SUNY Cortland defeats Brockport, remains atop Empire 8

CORTLAND, N.Y. – Steven Ferreira (West Sayville/Sayville) completed 18-of-21 passes for 314 yards and four touchdowns, including two scores each to Jon Mannix(Elwood/John H. Glenn) and Nick Wagner (Elwood/John H. Glenn), and Dylan Peebles (Port Leyden/South Lewis) ran for 108 yards and a touchdown as Cortland remained atop the Empire 8 standings with a 35-21 win over visiting Brockport.

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Cortland, which played its final regular-season home game, improved to 7-1 overall and 5-1 in the conference. The Red Dragons are a game and a half ahead of Alfred, Buffalo State and St. John Fisher (each 3-2 in the league). Brockport fell to 4-3 overall and 2-3 in the conference.

Ferreira eclipsed the 300-yard passing mark for the third time this season. In seven games, he has thrown 20 touchdowns passes with only one interception, which occurred Sept. 19 at St. John Fisher. He connected with Wagner for a 49-yard TD pass in the first quarter and a 22-yard score in the second, and hit Mannix on a 5-yard TD pass in the second and a 71-yard TD strike in the third. Peebles ran for an 11-yard TD in the first quarter.

Troy Beddoe (Endicott/Union-Endicott) led the Cortland defense with 10 tackles, eight solo, a sack and a fumble recovery. Julian Santiago (Selden/Newfield) and Carson Lassiter (Madison, NJ) finished with eight tackles each. Cornerback Mark DelPrete (Staten Island/Monsignor Farrell) recorded his fifth interception of the season, with at least one in each of the last four games. His four-game streak is tied for second in school history, along with Steve Daly in 1975. The school record for consecutive games with an interception is six by Joe Lopez in 2010.

Brockport's Dan Andrews ran 35 times for 122 yards and two touchdowns. He became the Golden Eagles' career leader in both touchdowns and points scored. Wayne Bonsell completed 18-of-32 passes for 208 yards and a TD. Jerry Thompson caught five passes for 49 yards and a score. Alex Egglinger led Brockport with 12 tackles and Dennis Thomas added nine tackles and a forced fumble.

Cortland outgained Brockport in total offense, 478-348, and the Red Dragons held a 31:45-28:15 advantage in time of possession despite holding the ball for only 3:40 in the first quarter.

Five of the game's first six possession resulted in touchdowns as Cortland took a 21-14 lead with less than 21 minutes elapsed. Brockport drove 68 yards on 15 plays on the game's opening series, capped by an Andrews 1-yard TD run. Cortland took only 1:55 to respond with a 7-play, 78-yard drive, the final 49 yards covered by Wagner's catch and run down the left sideline to the end zone.

Brockport elected to go for it on 4th-and-1 at its own 32-yard line on its next possession, but Beddoe stopped a runner for no gain to give Cortland the ball. Four plays later, Peebles ran in from 11 yards out and the Red Dragons led 14-7.

The guests opened their next drive with a 49-yard pass from Bonsell to Nate Wilkinson to the Cortland 26-yard line. Andrews carried the ball on six of the next seven plays, including a 1-yard TD run, to tie the game at 14-14 with nine seconds left in the quarter.

Cortland answered with a 13-play, 62-yard TD drive that included a 20-yard catch by Matt Goodman (Closter, NJ/North Valley Demarest) on 2nd-and-17 at the Brockport 36-yard line. Mannix finished the drive with a catch on a 5-yard fade pass to the right corner of the end zone and the Red Dragons led 21-14.

With 2:02 left in the half, Cortland started a drive on its own 43-yard line. After driving to the Brockport 12, Ferreira was sacked by Jeff Scialo for a 10-yard loss, but on 3rd-and-19 Ferreira hit Wagner on a 22-yard TD pass to up the lead to 28-14.

Cortland's lead grew to 35-14 with 8:07 left in the third quarter when Mannix caught a ball in traffic up the middle, split tacklers and outraced the defense for a 71-yard TD. Brockport drove to the Cortland 1-yard line on its next possession but fumbled the ball away on a 4th-down run, but the Golden Eagles quickly recovered and scored on its next drive when Bonsell hit Thompson for a 2-yard TD reception. That score drew Brockport within 35-21 with 2:33 left in the third.

Brockport's fourth-quarter possessions, however, resulted in two turnovers on downs, sandwiched around a DelPrete interception, and a lost fumble after a sack by Marquise Marshall (Middle Island/Longwood) with less than a minute left. Cortland stopped Brockport on four of its five 4th-down conversion attempts.

Cortland will play at Morrisville State next Saturday, Oct. 31, at 1 p.m. and will close the regular season on Nov. 14 at Ithaca in the annual Cortaca Jug game.

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