despite all the success through the air, June only completed six passes in the game. Two of the six completions, both touchdowns, went for over 60 yards.

Three players caught passes and each of them registered two catches. Senior wide receiver DaQuan Hubbard, junior wide receiver Imhotep Cromer and senior wide receiver Joseph Ortiz were the recipients of June’s passes. Hubbard had one touchdown grab and an 88-yard reception. He finished with 106 total receiving yards. Both of Cromer’s catches went for touchdowns and he totaled 63 yards. Ortiz did not catch a touchdown but did have 22 crucial receiving yards.

The success through the air was missing in Brockport’s first two games of the season. June threw for just 134 yards through the first two games of the 2019 campaign, but more than doubled that number in the third. The newfound passing game will give the running game more room to operate. The quarterback said it was his coaching staff that allowed for the passing game to be more successful.

“We practice [passing] plays all practice and coach called them at the right time for us to be successful with them,” June said.

The defense had its struggles, allowing 22 points and 344 yards in the game. However, the unit forced two turnovers, with both coming on interceptions. Junior linebacker Andrew Covais and sophomore defensive back Kenny Hernandez were the recipients of Buffalo State quarterback Zak Ciezki’s turnovers.

Brockport has just one more non-conference game before it enters Empire 8 play. Considering the Golden Eagles have already dropped a game this season, they are not the overwhelming favorites to win the league this year.

Alfred State will be the next team to tangle with the Golden Eagles, which will double as Brockport’s homecoming game. Alfred State is 1—2, but has been blown out once and lost another game to a weak opponent in Hartwick College. The two teams will square off on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 2 p.m. at Bob Boozer Field.

 

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