The College at Brockport Football team fell behind early and could not recover as St. John Fisher won a 36-20 decision in Courage Bowl X Saturday night on Bob Boozer Field at Eunice Kennedy Shriver Stadium in Brockport.
A school-record crowd of over 9,000 fans packed the stadium for the Courage Bowl and Homecoming game but went home disappointed as the Golden Eagles (2-1 Overall, 0-1 Empire 8) trailed 23-0 at halftime and outscored St. John Fisher (2-0, 1-0) 20-13 in the second half but it was not enough to overcome the early deficit.
The Cardinals, ranked No. 8 in the latest D3football.com national poll, scored on its first possession in just three plays for the early lead. A 59-yard scoring pass near the end of the first quarter made it a 13-0 lead as St. John Fisher missed the extra point attempt.
The Cardinals scored twice in the last two minutes of the first half on a 24-yard field goal and added a touchdown with good field position after an interception near midfield and headed to the halftime intermission with a 23-0 lead.
Brockport opened the third quarter with a tough defensive stand and a blocked punt giving the Golden Eagles field position inside the Cardinals 10-yard line. Dan Andrews (Rochester, NY/Franklin) used to runs to punch the ball into the end zone and put Brockport on the scoreboard.
The Cardinals answered with another long touchdown play – this time a 50-yard scoring run to make it a 30-7 St. John Fisher lead.
Brockport threatened two possessions later as backup quarterback Chase Venuto (Ithaca, NY/Ithaca) drove the Golden Eagles inside the 10-yard line but a 4th-and-goal pass to Eric Malave (Brooklyn, NY/Canarsie) came up one yard short of the end zone giving the ball back to St. John Fisher on downs.
After a three-and-out series for the Cardinals, Brockport moved the ball inside the 10-yard line again but this time senior Shireem Cobb (Valley Stream, NY/Sewanhaka) bulled his way in from a yard out from the wild-cat offensive set to trim the Cardinal lead to 30-14.
St. John Fisher opened the fourth quarter with a long drive covering 60 yards with 12 plays and eating up 6:23 of time off the clock before scoring from one yard out. A bad snap on the extra point attempt turned into the completed pass that was short of the end zone making it a 36-14 Cardinal lead.
With less than three minutes to play, Brockport put together one last drive sparked by a 44-yard run by Andrews and a 37-yard passs and catch from Venuto to senior Andrew Mrozek (Depew, NY/Lancaster) as the Golden Eagles scored to cut the lead to 36-20 but only 20 seconds remained on the clock.
Andrews finished with 157 yards on 24 carries and two touchdowns and freshman Nate Wilkinson (Elma, NY/Iroquois) finished with a team-high 71 yards on six receptions. Sophomore Jake Brickler (Hilton, NY/Hilton) led the defense with 14 tackles and sophomore James Rupp (Sayville, NY/Sayville) added 11 tackles. Senior Colby Morabito (Rochester, NY/Hilton) had two tackles and a pass breakup for his school-record tying 26th career pass breakup. The total ties Chris Payne who had 26 from 1985-87 AND David Nieman who recorded 26 from 1987-91.