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Football collects big win in Homecoming Game

by Paul Cifonelli - Sports Editor
Tue, Oct 1st 2019 08:55 pm
Junior Imhotep Cromer balances himself to stay in-bounds to complete a catch.
Junior Imhotep Cromer balances himself to stay in-bounds to complete a catch.

Games against inferior opponents can often cause loss of focus. With The College at Brockport football team set to take on Alfred State College on Saturday, Sept. 28, the team could have taken them lightly and coasted through the week. Brockport, however, did not look ahead, stayed focused on Alfred State and came out with a dominant victory.

Brockport established itself from the opening kickoff. Freshman linebacker Joel Atuahene delivered a big hit to Alfred State’s kick returner to start the game. The Pioneers then only gained eight yards on three plays before punting. That kind of defense from the Golden Eagles became a theme in the game very quickly.

Alfred State was only able to muster 67 yards of total offense in the game; 62 through the air and five on the ground. Even though they did not turn the ball over, the Pioneers had no answer for Brockport’s tenacious defense.

Brockport took full advantage of its defensive dominance, scoring on each of its first seven possessions. With six touchdowns and a field goal, the Golden Eagles brought a 45-0 score into halftime.

The offensive starters’ numbers in the first half jump off the page. Freshman quarterback Freddy June lit up the scoreboard through the air and on the ground for the second week in a row. He went 12-16 passing for 220 yards and two touchdowns without throwing an interception. He also ran the ball three times for 36 yards and a touchdown.

Sophomore running back Jala Coad took the majority of the carries in the first half for Brockport. He ran the ball 11 times, racked up 102 yards and scored two touchdowns. Senior running back Justin Morrison also ran for 43 yards on nine carries in the half.

Junior wide receiver Imhotep Cromer led the way catching the ball, reeling in three passes for 69 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore wide receiver Derrick Chance caught June’s other touchdown pass and finished with two catches on the day. Senior wide receiver Joseph Ortiz also caught two passes, which put him in a tie for first place on Brockport’s all-time catches list.

The second half was ruled by the backups. While the Golden Eagles only managed 10 points, many players who do not see many minutes shined. Freshman running backs Vincent Daviero and Rashad Law each had over 70 rushing yards in the second half. Junior quarterback Jack Edwards was able to get his first playing experience for Brockport in the second half. He took every snap in the two quarters and went 2-2 passing for 14 yards. He also had four carries for 11 yards and had a 28-yard run called back on a holding penalty.

After the game, Edwards, who got caught at Alfred State’s five yard line on the rush that got called back, relived the play, remembering his teammates yelling for him in a game that was 48-0 at the time.

“Great block by the receiver,” Edwards said with a huge smile on his face. “I saw some open field and just tried not to get hawked [down]. But he caught me in the end.”

The defense also saw most of its backups get playing time as well. Senior linebacker Danny Housman recorded his first five tackles of the year during the game, with three coming in the second half. Sophomore linebacker Ben Damiani had five of his six tackles in the second half, more than doubling his season total. Senior defensive back Bryce Szudzik contributed three tackles and two pass break ups, with both pass break ups nearly being interceptions.

Szudzik relished in the opportunity to help his team out, even if the game was already decided.

“It was really nice [to get out there],” Szudzik said. “The team puts in a lot of hard work throughout the week and it felt good to get in there to contribute and have my guys’ backs. It was a good time; I enjoyed it.”

Since Brockport avoided the upset against Alfred State, it can now look ahead to its matchup with St. John Fisher. In Courage Bowl XV, the Golden Eagles will travel to take on the 3—1 Cardinals. Brockport has won the last two Courage Bowls in dominant fashion. With the Cardinals sporting an improved roster in 2019, the game looks to be much more competitive this time around. The Courage Bowl will be played on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. at Growney Stadium in Penfield, N.Y.

 

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