CORTLAND, N.Y. – Sophomore Justin Autera
(Mahopac) rushed for 163 yards and three touchdowns and
Cortland's defense recorded its third consecutive shutout as
the nationally-ranked Red Dragons defeated visiting Brockport,
35-0, in a New Jersey Athletic Conference contest.
Cortland (5-0, 5-0 NJAC), ranked 19th in Div. III by the AFCA and 25th by D3football.com, has held its opposition scoreless since giving up a third-quarter touchdown to Buffalo State on Sept. 18. The Red Dragons have allowed a total of 19 points over their first five games.
Brockport (1-4, 1-3 NJAC) entered the game averaging 27.2 points and 438 yards of total offense per game, but was held to 222 yards (52 rushing, 170 passing) and was shut out for the first time since a 22-0 loss to Rowan in October, 2005.
Cortland's defense finished the day with eight sacks and four interceptions. Junior linebacker Cody Allen (Medina) led the team with 13 tackles and intercepted a pass that set up the Red Dragons' third touchdown late in the first quarter. Senior defensive end Matt Kaufmann (Lynbrook/Kellenberg Memorial) registered 3.5 sacks among his eight tackles. Cortland's eight sacks are its most since a 10-sack performance in a 17-10 home win versus Brockport in 2006.
Junior Bill Smith (Nanuet) turned in a productive day in his dual role as a starting linebacker and fullback. He made 10 tackles, five solo, and ran for a 16-yard touchdown early in the third quarter. Senior defensive tackle Lou Crispo (Eastchester) and senior linebacker Will Schroeder (Rockville Center/Holy Trinity) totaled 1.5 sacks each. Senior cornerback Joe Lopez (Port Jefferson Station/Comsewogue), sophomore linebacker Conor Kelly (Kings Park) and senior cornerback Mason Ellis (Pasadena, MD/Northeast) each intercepted a pass.
Autera averaged 7.1 yards per carry on his 23 rushing attempts. His scoring runs from one yard, 22 yards and two yards staked Cortland to a 21-0 lead with 2:40 left in the first quarter. Dan Pitcher (Cortland) completed 9-of-17 passes for 137 yards, including an 18-yard TD pass to Anthony Giuliano (Thornwood/Westlake) that completed the scoring with 4:41 remaining in the third. Giuliano made five catches for 87 yards.
Brockport quarterback Jon Williams (Irving/Silver Creek) completed 17-of-26 passes for 154 yards. Jordan Hogan (Lockport/Newfane) caught five passes for 68 yards. Linebacker Derek DeCandia (Beacon) led the Golden Eagles with eight tackles, while defensive lineman Jamison Williams (Saugerties) and linebacker Nate Bull (Brockport) made six tackles apiece.
Brockport's best chance to score came at the end of the first half. Williams sacked Pitcher and forced a fumble that Brockport recovered at the Cortland 28-yard line with 2:34 left before intermission. The Golden Eagles eventually worked the ball to the 2-yard line with 25.6 seconds left and faced a 3rd-and-goal situation. A run by Adam Erickson (Jamestown/Falconer) was stopped by Allen and Smith at the 1-yard line, and a fourth-down quarterback sneak by Williams was shut down by Schroeder and Chris Hanlon (Patchogue/Patchogue-Medford) with 14 seconds left.