In a game they needed to win in order to keep their footing in a tough NJAC race, the College’s football team stepped up big time to take down the SUNY-Brockport Golden Eagles 26-17 at home on Oct. 8, bringing their record to 4-1 on the season.
“It’s certainly better than being 1-4, which we were this time last year,” Head Coach Eric Hamilton said. “Four-and-one means we’re taking care of business.”
Senior quarterback Jay Donoghue’s performance earned him NJAC Offensive Player of the Week honors after he threw for a career-high 299 yards and rushed for 46 yards and three TDs against the Golden Eagles. For Donoghue, his confidence in himself and the offense has taken the team far this season.
“I think we’re just getting more comfortable in the offense,” Donoghue said. “We’re running the ball well, so if I can complete a few passes here and there, that helps too. The little bubble passes, I think those get me going, and once I complete a few of those, we get rolling.”
The defense also stepped up big while the offense was struggling to put anything together, recovering a fumble and intercepting a pass in the second half to keep Brockport at bay. Sophomore linebacker Nick Bricker posted a career-high 15 tackles on the day and earned NJAC Defensive Player of the Week. Senior safety Shawn Brown recorded another interception, his fourth within the last three weeks.
“For our defense, it’s bend a little bit, don’t break,” Donoghue said. “Don’t give up too many big plays. That’s what we’ve got to do, we’ve got to help them by staying out on the field and scoring a few points.”
One of the main reasons for Donoghue’s success was the great play from his top two wide receivers, juniors Brian Mills and Matt Rosati. Rosati recorded 119 yards on seven catches Saturday, while Mills also grabbed seven balls for 58 yards.
“They’re awesome. Rosati, Mills, (senior RB Joe) Falco out of the backfield, (sophomore RB Nick) Tyson is big,” Donoghue said. “All of those guys, man, they make plays and I just have to get them the ball.”
What stood out to Hamilton was that when the game was on the line, the experienced seniors on the team pushed harder to make sure the team won the game.
“Look who stepped up: the quarterback who’s a senior, Falco who’s a senior, Jon Power, the lineman,” Hamilton said. “When we had to get it going, the guys who did it were the seniors.”