Cortland earns ECAC football bowl berth

Brett Segala throws during Cortland's win over Morrisville earlier this season (Darl Zehr Photography)

Brett Segala throws during Cortland’s win over Morrisville earlier this season (Darl Zehr Photography)

The SUNY Cortland football team has been selected to compete in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Clayton Chapman Bowl and will face Kean University of New Jersey on Friday, November 18 at 3 p.m. at Franklin Field in Philadelphia.

The game is one of six over three days as part of the second annual ECAC Division III Football Fest. All six games will be Penn’s Franklin Field – two each day. Cortland’s game will be the first of the weekend.

A limited number of discounted tickets can be purchased through the Cortland Athletics office through Thursday by contacting Julie Randall at [email protected] or (607) 753-4953. Tickets are $17 if purchased from Cortland or $20 at the door otherwise. There are no complimentary tickets at any ECAC bowl game.

Cortland, led by 20th-year head coach Dan MacNeill, finished the regular season 5-5 after winning its last two games, including a 28-16 win over Ithaca College in the annual Cortaca Jug rivalry game last Saturday. Teams need to have at least a .500 record in order to be eligible for ECAC bowl selection.

Cortland has been selected for ECAC postseason play 11 previous times in addition to playing in nine NCAA tournaments. The Red Dragons advanced to the NCAA Division III tournament second round last fall. Cortland’s last ECAC appearance came in 2013 when the Red Dragons lost at Alfred, 21-14, in the ECAC North Central Bowl.

Cortland won ECAC Northwest titles in 1991 (21-6 at home vs. Plymouth State), 1992 (38-20 at home vs. Bentley) and 2002 (30-7 at home vs. Westfield State), Northeast titles in 1994 (15-6 at Maine Maritime) and 2007 (23-7 at home vs. Union), and the Southeast title in 2011 (14-0 at home vs. Albright).

Kean (6-4) is a member of Cortland’s former league, the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC). The Cougars are making their seventh ECAC bowl appearance. Last season, they defeated WPI, 24-6, during the first ECAC Football Fest in Connecticut. Cortland and Kean faced each other every year from 1996-2014, including 15 meetings as NJAC foes from 2000-14. Cortland is 17-2 overall versus the Cougars, with Kean’s wins coming in 2009 and 2011, both in Cortland.

Cortland is one of four Empire 8 teams to earn ECAC bowl berths this season, along with St. John Fisher, Brockport and Utica. Alfred won the Empire 8 title and earned an NCAA tournament berth.

2016 ECAC Football Fest Schedule
Franklin Field; University of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia
Friday, November 18
Cortland (5-5) vs. Kean (6-4), 3 p.m.
(Clayton Chapman Bowl, presented by Best Western)
Washington & Jefferson (8-2) vs. Brockport (7-3), 8:15 p.m.
(Presidents Bowl, presented by N & D Sports)
Saturday, November 19
Utica (7-3) vs. Westminster (7-3), 11 a.m.
(James Lynah Bowl, presented by GuardLab)
Frostburg St. (9-1) vs. St. John Fisher (8-2), 5 p.m.
(Asa S. Bushnell Bowl, presented by TeeVee Media & Production)
Sunday, November 20
Carnegie Mellon (7-3) vs. Salisbury (7-3), 11 a.m.
(Legacy Bowl, presented by Academy Bus)
SUNY Maritime (6-4) vs. RPI (5-5), 5 p.m.
(Robert M. “Scotty” Whitelaw Bowl, presented by Dual Fuel)