Featured News - Current News - Archived News - News Categories

Football captures third straight Empire 8 title

by Paul Cifonelli - Sports Editor
Tue, Nov 12th 2019 09:15 pm
The Brockport team celebrated its third league championship in a row. Brockport defeated Alfred University 16-7 at home on Saturday, Nov. 9. The Golden Eagles have a 28—1 record in regular season games since 2017 and have won 21 straight games against league opponents. Brockport also secured another trip to the NCAA Tournament with the win.
The Brockport team celebrated its third league championship in a row. Brockport defeated Alfred University 16-7 at home on Saturday, Nov. 9. The Golden Eagles have a 28—1 record in regular season games since 2017 and have won 21 straight games against league opponents. Brockport also secured another trip to the NCAA Tournament with the win.

On Saturday, Sept. 7, The College at Brockport football team traveled to Geneva, New York to take on Hobart College. Brockport, ranked #13 in the preseason poll, had handled the Statesmen in previous years, but was blown out in the season-opener. The Golden Eagles were dropped out of the polls and seemed to be forgotten. Just two months later, Brockport sits at 8—1 and is headed to the NCAA Tournament for the third year in a row.

Alfred University was the only team that stood in the way of a championship for Brockport. The Saxons entered the game with a 5—3 record, coming off a loss to Utica College. Alfred proved to be a tough matchup for the Golden Eagles on Saturday, Nov. 9, as neither side was able to generate much offense.

Brockport looked as though it would rout Alfred after the first quarter, with the Golden Eagles held a 13-0 advantage. Sophomore running back Jala Coad scored both touchdowns for Brockport, but senior kicker Dustin Moyle missed one of the two extra points. After the two early scores, the defenses took over for the middle portion of the contest.

Neither side scored in the second or third quarter, with the teams combining for 10 punts in the two quarters. Alfred and Brockport were also called for nine total penalties through the two scoreless frames.

Brockport forced three turnovers in the first half of the game. Junior defensive back Alaan Montgomery recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass, with senior defensive lineman Allassane Coulibaly forcing the fumble. Sophomore linebacker Ben Damiani had the other turnover, an interception with Alfred threatening to score.

The Saxons lessened the deficit just two plays into the fourth quarter, as senior quarterback Casey Boston found sophomore wide receiver A.O. Othman for a 66-yard touchdown pass to make it a 13-7 game.

Brockport answered with perhaps its greatest drive of the season. Starting at its own five yard line, the Golden Eagles went on a 21-play, 84-yard drive, which was capped off by a field goal from Moyle to make it a two-score game. The defense quickly forced a turnover on downs and allowed the offense to run out the clock to make the league championship official.

Coad carried the ball over 25 times for the second week in a row. He has had 65 carries and 291 rushing yards in the two contests, which could have fatigued him. However, Coad has embraced being the bell cow, coming up big when Brockport needs him most.

“I feel great, honestly,” Coad said. “It was just tough first half, tough second half. We pulled through. It was ugly, but we got [the win].”

Senior linebacker Alex West led the Brockport defense with nine total tackles, including a sack. West is now one sack away from tying the program’s record. Montgomery, however, was the star of the day, scooping up a fumble, picking a ball off and breaking up a pass. Despite his success, he deflected the attention away from himself and toward his team’s victory and accomplishment.

“It means everything to win, I don’t care about the turnovers or my stats,” Montgomery said. “I’m just happy that we got this three-peat.”

Now that Brockport has rattled off eight consecutive victories and secured the Empire 8 championship, the Golden Eagles can look forward to another trip to the NCAA Tournament in a few weeks after being overlooked early in September.

“That’s the most special part about [the league title], all of them are different, all the conference championships and getting into the playoffs,” Brockport head coach Jason Mangone said. “They’re different in the sense that our teams are completely different. But for this one, to have that many kids graduate last year and leave our program, to come back and do this, especially after that first [game against Hobart] when people wrote us off.”

The Golden Eagles have one regular season game left on Saturday, Nov. 16. Brockport will travel to take on its final Empire 8 foe, Morrisville State College. The first round of the NCAA Tournament will be on Saturday, Nov. 23, with Brockport’s opponent to be determined after the final regular season game.

Photo of the Week

Taken by Vinny Croce:
Staff Photographer

Author List