The Empire Conference began play last weekend with six games being played over the course of three days. It was a good weekend for some, like Stony Brook, Army, Syracuse, Brockport, Iona and St. Bonaventure, who all opened their league seasons 1-0, and a bad weekend for others, like Rutgers, who got off to an 0-2 start.
Rutgers, in its first year in DI-AA after competing two years in DI-A, were dominated in two road games. On Friday night the Scarlet Knights lost 59-0 at Brockport, and on Sunday they fell 60-12 at Syracuse. Rutgers is coping with a lot of player turnover from last season and adjustment to a new coaching staff.
Wing John Wilson ran in three tries for the Orange against Rutgers, which is good for the league lead in tries after the opening weekend. Flyhalf Alex Hodgkinson added 20 points, too, off of one try, three conversions and one penalty, and is second in the league in points.
Brockport’s Matt Thompson racked up 19 points in his team’s win over Rutgers, dotting down two tries and slotting three conversions and one penalty.
Last year’s conference champs, Stony Brook, threw down a marker in its 51-14 defeat of the Merchant Marine Academy. Seven Seawolves scored tries in the effort, including PJ Abelein, who leads the league in points with 21 (one try, five conversions and two penalties).
Army also started on a winning foot, beating Fordham 40-5. Collum Magee dotted down twice, with Alan Lutterman, Nicholas George and Blake Hunnewell doing so once each. Hunnewell also slotted three penalties and three conversions.