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Brockport wins sixth straight Courage Bowl over St. John Fisher University  

The team celebrating Altenburger’s touchdown. Photo Credit: Brockport Athletics Flickr

ROCHESTER, NY– The Brockport Golden Eagles traveled to Growney Stadium for the 18th annual Courage Bowl. They were looking to extend their Courage Bowl winning streak over the St. John Fisher University Cardinals, and they delivered just that defeating the Cardinals 35-18.  

The Golden Eagles struck first early in the first quarter after quarterback (QB) Ben Gocella connected with tight end (TE) James Altenburger on an 8-yard highly contested touchdown pass in the back of the endzone to cap off an 8-play 44-yard drive. This gave the Golden Eagles a 7-0 lead.  

The Cardinals responded with a touchdown of their own five minutes later. Fisher QB Aaron Chase delivered a 5-yard touchdown strike to his TE Declan Faery to give the Cardinals six points. After a missed points after touchdown (PAT), The Golden Eagles led 7-6 after one quarter of play.  

At the beginning of the second quarter, Gocella tossed his second touchdown pass of the game, connecting with wide receiver (WR) Nolan Slywka on a 1-yard touchdown pass. Late in the second quarter, after an interception by Brockport defensive back (DB) Louie Usera gave the Golden Eagles the ball at their own 36-yard line. Running back (RB) Gino Fontanarosa punched it into the endzone on a 4-yard touchdown run to give the Golden Eagles a 21-6 lead at the end of the first half.  

This success is driven by one thing.  

“One thing I feel that really stands out is our communication,” Usera said. “If you see on the field, we are constantly talking to each other every single play. I feel like that helps us, so we are on the same page and making plays together, that’s what we do.”   

The Cardinals came out firing to start out the third quarter. Their defense forced a Brockport three-and-out and began their possession from their own 38-yard line. Chase and the offense marched right down the field on 13 plays for 62 yards, which was capped off by a Chase 9-yard rushing touchdown. After a failed two-point conversion attempt, the Golden Eagles led 21-12.  

Usera corralled his second interception of the game early in the fourth quarter and returned it 48 yards deep into Cardinals’ territory. A few plays later, Gocella recorded his third touchdown pass of the game; that being an 11-yard toss to Altenberger which was his second touchdown catch of the game.  

While the slight comeback may have put points on the board for Fisher, it did not suppress the Green and Gold from doing what they do best.  

“They were driving on us a little bit, but we showed some heart in the end,” Usera said. “Our defense bends but doesn’t break. I was just sitting in coverage and reading the quarterback’s eyes, and when Raylens [Boutin] hit the quarterback, the ball was in the air, and I caught it.”  

With just under six minutes left in the fourth quarter, Brockport RB Jala Coad scampered into the end zone for a 4-yard rushing touchdown to extend the lead to 35-12.  

The Cardinals didn’t go down quietly. Chase scored his third touchdown of the day, an 8-yard run, to finish off an 11-play 75-yard drive making it 35-18. 

Post game picture with the Courage Bowl Trophy. Photo Credit: Brockport Athletics Flickr

Brockport Head Coach Jason Mangone appreciates the game all around.  

“It’s great. They’re a good football team,” Mangone said. “It means a lot to come out here and play well and get a W and have a team win. The defense buckled down in the third quarter when we stalled on offense. It was just a great team win today.”  

Gocella finished the game 11-18 passing for 143 yards and three touchdowns. Altenburger had five receptions for 66 yards and two touchdowns. Fontanarosa finished the game with 95 yards and a touchdown on 19 touches.  

The win improves Brockport to a 4-1 overall record and 1-0 conference record. The Golden Eagles host Hartwick College on Saturday Oct. 7 at 1 p.m. for Homecoming weekend.  

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