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Fisher rallies for historic comeback victory in Courage Bowl XII

The Fisher Cardinals scored a come-from-behind 42-38 victory over SUNY Brockport in the 12th annual Courage Bowl on Saturday Sept. 24.

The 12th annual Courage Bowl was played Saturday Sept. 24 at SUNY Brockport. (Staff Photo)

By Ricky Barton, Staff Writer

The St. John Fisher Cardinals traveled to SUNY Brockport on Saturday Sept 24 attempting to stay a perfect 12-0 all-time in Courage Bowls. A crowd of 8,000 plus was in attendance as the Cardinals rallied from a 21-point halftime deficit to defeat Brockport 42-38.

All proceeds from Saturday’s thrilling victory went to Camp Good Days and Special Times, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children who have been affected by cancer. Camp Good Days is a volunteer-based organization that has had a significant impact on the lives of over 45,000 campers. The Courage Bowl has grown into one of Camp Good Days’ largest fundraisers since its arrival in 2004 truly making this annual matchup “more than just a game.”

Brockport scored on the game’s opening drive with one of Dan Andrews’ four rushing touchdowns on the day. Fisher would respond with a drive of its own as quarterback Matt Naton connected with Dylan Harrington on a 21-yard touchdown pass on fourth down. That would be Fisher’s only points of the first half. After three more Brockport touchdowns, the half ended 28-7 setting up a thrilling comeback in the second half.

The Cardinals came out of halftime with something to prove, driving 75-yards on 11-plays resulting in a Naton one-yard rushing touchdown. After causing Brockport to punt for the first time all afternoon, Fisher would drive 80-yards down the field ending with a William Coon 12-yard touchdown reception to put the game within one possession.

After a 50-yard touchdown throw to Wyatt Stehle to tie the game, Brockport would answer with a field goal making the score 31-28. It wouldn’t take long for the Cardinals to answer as they scored in just 32 seconds with a 68-yard touchdown pass, again from Naton to Coon.

Brockport would use seven minutes of clock on its next drive resulting in another Andrews touchdown making the score 38-35 Brockport with 1:35 remaining in the game.

The game was ultimately sealed thanks to a one-yard touchdown run from Naton as he dove into the end zone with just 17 seconds left. The 21 point deficit marks the largest comeback win in St. John Fisher football history.

“We work that situation every Wednesday and Thursday in practice so no one on our sideline had any doubts in their mind what was going to happen,” said Naton who threw for a career high 386 yards and six total touchdowns.

The 16th-ranked Cardinals improve to 4-0 with the win and 2-0 in the Empire 8. Fisher is home Saturday against Buffalo State at 1 p.m. during alumni weekend.

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