Brockport football returns to early glory
Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 12:10
Saturday, Oct. 6 the Brockport Golden Eagles’ football team took down NJAC foe William Paterson 35-14, improving its overall record to 4-2 and 2-2 in conference.
After losing two games in a row and on the verge of a three-game losing streak, the Eagles’ defense took control of the ship and sailed to its fourth victory of the season.
Brockport came out strong from the start, scoring two touchdowns in the first quarter.
Sophomore running back Tyrone Nichols scored the first touchdown of the game at the 12:09 mark of the first quarter off of a 1-yard run.
Senior quarterback Joe Scibilia then put the Eagles up 14-0 with a 16-yard run with 51 seconds left in the first period.
At the 10:30 mark of the second quarter, freshman wide receiver Eric Malave caught an 8-yard pass from Scibilia and Brockport went up 21-0.
The Pioneers finally got on the board with 3:30 left in the first half with a one-yard run from Pioneer senior running back Dawys German.
Paterson tight end Joseph Cordato closed the deficit to 14-21 at 13:03 in the third period after a 1-yard pass from quarterback Ryan Gresik.
Cordato’s touchdown was the last time the Pioneers would score in the game, but the Eagles landed themselves on the board two more times in the second half.
Sophomore running back Shireem Cobb had a touchdown off a 2-yard run in the remaining seconds of the third period.
Nichols sealed the Pioneer’s fate with a 1-yard run at 3:27 in the fourth quarter and the Eagles sent William Paterson home with a 35-14 loss.
Going into the game senior linebacker Derek DeCandia said he had two things he was going to focus on in order to help Brockport.
“Shut down their run offense and then make plays when they pass,” said DeCandia.
DeCandia and the rest of Brockport’s defense shined, shutting down the Pioneers’ rushing attack by allowing only 70 yards on 35 attempts.
Sophomore defensive back Colby Morabito contributed to stopping the air attack from William Patterson by deflecting three passes and adding an interception. Morabito now has a team leading four interceptions in 2012.
Junior outside linebacker John O’Hagan and junior defensive back Anthony Bianchi each had 10 tackles on the day and helped anchor the William Paterson offense to minimal yardage.
The mastermind behind Brockport’s defensive success this season is Assistant Coach and Defensive Coordinator Rashaan Jordan.
“Coach Jordan just keeps stressing to us to make tackles, key reads, executing our assignments and bringing the intensity,” said DeCandia. “He really prepares week in and week out to be successful on the field.”
In just his second year as a member of the Brockport coaching staff, Jordan has considerably improved the Eagles’ defense.
During the 2011 season, the defense gave up 30.8 points per game, but this year the defense has held teams to an average of just 14.67 points per game.
“If we keep working hard, staying healthy and practicing with the same intensity we play with in the games, there’s no doubt that we can succeed,” said DeCandia. “It’s all about our mentality and preparation. If that’s right, we’re right. We only go as far as our weakest link.”
On the other end of the field, the Eagles’ offense put up big numbers against the Pioneers.
Like clock work, Scibilia controlled the tempo of the offense. He put up an additional 16 yards for a total of 32.
Tyrone Nichols set a career high in rushing yards with 165, while junior wide receiver Jake Spalik set the all-time reception record with 133 and counting.
Catching four balls on the day was freshman wide receiver Eric Malave, who made his second career start in Saturday’s game.
Along with other teams on campus last weekend, the football team showed its support and remembrance in the wake of the tragic loss of fellow classmate and athlete Alexandra Kogut. Prior to the game, the team held a moment of silence.
Saturday, Oct. 13 the Eagles have yet another tough game in store, as they travel to Cortland to take on the Red Dragons. Cortland is 4-1 overall this season and 4-0 in the NJAC, where it sits in second place out of nine teams.
Brockport is ranked fourth in the NJAC, just behind Kean University. With a win against Cortland, Brockport would improve to 5-2 overall.
Saturday’s game is the first of two remaining road games for Brockport. The other will be at Montclair State Saturday, Nov. 3.
Brockport’s next home game is set for Saturday, Oct. 20 at 1 p.m. against the Western Connecticut Colonials. Western Connecticut is winless both overall and in the NJAC with a record of 0-5.