Undefeated Doggies Show Early Season Bite
When the schedule was announced, Brockport looked like a team that could have a tough September, opening with Rutgers and a trip to Army before taking on St. Bonaventure during Family Weekend. But after two weeks of Empire Conference play, Brockport is sitting at 1-0-1 after thrashing Rutgers and drawing with Army at West Point.
Coming off of the bye week, the young Bonnies are rested, but not necessarily battle-tested. After a clinical 26-5 victory over former Western New York power Buffalo, the Bonnies will need to find a way to score points in order to defeat their rival from Monroe County.
Despite handling Brockport 48-0 last Fall, the Bonnies know this year will be no cake walk. Gaining experience at the Saranac Lake Can-Am Tournament, veterans such as Matthew Thompson (fly half), Kyle Corbett (hooker) and Luke Gagstetter (prop) bring a lot of size and physicality to the game.
“Brockport is always the most physical match of the year,” said junior SBU prop Tom Tyler. “We don’t need a motivational speech to play them; we know if we don’t show up to play they will take it to us.”
With senior captain Alex Brussard on the sideline serving a controversial three-match suspension, the Bonnies will rely on Tim Hanna and Tallon Moritz to match the Doggies power, blow for blow. Stepping in for Brussard is freshman Zach Haller, a McQuaid Jesuit product who played 20 minutes for the A side last week and scored for the Developmental side.
“Of course missing Brussard is less than ideal, but if there is one guy I’d want in there it is Zach Haller,” said Picard. “Zach is as match ready as any freshman I’ve been around, including guys like Pat Harnisch and Evan Meister.”
The Bonnies will also look to counter the Doggies with a dash of mustard. Stepping into the starting XV this week is a pair of freshmen flyers, Charles Meagher and Dan Dillon. The young Jesuits-educated backs from McQuaid and Canisius respectively, bring vision, skills and an eagerness to attack.
Also getting his first start of the season is junior Andrew “Tex” Metoyer. The rangy wing scored three tries last Spring and will look to make a difference against the smaller Brockport back three.
“With Chuck Meagher, Dan Dillon and Tex coming into the lineup we are adding a lot of speed,” said backline coach Steve Blaske. “All three are competitive kids and we are excited to see them make the starting lineup.”
Shea Raff, still looking to regain peak form after a hamstring injury, will shift to the substitute bench, while Kevin Corley is dropped from the roster while attending his brother’s wedding. Ryan Brennan is also out while mending a practice injury.
Coming into the reserves in place of Haller and Corley are two more freshmen. Harvey School alum Brian Theiss will don the 16 jersey as the backup hooker. Theiss’ throwback style, honed by Phil Lazzaro `94, fits what forward coach Mike McNerney is looking for in his pack. Wearing #23 will be Jordan Farrant from Strykersville, NY. Cousin of the George Bros., Greg `10 and Mike `12, Farrant scored a 60-meter try for the Developmental side against Buffalo. Junior Craig Adams completes the 23 man roster, and can cover at lock or flanker.
- Zach Haller (Fr)
- Justin Walker (Jr)
- Tom Tyler (Jr)
- Tim Hanna (Sr)
- Tallon Moritz (Jr)
- Jon Garbin (Sr)
- Evan Meister (c) (So)
- Greg Johnson (So)
- Kevin McCorry (Sr)
- Charles Meagher (Fr)
- Pat Hogan (Fr)
- John Sullivan (So)
- Justice Koonce (So)
- Andrew Metoyer (Jr)
- Dan Dillon (Fr)
- Brian Theiss (Fr)
- Tim Callahan (Jr)
- A.J. Vitanza (So)
- Craig Adams (Jr)
- Hayden Bell (So)
- Brendan Allman (Fr)
- Shea Raff (So)
- Jordan Farrant (Fr)