By: Mike Rose
One week after a heartbreaking defeat the SUNY Brockport football team was in need of a bounce-back effort. They delivered just that blitzing past the Wilkes Colonels 31-7 in a complete team effort.
It was a new face leading the offense for the Golden Eagles as true freshman Ben Gocella received his first career start. However, it was a familiar face for the Golden Eagles who got the offense rolling early on. Gino Fontanarosa, who was one week removed from a two-carry, 3-yard outing, took his second touch of the game 70 yards to the endzone. From there Brockport never looked back.
Although the offense was unable to keep up the early pace. The other two phases kept the momentum rolling. First, it was the special teams once again came up with a game-changing play. Midway through the opening quarter, Dan Gangrasso sent a line-drive punt towards Wilkes wide receiver Zane Grover who muffed the kick as he backpedaled toward his own goal line. Louie Usera quickly pounced on the football for Brockport and made it a 14-0 game.
Wilkes started to build some momentum in the second quarter but could not take advantage of several possessions that began in Brockport territory. Raylens Boutin ended the best threat of the day from the Colonels snaring his first interception of the season at the Brockport 10-yard line.
A touchdown run from Isaiah Rodriguez kept the Colonels in striking distance at the break but Fontanarosa would strike again in the third to provide separation. This time it was through the air as Gocella bought time in the pocket to find Fontanarosa all alone up the sideline. 61 yards later the game had been blown open to a 21-7 lead in favor of the Golden Eagles.
Nate Wigent tacked on a 30-yard field goal late in the third quarter before Jala Coad scored his third rushing touchdown of the season midway through the fourth to put the game away for good.
Brockport's defense continued its dominant start to the season holding Wilkes to just one score in the game. Although they did surrender a touchdown for the first time this season, the Golden Eagles held Wilkes to just 145 yards on 54 plays while forcing three turnovers in the game. The Brockport defense has now surrendered 6.33 points per game and 227.7 yards per game to open the season, holding all three opponents to seven points or fewer.
Offensively, Fontanarosa racked up 174 yards on his 14 touches. Gocella finished his debut 8-17 passing for 98 yards and a touchdown.
The victory moves Brockport to 2-1 on the season as they gear up for the final week of non-conference action next week. They'll welcome Lycoming College to Bob Boozer Field on Saturday, Sept. 23.