SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Before former Lakeridge High quarterback Eric Dungey led Syracuse to a 33-7 season-opening win against Colgate on Friday, he was treated to an emotional, heartwarming pregame surprise.
Dungey's brother, Matt, is a member of the U.S. Army. Before Friday, he and Eric hadn't seen each other for almost two years. But on Friday afternoon, prior to Syracuse's game, Matt was there waiting outside the Carrier Dome for a long-awaited reunion with Eric.
The plan to surprise Eric with a pregame visit from his brother was six months in the making, according to syracuse.com. Matt took leave from his duties overseas, where he has served in Germany and other foreign countries.
Matt will be home for about a month. He watched Friday's game, which featured a stellar performance from Eric, who completed 34 of 40 passes for 355 yards and two touchdowns. Matt said he will also be at Syracuse's game against South Florida on Sept. 17.
BOX SCORE: Syracuse 33, Colgate 7
Before the game, the two brothers reunited, greeting each other with a warm, lingering embrace that brought Eric to tears.
"I was locked in, got off the bus, saw my brother. I haven't seen him in years," Eric said during a postgame news conference. "That was really cool. Overwhelming. Surreal, to be honest. Then I had to lock back in and get ready for this game."
Matt wasn't the only member of the Dungey clan to watch Friday's game. In fact, syracuse.com reported this was the first time the entire family — father Tim, mother Cindy, daughter Emma and Matt — had watched Eric play since he started his college career at Syracuse.
"I wasn't expecting him to cry," Matt told syracuse.com. "I don't usually see him cry. That was cool, though. I'm glad we got this to work out. I'm so jacked. I've been waiting for this for so long."
Dungey was an an all-state football player at Lakeridge High in Lake Oswego. He holds the school's single-season records for most passing yards and passing touchdowns and is also Lakeridge's career passing yards leader.
As a true freshman in 2015, Dungey played eight games, starting seven for the Orange. He suffered a head injury against Louisville on Nov. 7 and missed the final three games of the season.
Dungey finished his freshman season with 1,298 passing yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions. He also rushed for 351 yards and five scores.