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Red Dragon upset bid falls short against Brockport

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

Cortland’s Alex Wasserman (26), right, blocks Brockport defender Julius Brunson (9), giving Cortland’s Josh Ramirez (82) some running room in the second quarter of Saturday’s game. Brockport won, 52-38.

The SUNY Cortland football team took a 28-17 halftime lead over nationally 16th-ranked Brockport Saturday, but the visiting Golden Eagles pulled away with three fourth-quarter touchdowns to defeat the Red Dragons 52-38 in an Empire 8 contest.

Brockport remained unbeaten at 5-0 with the win and is now 3-0 in conference play. Cortland dropped to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the Empire 8.

Cortland senior Steven Ferreira completed 30-of-42 passes for 385 yards and four touchdowns with one interception. His 385 passing yards are the sixth-highest single-game total in school history. Junior Nick Anderson caught three touchdown passes, tying the school single-game record set 11 times previously, most recently by John Babin at Montclair State in 2013.

Also for the Red Dragons, sophomore Angelo Foster caught nine passes for 146 yards and a touchdown. Ben Tietjen led the defense with eight tackles, seven solo, and Dylan Studer intercepted a pass.

Brockport quarterback Joe Germinerio accounted for 360 yards of total offense and played a part in six Golden Eagle touchdowns. He completed 15-of-21 passes for 265 yards and three scores, with one interception, and rushed 23 times for 95 yards and three touchdowns. Justin Morrison ran 14 times for 117 yards and a score and Tyree Brown caught six passes for 179 yards and a touchdown.

Julius Mizro paced the Brockport defense with eight tackles, seven solo, a sack, a forced fumble and an interception. Nathaniel Keith III, Jake O’Connell and Matt Szymanski each finished with eight tackles as well. The Golden Eagles recorded six sacks, led by 1.5 by Terry McDonald.

Brockport finished with a 484-390 advantage in total offense, including a 261-97 margin in the second half.

Ferreira completed 9-of-10 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter, and at halftime was 20-of-23 for 259 yards and three scores. Germinerio was only 5-of-8 passing for 106 yards in the first half, but threw for two scores and ran for three in the second half.

Cortland drove 87 yards on the game’s opening drive, capped by Ferreira’s 15-yard TD pass to Anderson with 9:01 left. Brockport tied it less than three minutes later on a Morrison 40-yard TD run, but Cortland answered with a 71-yard drive that finished with Zach Tripodi’s 2-yard TD run. The lead grew to 21-7 less than five minutes into the second on Ferreira’s 7-yard toss to Anderson that closed a 68-yard scoring drive.

Brockport took only eight seconds to get back on the board when Germinerio found Brown open for a 54-yard scoring bomb. The Golden Eagles added a Brett Renzi 33-yard field goal with 2:27 left in the half, but Cortland drove 62 yards on seven plays, the final 17 coming on a Foster TD reception with 45 seconds left that sent the Red Dragons into the locker room up by 11.

Brockport received the ball to start the second half and took only six plays to cover 77 yards. Brown caught a 44-yard pass to the Cortland 15-yard line, and two plays later Germinerio ran in from five yards to cut Cortland’s lead to 28-24.

A few minutes later, Cortland recovered a Brockport fumble at the Golden Eagles’ 23-yard line. The Red Dragons gained six yards on three plays and William Holscher made a 34-yard field goal to give the hosts a 31-24 lead.

After the teams traded punts, Brockport started a drive on its own 7-yard line. Three plays in, Germinerio hit Brown for a 64-yard completion to the Cortland 18-yard line. Germinerio eventually scored on a 1-yard sneak with 3:03 left in the third to tie the game at 31-31.

Mizro intercepted Ferreira at the Brockport 30-yard line on Cortland’s next possession and returned the ball to the Cortland 33-yard line. Three plays into the fourth quarter, Germinerio hit Joseph Ortiz for a 9-yard TD and Brockport led 38-31. Brockport then forced a Cortland three-and-out and took over after a short punt on the Cortland 43-yard line. Germinerio ran for 23 yards on 3rd-and-18 from the Cortland 27-yard line, and three plays later found fullback Casey Goldberg for a 4-yard TD pass that put the guests up 45-31 with 6:04 left.

Brockport’s final score was set up when Alex West sacked Ferreira and forced a fumble that eventually put Brockport on the Cortland 6-yard line. Germinerio ran three yards on 3rd-and-goal for a score to extend the lead to 52-31.

Cortland closed the scoring on a four-play, 75-yard TD drive. Foster turned a sideline pass into a 53-yard gain, and Ferreira found Anderson on a post pattern on the next play for a 27-yard score with 2:50 left. Brockport recovered the ensuing onside kick and eventually moved to the 3-yard line before taking a knee three times to end the game.

Cortland will play at Buffalo State this Saturday in a noon kickoff.

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