BROCKPORT, N.Y. – Senior Keith Scranton kicked a pair of second half field goals Saturday, including a 28-yarder with 7:07 remaining in the game, to lead SUNY Brockport to a 13-10 non-conference football victory over Plymouth State College at Special Olympics Stadium.
Plymouth State’s defense allowed only 113 yards on 52 plays, but turnovers hurt the Panthers. Brockport scored its only touchdown on an interception return, and the winning field goal was set up by a Panther fumble deep in PSC territory.
The verdict drops PSC to 1-1 under first-year head coach Chris Rorke, while Brockport moves to 2-0. The Panthers open the Freedom Football Conference portion of the schedule next Saturday at Norwich University.
“Our turnovers killed us,” said Rorke. “We gave up the touchdown on an interception and fumbled the ball which led to their field goal. Without our turnovers, we win the game 13-3. Those are mistakes you can’t afford to make.”
Plymouth State scored all of its points in the first quarter. Sophomore QB Justin Connors (Andover, Mass.) connected with senior WR Charlie Schubert (Manchester, NH) on a 10-yard pass play, the second touchdown this season by that combination, to give PSC a 7-0 less than five minutes into the contest.
The Panthers went ahead 10-0 late in the first quarter when senior Jesse Elderkin (Concord, NH) booted a school-record 50-yard field goal. Elderkin, the Little East Conference Men’s Soccer Player of the Year in 1998, broke the old mark of 49 yards, held by Brian Harrington (vs. Maine Maritime in 1986) and Jay Chabot (vs. Curry in 1991).
PSC appeared to be taking a shutout into the locker room at the half, but Connors was intercepted by Jay Trousdale, who sprinted 60 yards for a TD with 5:18 to go in the half. PSC owned a 187-38 advantage in total yardage at halftime, but held only a 10-7 lead.
“We did some things they hadn’t seen, because we didn’t do them last week,” said Rorke of his team’s first-half success. “But then we didn’t take advantage of what they were giving us. We tried to throw it downfield instead of throwing to open receivers underneath, and we took too many sacks (seven).”
Neither team had much offensive success in the second half, PSC gaining only 40 yards and Brockport accumulating just 75. Brockport put the only third quarter points on the board with a 42 yard field goal by Scranton, his seventh career field goal from 40 yards or more.
“Our defense had another tremendous effort,” said Rorke. “We didn’t do anything with the football in the second half, and our defense continued to shut them down. We held them to 2-of-15 on third down conversions, and forced them to punt 11 times.”
With overtime beginning to emerge as a possibility in the fourth quarter, Brockport was forced to punt from its own territory. PSC punt returner Schubert muffed the punt, and Brockport recovered at the Panther 17 yard line.
The Plymouth State defense, which held Brockport to just five first downs all game, kept the Golden Eagles out of the end zone but not before Scranton kicked the winning field goal.
PSC had the ball three more times in the final seven minutes, but never got into Brockport territory.