CORTLAND, N.Y. – Cortland's defense forced six turnovers, all in the first half, and sophomore tailback Bronson Greene (Clifton Park/Shenendehowa) rushed for a career-high 139 yards and scored twice as the Red Dragons remained unbeaten in New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) play with a 45-27 win over visiting Brockport.
Cortland, which has won five straight games, is now 5-1 overall and 5-0 in league play. The Red Dragons are a half game ahead of Rowan and Kean (each 4-0 NJAC) in the league standings. Cortland will host Rowan next Saturday at noon and will travel to Kean Oct. 27 at 1 p.m.
Cortland intercepted Brockport quarterback Joe Scibilia (North Tonawanda/Starpoint) four times in the second quarter. Senior cornerback Pete Furey (Niskayuna) registered two of those picks, with senior safety Phil Bossman (East Aurora) and freshman linebacker Matt Ambrose (Wyckoff, NJ/Ramapo) recorded one interception each. Ambrose, making his first collegiate appearance, returned his interception 21 yards for a touchdown late in the second quarter.
The Red Dragons also forced two fumbles – one on a tackle by freshman linebacker Troy Beddoe (Endicott/Union-Endicott) in the first quarter and another on a sack by senior linebacker Chris Bright (East Meadow) in the second quarter. Bright and sophomore cornerback Andrew Tolosi (Monroe/Monroe-Woodbury) led the team with 10 tackles each. Furey and Beddoe each made nine stops. Bright finished with 2.5 tackles for losses and Tolosi had two pass breakups.
Cortland senior quarterback Chris Rose (Victor) completed 18-of-32 passes for 197 yards, including touchdown throws to senior wide receiver Mike Humphrey (Le Roy) and senior tight end Rob Von Bargen (Massapequa). Senior Dorian Myles (Lackawanna/Hamburg) ran for 95 yards and a touchdown and Humphrey had seven catches for 91 yards. Rose rushed three times for 32 yards.
Scibilia, despite the four interceptions, still completed 34-of-64 passes for 377 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 35 yards on 11 carries. Sophomore receiver Andrew Mrozek (Depew/Lancaster), sophomore running back Tyrone Nichols (Troy/Lansingburgh) and senior receiver Kazeem Are (South Orange, NJ/Columbia) each caught a touchdown pass. Junior receiver Jake Spalik (Johnson City) finished with eight passes for 79 yards and Mrozek had six receptions for 140 yards. Senior Joseph Innes (Unadilla/Unatego) and Nichols also totaled six catches apiece.
Brockport's defense intercepted Rose three times. Junior Ross Ragonesi (East Northport/Northport) finished with 11 tackles, an interception and two pass breakups. Sophomore Colby Morabito (Rochester/Hilton) made his team-high fifth interception of the year and freshman Kharif Pryor (Brooklyn/Thomas Jefferson) also picked off a pass. Junior Kyle Carman (Wayland/Wayland-Cohocton) shared game honors with Ragonesi with 11 tackles.
Cortland drove 60 yards on the game's opening drive and scored on a 9-yard TD pass from Rose to Humphrey. Brockport tied the game early in the second quarter when Are outjumped two defenders for a 6-yard TD reception, but Cortland answered with a 4-play, 54-yard drive on its next possession that ended with a 7-yard TD catch by Von Bargen.
Later in the second quarter, Cortland started at the Brockport 38-yard line after Bossman's interception and scored five plays later on a Greene 1-yard TD run. Brockport appeared to pull within a score on a TD pass to Mrozek with 2:09 left in the half, but an offensive pass interference call negated the score. Cortland got the ball back on Bright's sack and forced fumble on the next play.
Brockport returned the favor with a Pryor interception at the Golden Eagles' 14-yard line, but three plays later Ambrose picked off a pass and scored on a 21-yard return to give Cortland a 28-7 halftime lead.
Brockport closed to within 28-14 on its second drive of the third quarter as Scibilia's 7-yard quarterback draw capped a 10-play, 75-yard drive. The Red Dragons responded with a 53-yard drive that finished with a Mike DeBole (Webster/Webster Schroeder) 30-yard field goal with 5:18 left in the third quarter.
Cortland caught a break on Brockport's next possession when the Golden Eagles punted the ball into the back of one of their own players. The Red Dragons took over on the Brockport 11-yard line and scored on the next play when Myles broke an 11-yard touchdown run. The lead grew to 45-14 early in the fourth quarter as Greene sprung free for a 58-yard scoring rush.
Brockport scored the game's final 14 points on a two Scibilia TD passes – a 67-yard bomb to Mrozek with 9:56 left and a 10-yard pass to Nichols with 2:09 remaining.
Brockport finished with a slight 474-462 advantage in total offense. Cortland has recorded more than 400 yards of offense in six straight games to tie a school record that was set last season. Cortland outgained Brockport on the ground, 265-97, with Brockport outpassing the Red Dragons, 377-197. Brockport, however, attempted 65 passes to Cortland's 32 and ran 97 plays to Cortland's 74.