Capozzoli Kicks Football Past Brockport, 16-14

Montclair, NJ(9/27/08) – Junior kicker Marco Capozzoli (Bloomfield,NJ / St. Joseph’s (Montvale)) connected from37 yards out with 16 seconds remaining as Montclair State moved to 3-0 on theseason with a 16-14 come-from-behind victory over the College at Brockport in a New Jersey Athletic Conference matchup at Sprague Field on Saturday afternoon. 

Junior running back Jeff Bliss (New Milford, NJ / New Milford) rushed for 98 yards and a touchdown as the Red Hawks are3-0 for the second straight year and the 17th time in programhistory. Montclair is also 2-0 in the NJAC as it topped the Golden Eagles inthe first meeting between the teams since 2001 and the ninth contest overall (MSU leads 6-3).  

Senior running back Garet Lynch (Valley Stream, NY /Springfield Gardens) accounted for both Brockport touchdowns as well a 76 yards rushing as the Golden Eagles, one of the two newcomers to the NJAC, sufferedtheir second straight loss to fall to 1-2, 1-1 in the conference. 

Montclair State led 13-6 with justover 5:40 left in the game, however the Red Hawks mishandled a punt snap andturned the ball over to Brockport at the MSU 5. Lynch went four yards on thefirst play and then dashed in from a yard out to make the score 13-12. The Golden Eagles elected to go for two and got it as Lynch took a lateral directsnap and ran in for the two-point conversion and a 14-13 lead.  

The Red Hawks got the next possession, but punted with 3:51 left. Montclair was able to hold the Golden Eagles and used its timeouts to get one morechance. Taking over at its own 40 yardline with 2:30 to go, MSU moved to the ball to the Brockport 27 as Eric Palmer (East Orange,NJ / East Orange) connected with Byron Lewin (Carteret, NJ / Carteret) on a 21-yard gainto get within Capozzoli’s range. But Montclair committed an offensive pass interference penalty that potentially stalled the drive as the ball was pushed back to the Brockport 42 setting up a 2nd-an-25. 

On the next play, the Golden Eagles gave the momentum rightback as they were flagged for pass interference. Palmer rushed seven yards downto the Brockport 20 and then spiked the ball to kill the clock with 22 seconds to go. Montclair would be forced to use its final timeout and the Red Hawks elected to go forthe field goal. Following a Brockport timeout to ice the kicker, Capozzoli buried the kick dead center of the goal post for his third field goal of thegame and a 16-14 lead.  

Brockport would get the ball back, but Zack Luke’s (Cambridge, NY / Cambridge) heave with three ticks remaining was intercepted by Mario McLean (Montville, NJ / Montville) and MSU knelt down for the final snap.  

Montclair State would jump out to a7-0 lead midway through the first quarter as it moved 70-yards in four plays.Quarterback Tom Fischer (Livingston, NJ / Livingston) connected with Jeremy Mercer (Leonardo, NJ/ Middletown South) on a 52-yard catch-and-run that moved the ball down to theBrockport 5. Bliss would take two carriers, the final a three-yard run as Montclair went up atouchdown with 8:17 left in the opening period.  

Brockport took the ensuing kickoff and marched 52 yards in6:30 moving the ball down to the MSU 15. But the Golden Eagles could not go anyfurther as it turned the ball over on downs.  

Montclair would extend the lead in the second quarter with its own big drive. Covertingthree third downs, Montclairheld the ball for 16 plays and 77 yards chewing up 7:45 of the clock before Capozzoli hit the first of his three field goals from 26 yards.

Brockport would get on the board late in the first half withan 83-yard drive that took just 1:46 inside the final 2:34. Luke kept the drivegoing with a 10-yard completion on third down early and a pass interference penalty on the Red Hawks extended it further. Luke would then hit Felipe Diaz (Syracuse, NY/ Onondaga) for 47 yards to the MSU six. Lynch would do the rest on twocarries, the second a two-yard plunge that cut the deficit to 13-6 as the Golden Eagles missed the extra point.  

In the second half, Brockport had a chance to trim the leadfurther as it took its first possession of the half and moved to the MSU 12 before having to settle for a field goal. The Golden Eagles missed the attempt, but a false start penalty on Brockport actually worked in its favor as it would get another chance. However, the second kick was nearly a carbon copy of the first that sailed wide left as Montclair held to the 10-6 lead.  

Montclair would extend the lead early in the fourth. Palmer his Lewin for a 22-yard gainthat moved the ball out to midfield and a second completion on 3rd-and-8 to Dan Keegan (Fairfield, NJ/ West Essex) for 31 yards pushed the ball to the Brockport 18. The Red Hawks drive would stall, but Capozzoli came throughwith a 28-yard field goal that gave Montclair a 13-6 lead with 11:39 left. 

Lewin finished with seven catches for 95 yards for Montclair State while Keegan had three for 55. Fishcer was 8-of-14 for 138 yards while Palmer was 4-of-11 for 82 yards. Linebacker Cornell Hunt (North Brunswick, NJ / North Brunswick) registered 18 tackles in the game as he became the fourth player in MSU historyto record 300 career tackles. Hunt, who has 304 career tackles, joined the lateSam Mills (1978-80), Paul Cioffi (1987-90) and Len Kruk  (1986-89) as the only players to reach thatplateau. Linebacker Dan Krainski (Sayreville, NJ / Sayreville) added 11 tackles with freshman Alex Iachetta (Spring Lake Heights, NJ / Manasquan) had five and a pair of sacks.  

Luke was 24-of-44 for 202 yards while Hector Rosas (Angola, NY / Lake Shore)had eight catches for 42 yards. Diaz had six receptions for 67 yards. Nick Duchscherer (Youngstown, NY/Lewiston-Porter) had nine tackles, a fumble recovery and two pass breakups for Brockport.  

Montclair State outgained Brockport 349-284, including 129-82 on the ground.  

Both teams return to action next Saturday with conferencetilts. Montclair Statemakes the short nine-mile journey to Wayneto face William Paterson in a 1:00 pm matchup at Wightman Field. The GoldenEagles are back home to host Rowan University at the same time.