BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- Last Friday the Binghamton Patriots (4-3) upset No. 23 Vestal (5-2), 41-15, on senior night at Alumni Stadium.
But one Binghamton senior had to watch from the sideline. Running back Eric Fortner. It's something he's had to do all season long.
Before the season started, the Binghamton City School District sent a petition to the state, trying to get Fortner an extra year of eligibility due to "extenuating circumstances."
Unfortunately, before senior night on Friday, Fortner learned that his petition had been denied.
"[My teammates] heard what I had to say, and I'm glad they just took it to heart," said Fortner Friday night after the win. "So, all night they've been telling me that this game is for [me], and I'm just glad to be a part of it."
According to Ramil, Fortner's leadership throughout the season has been integral to the recent success of the team.
"For us, it's a double-edge because we found out [Friday] that the state didn't 'okay' for Eric Fortner to get his extra year in," said head coach Mike Ramil after the win. "So it was one of those things where these kids went out there, and they heard what Eric had to say and that was just 'be strong, no matter what happens, be strong,' and the kids went out there and took care of their business. Instead of football shaping him, he helped shape football."