Courtesy of goBrockport.com
CORTLAND, NY – The College at Brockport football team rallied from a 23-0 first half deficit, outscoring host and nationally-ranked No. 18 Cortland 32-3 down the stretch, as the Golden Eagles came away with a thrilling 32-26 overtime victory in a key Empire 8 Conference matchup on Saturday. Brockport now needs one win in its final two games of the regular season to secure its third consecutive Empire 8 Conference championship.
Senior quarterback Jason Hellwig kept the ball for himself and scored from 11 yards out on Brockport’s first possession in overtime to help lift the Golden Eagles to their seventh straight victory. The Brockport offense was put in position to win following a key overtime interception by Andrew Covais on Cortland’s lone possession of OT.
Brockport, the two-time defending E8 Champs, improved to 7-1 overall and 4-0 in conference play. The Golden Eagles are the only undefeated team remaining in conference play and Utica’s win over Alfred Saturday helped put the Golden Eagles in position to claim their third straight conference crown with a win at home over Alfred next Saturday (12 p.m.). The Golden Eagles have now won 20 consecutive Empire 8 contests. Brockport is receiving votes in the latest nation poll and should receive a boost in the rankings following Saturday’s win over No. 18 Cortland. The D3football.com national poll is released on Sunday’s.
Sophomore running back Jala Coad carried the ball 39 times for a career-high 210 yards and he also added two rushing scores. He also eclipsed 1,000 yards for his career Saturday and now has 1,149 career rushing yards. He leads the league with 12 rushing touchdowns this season.
Coad’s 32 yard score with 4:37 to go in regulation tied the game at 26-26 and Cortland blocked the extra point attempt, a play which ultimately helped send the contest into overtime.
The Brockport defense came into its own in the second half, allowing just three points over the course of the final 30 minutes plus overtime. The Golden Eagles dominated the time of possession battle once again courtesy of a solid ground game and a stingy defense. Brockport held the ball for 37:44 compared to Cortland’s 22:16 TOP. The Brockport defense also held Cortland to a 1-for-11 effort on third down chances.
Freshman quarterback Freddy June (Irondequoit) finished the day completing 14-of-25 passes for 186 yards and one touchdown through the air. He also added a key 12 yard rushing touchdown with eight seconds left in the first half to keep Brockport within striking distance following Cortland’s early 23 point surge.
After a scoreless first quarter of play, the home team put the pressure on the Golden Eagles early in the second as Brett Segala found Jason Carlock from 13 yards out to make it 7-0 in favor of the Red Dragons. Cortland’s defense then posted a safety to push the score to 9-0, and the Red Dragons added their second TD of the day less than two minutes later to set the score at 16-0. All 23 of Cortland’s first half points came in a span of less than 13 minutes.
Midway through the third quarter, June found Alex Benson from 11 yards out to cut Brockport’s deficit to just ten points, 23-13, with 6:59 to go in the quarter.
Cortland then added a 46 yard field goal from the foot of Nick Mongelli, to hand the home team a 13 point lead with 2:38 to go in the third. The field goal would prove to be the final score of the contest for Cortland.
Coad and the Brockport defense then carried the Golden Eagles right back into the contest. Coad posted two straight rushing touchdowns of six yards and 32 yards at 14:17 and 4:37 of the fourth quarter, respectively.
Brockport then had one more chance to seal the win with 1:09 to go in regulation, but Dustin Moyle’s field goal chance from 32 yards missed the target. Cortland took possession with roughly a minute left in regulation, but Brockport’s Raylens Boutin picked off a Segala pass to force overtime.
Alaan Montgomery posted a team-best eight tackles, while Covais finished the day with seven, including one tackle for a loss. Ben Damiani added six tackles. Boutin picked off his fourth pass of the season and now has a commanding league lead with 16 passes defended. Lawrence Jenkins added four tackles, including a key sack of Segala in the second half.
Segala finished the day completing 20-of-36 passes for 293 and two touchdowns for the home team. He also threw two interceptions. Brockport’s nationally recognized rushing defense came to play once again, holding the Red Dragons to just 41 net yards rushing on the day. Cole Burgess caught a game-high seven passes for 122 yards for Cortland.