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Defensive dominance

By: Aiden Locke

BROCKPORT, NY--- The Brockport Golden Eagles football team took care of business on Saturday. The Golden Eagles faced off against the Utica Pioneers in Empire 8 action. A 38-3 final led to another dominate display from the Brockport defense. The Brockport defense came into this matchup off back-to-back shutouts.

"We do our job," Brockport linebacker Dawin Fanor said. "Even though someone has to make the play, everyone is doing their job, defending the right hole or defending the right spots to make that play."

Photo credit: Aiden Locke 89.1 The Point

Utica's offense couldn't get any momentum throughout the first quarter going 3-and-out on all three of their first quarter drives, only totaling 16 yards of offense in the first 15 minutes. Meanwhile the Brockport offense took their first drive 75 yards on 12 plays for a score to take an early seven-point lead. Brockport Quarterback Chris McGuire would punch in a designed quarterback run from nine yards out for a score.

The second quarter saw the Brockport defense's nine quarter shutout streak come to an end. After a bad punt on the opening drive in the second quarter, Utica had excellent field position. A nine play, 39-yard drive would end in a short field goal for Utica to make the game 7-3. That score would be the closest of the day. Brockport's offense would immediately respond with an eight-play, 73-yard drive. It would be capped off by an 11-yard Jala Code rushing touchdown to make the score 14-3. The final Golden Eagle drive of the first half would end in a field goal. The Utica defense would stand on its head to deny Brockport of a touchdown, making stop after stop inside the 5-yard-line. The score at half would stand at 17-3 for the Golden Eagles.

Photo credit: Aiden Locke 89.1 The Point

"Sometimes Chris is the ballcarrier and sometimes he's not," Brockport head coach Jason Mangone said. "Then you have Jala and cam and Isaiah, those guys are pretty dangerous."

Photo credit: Aiden Locke 89.1 The Point

Utica's offense would be completely shut down in the second half. All four third quarter Utica drives would go backwards. Utica's offense would total -29 yards in the third quarter. Brockport's second and third drives of the third quarter would produce touchdowns. The first scoring drive was a seven-play 79-yard drive punched in by a 29-yard Isaiah Simmons run. Simmons showed great burst and vision as he took the corner on an outside run. The second third quarter score from Brockport came from freshman running back Cameron Mesh. He finished a four-play, 34-yard drive. Mesh would score from six yards out. He showed great power as he ran through defenders on his way across the goal line. Code, Simmons, and Mesh needed to step up today with the absence of Junior Gino Fontanarosa, who will miss the remainder of the season with a broken forearm.

Photo credit: Aiden Locke 89.1 The Point

It's safe to say the depth in the stable for Brockport got the job done as they finished the game with 288 rushing yards split between seven different runners.

The fourth quarter saw one more score. It came from the Brockport passing game. Chris McGuire would find Nolan Slywka in the right corner of the endzone. Slywka would make an outstanding toe-tap catch to push the Golden Eagle lead to 38-3. Brockport's day was anything but perfect offensively. They still managed to be productive even with some uncharacteristic mistakes.

Photo credit: Aiden Locke 89.1 The Point

"It was a lot of small things; one person misses an assignment, something's off," McGuire said. "It happens nit we need to get those fixed."

Brockport now looks ahead to their biggest matchup so far this season. They will travel to Cortland to face off against the Red Dragons. This matchup will most likely determine who will win the Empire 8.

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