Brockport Wins Northwest Bowl Game 19-12
An opening drive touchdown sparked The College at Brockport football team's offense early on, but it was the Golden Eagle defense that held Waynesburg University down the stretch to secure the program's second bowl victory, claiming the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECCAC) Northwest Bowl game 19-12. Freshman Dan Andrews (Rochester, NY/Franklin) was named the Most Outstanding Player for the Golden Eagles.
The Golden Eagles clinched their first bowl game victory since 2008 when the team won a thrilling 70-68 victory over Hartwick. Brockport is now 2-1 all-time in bowl games.
Andrews rushed for 188 yards, his fourth-highest total of his young career, on 29 attempts with one touchdown to earn the postgame accolade. The freshman also caught three passes for a team-high 46 yards receiving to help lead Brockport to its seventh consecutive victory.
Brockport finishes the season with an 8-3 record, making head coach Jason Mangone the first coach in program history to record an eight-win season in his first year. The eight wins are the most for Brockport since the team went 9-2 in 2003.
Light snow flurries quickly shifted to near-whiteout conditions early on at Eunice Kennedy Shriver Stadium on Saturday. On the second play of the game, Andrews withstood the squalls and broke loose for a career-long 82-yard touchdown run to give Brockport an early 6-0 lead after a botched two-point conversion attempt. The Yellow Jackets responded with a field goal to cut the lead in half and the score remained at 6-3 until late in the second quarter.
The Golden Eagles chewed up over four minutes of play on their second possession of the quarter, but were forced to punt. Wayne Bonsell (Binghamton, NY/Binghamton) dropped a kick on the Waynesburg one yard line to put the Yellow Jackets on their heels. After a three-and-out, Waynesburg sent a punt to senior Jake Spalik (Johnson City, NY/Johnson City) who returned the kick 40 yards for Brockport's second score of the game. Tyler Perna's (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) point after put the Golden Eagles up 10.
The Brockport defense continued to clamp down on the Yellow Jackets. After the first quarter field goal, the Waynesburg offense was stalled on nine consecutive drives- eight punts and one turnover on downs. The Yellow Jackets finally cut into the deficit with a field goal from Alex Henry at the 5:18 mark. On Waynesburg's next possession, Joe Riley (Ossining, NY/Ossining) picked off Carter Hill's pass in the middle of the field and returned it nine yards to give Brockport solid field position.
Brockport marched down to the Waynesburg two-yard line but failed to score as Perna missed a field goal attempt wide left, leaving the door open for the Yellow Jackets. The Golden Eagle defense stepped up once again on the next possession, forcing another punt from Dominic Zappa. Brockport controlled the clock on their next possession, taking up 5:31 of play as Shireem Cobb (Valley Stream, NY/Sewanhaka) capped off the drive with a two-yard touchdown run. The Golden Eagles led 19-6 after a blocked PAT.
The Yellow Jackets took over and marched down the field in just 2:30 as Hill completed an eight-yard touchdown pass to Bernie Thompson to cut Brockport's lead to 19-12 with 1:42 left on the clock. Brockport was then held to a three-and-out, giving Waynesburg 32 seconds to work with.
On the team's first play, the Golden Eagles were whistled for defensive pass interference, giving the Yellow Jackets a first down at their own 40 yard line. The Brockport defense stood tall, forcing four straight incompletions to seal the victory.
Bonsell finished the day 15-32 with 154 yards and one interception. Spalik, the school's all-time receptions leader, caught three passes for 39 yards while rushing for 42 yards as well.
The Golden Eagles set two new records on the day, breaking the all-time mark for yards in a season with 4,973 total yards and most rushing yards in a season with 2,354. Andrews finished the season with 1,236 rushing yards, fourth-most in school history.
Jake Brickler (Hilton, NY/Hilton) led the Brockport defense with 11 total tackles while Tarik Bennett (Mt. Vernon, NY/Mt. St. Michael) recorded nine tackles, including three for a loss and one sack.
The Brockport offensive line provided a dominating performance once again, not allowing a sack for the seventh game this season.
For Waynesburg, Hill finished the day with 219 yards passing on 19-48 with one touchdown and the one interception. The Yellow Jackets picked up 76 yards on the ground, led by Jerry Lawman with 60 total yards. Thompson caught five balls for 80 yards in the air.
John Sikora led the Yellow Jacket defense with 10 total tackles and the team's lone interception.