Sophomore Jake Spalik (Johnson City, NY/Johnson City) caught six passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns and also threw a scoring pass to Jordan Hogan (Lockport, NY/Newfane) to lead The College at Brockport Football team to a 28-20 victory over No. 8 ranked Kean University Saturday in a New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) game on Bob Boozer Field at Eunice Kennedy Shriver Stadium in Brockport.
The win is the first of the season for Brockport (1-5 Overall, 1-4 NJAC) and the first loss of the season for Kean (5-1, 4-1) who was ranked eighth in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) poll, No. 10 in the D3Football.com poll and was the top ranked team in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Lambert Meadowlands poll.
"It was a great win for us today for a couple different reasons," said head coach Rocco Salomone. "To get the first win of the season is really important because we have played close games this year and have not found a way to win until today. It is also a great win for us against a very good Kean team. I think it shows the balance of the NJAC with several teams that can win on any given day."
The Brockport defense was the key to the Brockport victory Saturday as the Golden Eagles force Kean to nine three-and-out drives and also kept the Cougars out of the end zone on three occasions inside the Brockport 20-yard line. Twice Kean was forced to take a field goal and a third time the Golden Eagles held on a fourth down and took over possession on downs.
"Our defense was outstanding today," said Salomone. "We were playing shorthanded today with a couple players out but the entire defense stepped up and made the plays. The defensive coaches did a great job getting the players ready and this was certainly a total team effort for the defense."
Kean opened the scoring late in the first quarter with one of the two short field goals on the day with a 22-yard kick for a 3-0 lead with four seconds left in the first quarter.
On the ensuing drive, Brockport drove 80 yards down the field in 11 plays and took the lead with a trick play as Spalik took the ball on a double reverse play and threw into the corner of the end zone to Hogan giving the Golden Eagles a 7-3 lead.
After both teams punted the ball away on consecutive possessions, Kean gained possession deep in Brockport territory after a partially blocked punt but four plays later, the Brockport defense held strong and after a failed third down conversion, the Cougars attempted a fake punt but the pass fell incomplete and Brockport took over possession on downs.
Junior quarterback Joe Scibilia (North Tonawanda, NY/Starpoint) guided the Golden Eagles on another 11-play drive, 82 yards that ended with a four-yard pass to Spalik for a 14-3 Brockport lead.
At the end of the half, Kean drove down the field scoring with five seconds left in the second quarter after a 10-play drive with eight of the plays coming inside the Brockport 10-yard line and the teams went into the halftime intermission with Brockport leading 14-10.
In the third quarter, the Brockport defense held two Cougar drives to three-and-out before Scibilia engineered another scoring drive. The five-play, 41-yard drive was highlighted by a 33-yard catch by Spalik and capped by a three-yard scoring run by freshman Tyrone Nichols (Troy, NY/Lansingburgh) to give Brockport a 21-10 lead with 7:27 left in the third quarter.
Kean's next drive was halted after six plays but the punt return attempt was fumbled by Brockport giving Kean great field position at the Brockport 16 yard line.
The Golden Eagles defense held strong again, allowing just two yards on three plays before Kean settled for another short field goal – this time from 30 yards as Brockport maintained a lead 21-13.
On Brockport's final possession of the third quarter, Scibilia tacked on another seven points to the score with three running plays and two completions – the second being a 26-yard scoring pass to Spalik to push the Brockport lead to 28-13 as the game moved into the fourth quarter.
Kean scored on a 10-play drive to start the fourth quarter, trimming the lead to 28-20 but the next two Cougar possessions lasted just three plays each including one that ended with an intercepted pass by junior Jim Carlson (Port Henry, NY/Moriah).
On the final Kean drive of the fourth quarter, the defensive backs were under pressure with the Cougars looking to move the ball quickly down the field. After an 18-yard completion moved the ball past midfield, the Brockport defense forced four straight incomplete passes with senior Andrew McCormick (Peru, NY/Peru) breaking up the final two including a fourth-down conversion attempt.
Brockport ran out the clock with the next possession to record the victory.
On the day, Spalik caught six passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns, Scibilia was 22-for-36 for 300 yards and two scores and also led the Golden Eagles with 73 yards on the ground. Defensively, Carlson and sophomore Anthony Bianchi (Rochester, NY/Aquinas) had seven tackles each. Carlson added his interception and two pass break ups for the Golden Eagles.
Up next for Brockport is a trip to Western Connecticut State for a 12 pm game October 22.