Category Archives: College Football

Buffalo State Finishes With First Winning Season Since 2000

Buffalo State Finishes With First Winning Season Since 2000
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Buffalo State (6-4, 4-3) held the No. 25-ranked St. John Fisher (6-3, 3-3) to just 227 yards of total offense and forced four turnovers to secure a 17-9 victory, wrapping up the regular season with a four-game winning streak.
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Running back RIch Pete had 31 carries for 165 yards including the 43-yard run that sealed the victory for Buffalo State.

In 2000, the Buffalo State football team finished with a 7-4 record as ECAC Northwest Champions, but the program failed to produce another winning season until now.

The Bengals (6-4, 4-3) held the No. 25-ranked St. John Fisher (6-3, 3-3) to just 227 yards of total offense and forced four turnovers to secure a 17-9 victory, wrapping up the regular season with a four-game winning streak. They also finished with a four-game road-winning streak.

“Our defense played what may have been their best game of the season, but they have been playing up to their capabilities basically,” head coach Jerry Boyes said. “They kind of refused to lose today. I’m just so proud of them and their toughness that they showed. The tenacity that our defense showed was really fun to watch.”

Down 17-9 with less than four minutes remaining, St. John Fisher had a chance to tie the game with a first down at the Buffalo State 13-yard line, but the Bengals defense forced a fourth-and-12 that ended with an interception by safety Mike Burton in the end zone.

“I just figured that they were going to go to one of their main receivers and I just had to go up and make a play,” Burton said. “All week we were talking about doing it for the seniors and I came out here to win for the seniors.”

After the interception, the Bengals took over at their 20-yard line with 1:55 left in the game and St. John Fisher with three timeouts. Two plays later, Buffalo State found itself with a third-and-two with 1:44 left, needing to get a first down and running back Rich Pete broke free for a 43-yard gain and all they had to do was kneel down to win.

“They flew out and my guys just kicked them out and I cut it up,” Pete said. “I saw green and I just had to go. All the emotions went through my head, but at that point in time, it was just about sealing the game. I should’ve scored, but I was thinking ‘Yes! We got the first down! We’re 6-4! We’ll hopefully get a bowl game!’”

Both teams struggled offensively at beginning of the game. Cardinals’ quarterback Ryan Kramer fumbled on their opening possession and Bengals’ quarterback Ryan Lehotsky threw an interception on their first drive.

St. John Fisher got on the scoreboard first though with an eight-play 42-yard drive, capped off by a four-yard touchdown run by running back Alex Stacy. Kicker Brendan Carey’s extra point attempt sailed wide left and the game remained 6-0.

Following Lehotsky’s second interception of the game, the Cardinals capitalized with a 36-yard field goal by kicker Ryan Sweet to make the score 9-0.

The Bengals made a quarterback change from Lehotsky to Casey Kacz on the next possession and he responded with a four-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Caesarae Lewis. It ended an 11-play, 72-yard drive and cut the deficit to 9-7.

“They had me going in motion and I did an out route and Casey put the ball where it needed to be,” said Lewis. “We know when Casey comes in, he’s going to pick it back up where we needed to be and he came in and got the job done.”

“It’s unfortunate that we struggled at first, but I don’t think it was a lot of [Lehotsky’s] fault,” Kacz said. “It sucks he threw those picks, but when I got in, I got some confidence right away after completing the first couple of passes and getting that touchdown pass. I think once I was confident, the guys became a little more confident.”

Coming out of halftime, the Bengals’ offense built off of the momentum with another score to take their first lead of the game, 14-9. Kacz threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver John Beers, ending an eight-play, 63-yard drive.

“Casey scrambled and broke a few tackles,” Beers said. “I just found a hole, sat there, caught it and made a play. I just had to get in the end zone. I’m a senior and it’s my last game. I have to make it important.”

Buffalo State extended their lead to 17-9 early in the fourth quarter with a 34-yard field goal by kicker Nate Benoit after linebacker Jordan Boser forced a Cody Miller fumble. The ball bounced around, but eventually linebacker/safety Scott Koen came up with the recovery, his second of the game.

“It was a run and the corner came up,” Koen said. “Chris Hall stuck him and the ball came loose. The ball was just being tapped around. Mike Burton got possession of it, but got laid out by someone else and the ball just went on the ground again and I just dove on it. I got them stickies.”

Each team had their opportunities to score in the fourth quarter, but they failed on their fourth down conversion attempts. Kacz threw an incomplete pass on 4th-and-1 at the St. John Fisher 33-yard line with 10:49 left and Kramer threw an incomplete pass on 4th-and-5 at the Buffalo State 25-yard line with 8:11 on the clock.

St. John Fisher had their best chance to score on their next possession, but Burton’s interception ended their drive as Buffalo State ran out the remaining time left on the clock.

Pete was the workhorse for the Bengals’ offense, carrying the ball 31 times for 165 yards. Lehotsky completed 2 of 5 passes for 20 yards with two interceptions before Kacz replaced him to complete 9 of 18 passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns.

Buffalo State’s regular season is over, but they’ll be waiting until after next week’s games for an announcement to find out if they’ll get an ECAC Bowl Bid. Salisbury clinched the NCAA Tournament bid by winning the Empire 8 Conference, but the Bengals, who are currently in fourth place in the conference, could end up tied for second.

Utica (6-3, 4-2) will host St. John Fisher (6-3, 3-3) at 1 p.m. and Alfred (5-3, 4-2) will travel to Hartwick (3-6, 0-6) for a 1 p.m. kickoff. If Hartwick and St. John Fisher manage to win, Buffalo State would be tied with Utica, Alfred, St. John Fisher and Ithaca for second place in the conference. The Bengals are helped out by their non-conference schedule though, as their opponents have a combined 18-8 record and a .692 winning percentage.

“My unwritten goal this year was to make the playoffs and whether that was a NCAA or an ECAC, that would’ve shown the real growth of where we are,” Boyes said. “These guys know that we’ve turned the corner and they know we’re a good football team, but the outside public only looks at one factor and that’s the win-loss record. If we are able to add playoffs to it, that would be a real feather in our cap.”

Bengals Get Third-Straight Road Victory

Bengals Get Third-Straight Road Victory
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The Bengals received another strong performance from their defense, allowing just 272 yards of total offense in a 22-7 victory over Frostburg State, who went 0 for 13 on their third-down conversion attempts.
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Ryan Lehotsky replaced the injured Casey Kacz for the second straight game, completing 12 of 24 passes for 158 yards with a touchdown and an interception

After snapping their three-game losing streak last week against Ithaca, the Buffalo State football team is now on a three-game road winning streak dating back to their victory against UW-Whitewater.

The Bengals received another strong performance from their defense, allowing just 272 yards of total offense in a 22-7 victory over Frostburg State, who went 0 for 13 on their third-down conversion attempts. Buffalo State gained 439 yards of total offense with 295 passing yards and 144 rushing yards.

“The defense has played very well within the last two weeks and offensively we have played well enough and yet we’ve left scores out on the field,” head coach Jerry Boyes said. “We still have to connect on some of the plays and we left a couple of scores out on the field today and we did the same thing last week. That’s a bit disappointing, but we did what we had to do to come away with a win today.”

From the outset of the game, the Bengals’ defense made their presence felt and they started by forcing a three-and-out. Buffalo State took an early 3-0 lead on their first possession with a nine-play 60-yard drive on a 26-yard field goal by kicker Nate Benoit.

“Within the last two weeks, we’ve come out on the first possession and got points right away, which is key because it helps out our defense,” Kacz said. “It gives them confidence and it gives us confidence. When the defense comes out first and they get a stop, I think we get confidence off that.”

After forcing another three-and-out for Frostburg, the Bengals followed up with a 39-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Casey Kacz to wide receiver Ryan Carney. Buffalo State tried to the fake extra point, but failed on the two-point conversion, making the score 9-0.

“I saw one of their corners pressed up on Carney, so I gave him a go-route and Carney made a great move on the kid,” said Kacz. “He went to the outside and kind of threw the cornerback down and was wide open.”

Frostburg offense responded with an eight-play 75-yard drive, but the Bengals’ defense forced a turnover on downs after defensive tackle T’rezz Bailey stuffed running back JD Hook on fourth-and-goal at the one-yard line.

On Buffalo State’s next possession, Kacz suffered an injury and backup quarterback Ryan Lehotsky had to come in and replace him. Lehotsky complete a 36-yard pass to wide receiver Caesarae Lewis on his first play, but was intercepted by strong safety Rowan Pinkett three plays later.

“We ran option and I kept it myself and broke up the field along the sideline,” Kacz said. “I thought there was a late hit and the kid basically tackled me and I was driven to the ground. I knew when I got tackled that it wasn’t too good. It was hurting pretty bad right away.”

Following three-and-outs by both teams on their next possessions, Frostburg utilized the ground attack to set themselves up with another chance to score, but once again failed in their attempt. Kicker Jonathan Adams hit the right upright and missed his 25-yard field goal attempt.

Buffalo State went deep into enemy territory on their final drive of the half, but failed to convert on 4th-and-4 at the Frostburg 14-yard line. The Bobcats tried to put together a drive before half, but quarterback Ken Emmons was sacked by defensive end Dez Howard and they let the clock run out with the Bengals leading 9-0 at halftime.

Coming out of halftime, the Bengals had the ball first and Lehotsky orchestrated a 12-play 77-yard drive, capped off by a nine-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver John Beers to give Buffalo State a 15-0 lead. Benoit tried to convert the extra point attempt but had it blocked by defensive tackle Jeremiah Williams.

“Ryan Lehotsky had a great scramble and made a great throw,” Beers said. “It was pretty huge. It got everybody going. It gave us confidence in ourselves.”

Neither team could produce much offensively for the rest of the third quarter and in the early parts of the fourth quarter, but Frostburg took a gamble on 4th-and-2 at their 33-yard line and got burned. Linebacker/safety Jordan Boser prevented the conversion, allowing just a one-yard completion from Emmons to Hook.

Taking over after the turnover on downs, Buffalo State extended their lead to 22-0 on an 11-yard TD run by wide receiver Sherman Nelson. It was set up by a 21-yard gain by running back Manny Brooks.

“It was a reverse and it was a great play call at the time,” Nelson said. “The o-line and the tight end did a great job blocking and it was just my job to reach the pylon for the touchdown. It was really important because there was still a lot of time on the clock and they could easily have scored another touchdown.”

Frostburg answered back with an Emmons’ 2-yard touchdown pass to Hayden Roberts to end an 11-play 75-yard drive, but time was not on their side. The Bengals recovered the on-side kick and ran out the remaining 3:09 left on the clock with their backups.

Lehotsky finished the game completing 12 of 24 passes for 158 yards with a touchdown and an interception after replacing Kacz, who completed 7 of 11 passes for 114 yards and a touchdown. Running back Rich Pete led ground attack with nine carries for 73 yards and Brooks ran 11 times for 65 yards.

“[Lehotsky] again came in and did a real solid job for us,” Boyes said. “It’s unfortunate with [Kacz’s] injury and we’ll know more next week where that goes, but I really commend Ryan for coming in both of the last two weeks now and performing and carrying the team to a victory.”

Buffalo State will try to win their straight conference game on Saturday against Hartwick at noon during homecoming and “Senior Day”. Hartwick is currently in the midst of a four-game losing streak after falling 43-7 to Utica this past Saturday.

“I plan on playing Saturday,” Kacz said. “I just need to take good care of [my injury] during the week, but it’ll be up to the trainers. They get the final decision, but I want to play and I’m going to do everything I can to get ready for it.”

Spring Practices Provide a Difficult Challenge for the Bengals

Spring Practices Provide a Difficult Challenge for the Bengals
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6:30 a.m. is an interesting time to start practices, but according to Head Coach Jerry Boyes, the Bengals have to practice at that time due to a lack of accessibility to Coyer Field
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Casey Kacz is going to use the spring practices to get more comfortable in the Buffalo State offense as he gets ready for his first full season as the Bengals’ starting quarterback

The Buffalo State football team kicked off their spring practices last week in preparation for next season.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday until April 27, the team will practice from 6:30-8:30a.m.. There are 15 practices in all, and if a player is even a second late, they’re locked out of meetings.

“I remember the first day of spring ball and I was not used to getting up that early since I have class at nine,”freshman kicker Alex Debbins said. “So I just woke up and drove here and got here at 6:29 to slip into the meeting at the very last second. I learned my lesson right then and there because once the doors shut for the meeting, the doors shut.”

The reason behind these early practices is because Buffalo State only has one field for four sports. The lacrosse team and soccer team also use the field in spring and since lights haven’t been installed, night football practices aren’t a possibility.

According to head coach Jerry Boyes, the field next to Parking Lot G and the Clinton Center by Rockwell Road would be considered as an option, but the conditions of the grass during spring time make practicing there unrealistic.

“We do practice over there at times during the regular season,”Boyes said. “When we have our own soccer game during the course of the week, we’re over there practicing.”

“The problem with this time of the year though is the field has so many undulations and holes, it’s not the best to practice on,” Boyes continued. “It’s so muddy that we can’t get anything done over there. We really have no other option, but to practice at that time of the morning on Coyer Field.”

In their first week of spring practices, the Bengals begin their morning with a 30-minute meeting to discuss what they would do on the field and to talk about the plays the coaches want them to execute throughout practice.

Once the Bengals headed onto the field, they treated the spring practice like a normal practice. They did position warm-ups, team stretching, worked on the kicking game, individual drills and seven-on-seven drills before ending practice with some conditioning.

However, there is one major difference between spring practices and summer practices.

During spring practices, the Bengals aren’t allowed to use helmets or shoulder pads. Instead of worrying about major things like blocking and tackling, they have to focus on the little things such as fundamentals.

“It’s not like Division I and Division II where they’re allowed helmets and shoulder pads,” Boyes said. “It’s really fundamental and detail work. It’s doing things correctly, from the stance and how we come out of our stance, being at the right place and being there at the right time.”

“It’s kind of repetition going over our top offensive plays, the top defenses, coverages and the special teams things that we do, Boyes continued. “We do more things in breaking down aspects of the game.”

For players such as quarterback Casey Kacz, the spring practices allow them the ability to get more comfortable learning the plays. Kacz transferred to Buffalo State from Edinboro University last year.

“It’s a lot different running plays already because I have a lot more confidence which I think is a big thing,”Kacz said. “Last spring I was a little nervous because I didn’t know all the plays. Now I have a year under my belt and I have guys around me that believe in me. It’s a lot easier.”

Each position utilizes the spring practices in their own way to improve their game. For the wide receivers, they wanted to cut down on mental mistakes and after watching film they’ll try to correct those mistakes on the field.

“That’s what spring is all about, focusing on those mental things that we made mistakes on early in the year,” wide receivers coach Matt Hanhold said. “What we do is, during our meetings, we’ll watch some of our film from last year and we’ll see little things in alignment, a split, a wrong step, or a wrong route. There are certain things that we can correct and the guys go out on the field and make those changes to it.”

The Bengals will conclude their spring practices on April 27 and get a chance to enjoy summer break before returning for training camp sometime during August.

Buffalo State Defeats Reigning National Champs

Buffalo State Defeats Reigning National Champs
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Buffalo State defeated the reigning three-time Division III National Champion Wisconsin-Whitewater, snapping their 46 game winning streak which had been the longest active streak in college football
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UW-Whitewater also saw their 30 game winning streak at home come to an end.

Coming off of a disappointing 48-28 loss to Brockport (3-0), not many people were expecting the Buffalo State football team to pull off an upset against the number one ranked team in the nation, but they shocked the world.

The Bengals defeated the reigning three-time national champion UW-Whitewater (1-1) with a 7-6 victory following a 10-yard touchdown pass from Casey Kacz to Ryan Carney with three seconds remaining. Buffalo State also snapped a 46 game winning streak for the Warhawks, the longest active streak in college football and ended a 30 game win streak at Perkins Stadium.

“This was the biggest win in Buffalo State Football history,” said head coach Jerry Boyes. “This shows us what we are capable of, and now we need to build on this.”

Buffalo State took the opening kickoff into UW-Whitewater territory following a 35-yard pass from Kacz to Carney, but Nate Benoit missed a 38 yard field goal. The Bengals’ defense then made a statement on UW-Whitewater’s first series with an interception by cornerback Chris Hall.

“It was big and it set the tone,” said Hall. “We were in man coverage and I just took a good look at the quarterback. I anticipated a little bit and then I picked it off.”

UW-Whitewater responded with an interception by cornerback Ryan Wenkman which eventually led to a 21 yard field goal by Eric Kindler to give the Warhawks a 3-0 lead.

Neither team could get anything going offensively for the rest of the first half as the Bengals punted the ball three times and the Warhawks punted once, missed a 41 yard field goal and ran the clock out to prevent anything from happening to their 3-0 lead heading into halftime.

“They were running coverages that they didn’t show much of on film,” said Kacz. “On film they showed a lot of quarters, Cover 4 and Cover 3, but they came out in the first half running a lot of Cover 2 which is something that we didn’t expect them to do and they kind of messed up our game plan.”

UW-Whitewater took the opening kickoff in the second half, but the Bengals’ defense forced a three-and-out. The Bengals’ offense drove down the field with a dink-and-dunk pass game mixed with a few runs, but it didn’t result in a score as Benoit missed another 38 yard field goal.

The Warhawks punted on their next possession but Kacz threw another interception to Wenkman. UW-Whitewater failed to capitalize yet again as Kindler missed a 45 yard field goal.

Buffalo State’s offense took advantage of the field position with a seven-play 60-yard drive to get them to the six yard line, but Ryan Cortez forced a fumble by Kacz and it was recovered UW-Whitewater’s Kyle Wismer.

Both teams exchanged punts on their next possession before UW-Whitewater’s offense took the field with 7:07 left in the fourth quarter. The Warhawks worked the clock with a 15-play 52-yard drive, resulting in a 29 yard field goal by Kindler and a 6-0 lead with 1:35 left in the game.

“I was a bit nervous, said Carney. “We had to go eighty yards with like a minute and a half, but I thought we were going to get it done. We work on it in practice all of the time, so we had to execute and that’s what we did.”

The Bengals started the drive with a 14 yard pass from Kacz to wide receiver Sherman Nelson, but then Kacz had two incompletions and was sacked.

Buffalo State had a 4th-and-19 on their 30 yard line with 48 seconds left, but managed to convert it with a hook-and-ladder pass. Carney caught the pass and pitched it to running back Rich Pete, who then pitched it to running back Brooks Estarfaa for a 39 yard gain. John Beers had a personal foul penalty called after the play resulting in a 20 yard loss, but the Bengals were still given the first down.

“We practiced that play almost every week,” Kacz said. “We had a feeling it was the perfect time for it, so we mind as well try it. Not many plays in our playbook can get us 19 yards on a fourth down and that was one that worked perfectly just as we practiced.”

An eight yard run and incomplete pass by Kacz set up a 3rd-and-2 at the Warhawks’ 43 yard line and Kacz converted it with a 33 yard screen pass to Ismail Brooks. He was pushed out of bounds at the 10 yard line with 15 seconds left.

“I think they had an idea that we were going to throw the ball out to the flats, which we do a lot of times in short yardage situations,” Kacz said. “I think the linebackers flew out to the flats and we dumped it to Manny Brooks, who did a great job once he got the ball.”

Two incomplete passes later set up a 3rd-and-goal where Kacz found Carney in the end zone with a back shoulder pass to take the lead 7-6 with three seconds left.

“The original play called at the sideline was for me to run a slant and we figured that there wasn’t enough time if I didn’t get in the end zone,” Carney said. “Casey suggested a slant-and-go and it worked perfectly. As soon as I got in the end zone, he threw it back shoulder. I turned and caught the pass with nothing, but smiles.”

On the following kickoff, UW-Whitewater downed the squib kick at their 33 yard line, giving their offense one play to left to try to win the game. Quarterback Lee Brekke threw a Hail Mary pass, but it was picked off by Hall, securing the victory for Buffalo State.

“I just looked up and I saw the ball right away,” Hall said. So, I just jumped as high as I could and it fell into my hands.”

The Bengals’ defense held UW-Whitewater to 311 yards of total offense. Pasquale Vacchio led with 19 tackles and Hall finished with six tackles and two interceptions, bringing his total to six in three games.

Kacz completed 18 of 33 for 274 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Carney had four receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown and Ismail Brooks had 3 receptions for 56 yards.

“It was better than winning the state championship,” Kacz said. “I can’t compare this to anything. Just kind of the way we won today. We were very prepared for them. I can’t even describe this adrenaline rush compared to anything else.”

Buffalo State (2-1) will look to build off of this win when they make their Empire 8 Conference debut this Saturday at home against Alfred (1-1) at 12.30 p.m. The Saxons are coming off a 28-7 victory over St. Lawrence.

Buffalo State Will Face The Three-time National Champs

Buffalo State Will Face The Three-time National Champs
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Wisconsin-Whitewater has won 46 straight games, which is the longest active win streak in college football.
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Caesarae Lewis has an Empire 8-best four touchdowns and is in second place with 14 receptions and 236 receiving yards.

After a disappointing loss to Brockport, the Buffalo State football team will have another tough matchup on their hands.

The Bengals will be facing the three-time defending NCAA Division III national champion Wisconsin-Whitewater, a team that has won 46 straight games, They have the longest active streak in college football and are one win away from tying the University of Oklahoma for third place, all-time in the NCAA.

Wisconsin-Whitewater is also coming off of a bye week after defeating Washington University in St. Louis 34-0 and will be expecting a big turnout since the game has been designated National Champions and Youth Day. The first 500 fans will receive a Willie Warhawk Bobblehead.

Washington University in St. Louis had a 6-4 record last season, but Wisconsin-Whitewater held their offense to just 55 net yards offensively. Their starting quarterback completed just eight of 23 pass attempts for 45 yards and four interceptions while their running back gained 31 yards on 17 carries.

“I’m excited,” said center Kyle Shreve. “It’ll be a good game. We just have to go out there and execute.”

Buffalo State’s offense had a record breaking 706 yards of offense in their Week 1 win against Cortland, but was held to just 321 yards in Week 2 against Brockport.

Quarterback Casey Kacz enters Week 3 with 874 passing yards, best in the Empire 8 and his 62.9 completion percentage and 6 passing touchdowns are the second-best following a record-breaking 579 passing yards against Cortland which earned him Empire 8 offensive player of Week 1. Running back Rich Pete’s 129 rushing yards are seventh best and his three rushing touchdowns are second-best.

Wide Receiver Ryan Carney leads the Empire 8 with 18 receptions and 325 receiving yards. He was named to the National Team of Week 1 for his 12 receptions, 242-yards and two touchdowns performance against Cortland.

Wide Receiver Caesarae Lewis has an Empire 8-best four touchdowns and is in second place with 14 receptions and 236 receiving yards. His kick return average of 27.5 yards is second best and he earned Empire 8 Special Teams Player of Week 2 following his performance against Brockport where he had four kick returns for 152 yards, including a 67-yarder.

In Week 1, Wisconsin-Whitewater senior quarterback Lee Brekke completed 13 of 25 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown with Steve Morris catching seven passes for 103 yards and a touchdowns while running back Desmin Ward had 14 carries for 108 yards and a score.

Defensively, the Bengals have struggled and rank second worst allowing an average of 477.5 total yards, 335.0 passing yards and 142.5 rushing yards. Cornerback Chris Hall’s 4 interceptions and linebacker Pasquale Vacchio’s six tackles for a loss lead the Empire 8 while Vacchio’s 21 tackles are third-most and safety Matt Wesolowski’s 17 tackles are sixth-most.

“I feel as a cornerback, we need to get more reps,” said cornerback Sean Mapp. “They need to get their set corners and really play us. They keep switching us in and out and that’s not working obviously. They need to get their set corners, play us and have us do our job. For me, I get better as the game goes.”

The Bengals will hit the road on Thursday after practice and dinner before stopping at a hotel in Toledo, Oh at night. On Friday, the team will travel the rest of the way to Wisconsin-Whitewater to have their, practice, dinner and meeting before Saturday’s game at 2 p.m. EST.

“We were our own worst enemy on Saturday and it was very disappointing,” said head coach Jerry Boyes. “I thought we had kind of overcome that hurdle, but obviously we have not yet. There are a lot of questions after that game because there is a complete reversal of our first game. You take a look at our first game and the comparison is Brockport was Buffalo State and Buffalo State was Cortland because that’s what it was.”

“They wanted the game much more,” Boyes added. “They were out there to prove something and apparently to me all we had to do is just show up and we were going to win the game. Is it a lesson learned? Only time will tell, but it’s a very harsh lesson and it’s unfortunate, but the best team won this past Saturday. We’ll see if our guys will learn anything after that game.”

Coach Forest Brings Experience to Buff State

Coach Forest Brings Experience to Buff State
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Coach Forest has helped mentor two NFL players in his coaching career in WR David Kircus and QB Tony Pike. He’s also played a big role on two Big East championship teams.
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Greg Forest will be taking over as the Buffalo State offensive coordinator following a 5-5 season where the Bengals won four of their last six games

After losing his offensive coordinator job with the University of Buffalo in 2010, Greg Forest decided to bring his wealth of experience to Buffalo State in an effort to help the Bengals’ football team rebuild their program.

Forest began his Buffalo State tenure as a volunteer coach at last year’s spring practices while looking at other opportunities for coaching jobs. In the end though, he decided to stay with the team as a quarterbacks coach in a part time situation.

Buffalo State started off slow as Forest was figuring out his role with the team, but as the Bengals season wore on, he grew more comfortable with the offense and made a switch at quarterback from Ryan Lehotsky to Casey Kacz. The Bengals ended their season on a high note, winning four of their last six games.

Heading into this season, Forest earned a promotion and will be making his debut as the Bengals’ offensive coordinator. He’ll bring 20 years of experience at the collegiate level.

“Greg sees the whole picture because he’s been involved in coaching virtually every position,” head coach Jerry Boyes said. “Greg has been fortunate to be with some pretty good head coaches too and that’s helped him formulate his philosophies and approaches to issues and situations and everything that comes along the road.”

Forest began his coaching career at Grandview Heights High School helping out with the freshmen team and eventually became a coach with the varsity team.

When he finished with his four-year high school coaching stint, Forest decided to finish college at Ohio Northern with the intent of earning a sports management degree. He originally wanted to try out for defensive back, but head coach Tom Kaczkowski convinced him to continue his coaching instead.

“He said well you can do one of two things,” Forest said. “You can either join the team where we have 150 guys coming out in August and be one of the 150 or if you’re really serious about coaching, I can use you as a coach because I have a spot where you can help us coach and get experience coaching. You can work on your degree at the same time and I’ll find some money for you.”

During his time at Ohio Northern, Forest needed an internship to finish his degree and after a failed attempt to land one with the Dallas Cowboys, he chose a half coaching and half athletic director internship with Grand Valley State where he would form coaching relationships with current Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly and current University of Buffalo head coach Jeff Quinn.

His internship with Grand Valley State ended up earning him an eleven-year tenure as the wide receivers coach on a two-time Division II national champion. During his time there, he also mentored the top five wide receivers in school history including three All-Americans and David Kircus, who was drafted into the NFL as a sixth round pick by the Detroit Lions.

“I pushed David all the time,” said Forest. “I talked about if this is really your goal, every second and every day that you’re not doing something else in your life, you better be working on that chance to make it to the NFL, especially after the season was over and he was training to audition for the NFL through his Pro Day.”

His success at Grand Valley State earned him a coaching job at Central Michigan where he would end up coaching the wide receivers, running backs and tight ends in separate years. His biggest achievement during his time there was helping Ontario Sneed rush for 1,065 yards in his freshman season.

Forest became the quarterbacks coach with Cincinnati following his three year stint with Central Michigan and helped mentor quarterbacks Ben Mauk who set a school season record with 31 touchdown passes and Tony Pike who was drafted into the NFL as a sixth round pick by the Carolina Panthers.

In his three year stint with Cincinnati, Forest will always be remembered for the 2008 season where he went through five different quarterbacks as the Bearcats won their first Big East championship before losing in the Orange Bowl to Virginia Tech. The following year, Cincinnati went 12-1, winning another Big East championship before losing their undefeated season in the Sugar Bowl to Florida.

The knowledge and experience Forest gained from his other coaching jobs should definitely benefit not only players, but the coaching staff as well.

“Having him around is better than any AFCL Clinic which is the biggest clinic in the country for football coaches,” wide receivers coach Matt Hanhold said. “It’s like having a huge clinic here every day. When he talks I’m like a human sponge. I’m writing down everything that he’s saying and learning from him. I think with some of the things that Greg has brought to the table, it will even further develop myself as a coach and the players that I work with. That championship way of going about your business and presenting it onto the field to the kids has really transferred over to a lot of our staff here.”

Bengals Blow 16-Point Lead in the Fourth

Bengals Blow 16-Point Lead in the Fourth
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Rich Pete had three rushing touchdowns against his hometown team, but it wasn’t enough as Utica defeated Buffalo State 51-44.
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Andrew Benkwitt complete a school-record 38 passes for 398 yards and a school-record six touchdown passes.

Playing in their third straight home game in as many weeks, the Buffalo State football team left their fans going home disappointed again.

The Bengals (2-4/0-3) blew a 16-point lead to Utica (3-2/1-1) in the fourth quarter as quarterback Andrew Benkwitt threw four of his school-record six touchdown passes in the final quarter, including the game-winner with 13 seconds remaining to defeat Buffalo State 51-44.

“I was thinking that we’ve got to go out there and play football,” Benkwitt said. “It happens. We’ve been down before and we just have to keep chugging away and play football. There’s nothing else you can do.”

Benkwitt completed a school-record 38 of 58 passes for 398 yards as both teams combined for 961 yards of total offense. The Bengals had 189 yards on the ground with six rushing touchdowns, but it was the four turnovers that ultimately decided the game.

Buffalo State fell behind early after quarterback Casey Kacz had his first pass of the game intercepted by safety James Lenahan. The Pioneers capitalized on the turnover to take a 7-0 lead on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Benkwitt to wide receiver Jeremy Meier, who had a school record four touchdowns.

For the third straight week, the Bengals allowed a blocked punt as cornerback Shawn Mitchell broke through to get his hand on the ball, which eventually was recovered by his teammate, wide receiver Paul Smith at the Buffalo State 26 yard line. Benkwitt took advantage of the field position, capping off the six-play 26-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown pass to Jamie Murphy and a 14-0 lead.

A 46-yard kick return by Caesarae Lewis shortened the field for the Bengals on their next possession. Running back Rich Pete finished the nine-play 50-yard drive with one-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 14-7.

“We told ourselves that we’ve got to get together and try to win this game,” Pete said. “So we pulled together and I followed my O-line and the leader, Casey.”

Linebacker Pasquale Vacchio helped swing the momentum in favor of Buffalo State as he intercepted Benkwitt to set the Bengals’ offense with great field position again.

“I read the receiver and I read the quarterback’s eyes,” Vacchio said. “I just jumped the route that was right in front of me. It helped the momentum for the offense at the time.”

Kacz followed up with 47-yard pass to wide receiver Dave Jacobs and running back Ismail Brooks finished the drive with a two-yard score. Kicker Nate Benoit had his extra point blocked and the Bengals trailed 14-13.

“Everyone was just excited,” Brooks said. “We were basically just driving and everyone was saying ‘just one play at a time, just one play at a time and it will come’ and it did.”

Both teams punted on their ensuing possession before Utica’s offense found rhythm with an 8-play 56-yard drive to score on a 2-yard touchdown run by running back Jesse Baldassare with 41 seconds left in the half. The Bengals drove 45 yards in a hurry-up offense as Benoit hit a 36-yard field goal on final play of the half with Utica leading 21-16.

Buffalo State’s offense came out of the half fired up as Kacz operated a 5-play 78-yard drive featuring a 36-yard pass to wide receiver Sherman Nelson on the first play and a Brooks 25-yard run before Kacz finished with an eight yard quarterback keep to give the Bengals a 23-21 lead.

After the defense forced the Pioneers to punt, Kacz threw a 38-yard pass to Nelson and then Pete took the carry for a 35-yard score.

“I just told myself I’m not getting tackled and I’ve got to score,” Pete said. “My right tackle pulled and I just followed behind him and he led me to the promise land.”

On the Pioneers’ next possession, Vacchio made his presence felt again as he forced a fumble by Baldassare with safety/linebacker Brandon Hodgins making the recovery. Three plays later and the Bengals had a 37-21 lead as Brooks scored on a six-yard run.

After outscoring Utica 21-0 in the 3rd quarter, it looked like Buffalo State was about to run away with the game, but Kacz threw another interception to Lenahan, sparking a 30-point 4th quarter for the Pioneers. Benkwitt capitalized off the turnover with a nine-play 66-yard drive resulting in a 10-yard touchdown pass to Meier and then connecting on the conversion with tight end Lucas Harder, making the score 37-29 in favor of Buffalo State.

Following punts on the ensuing possession for both teams, the Bengals pushed their lead to 44-29 with 9:50 left in the fourth quarter as Pete earned his third rushing touchdown with a one-yard score. It was set up from a 31-yard pass from Kacz to Pete.

Utica answered back with a six-play 65-yard drive, capped off by a seven-yard touchdown pass from Benkwitt to wide receiver Alex DeRusso to cut the deficit to 44-36.

Buffalo State went three-and-out on their next possession and forced a punt on defense, but a muffed punt by Nelson gave the ball back to Utica as Mitchell recovered the ball at the Buffalo State 35 yard line. Benkwitt took advantage of the field position with four completions and a 12-yard touchdown pass to Meier before a two-point conversion pass to Baldassare to tie the game 44-44 with 2:47 remaining.

The Bengals tried to answer back, but Kacz was sacked and stripped by linebacker Chris Adams on 3rd-and-17 with safety Cedric Hairston making the recovery at the Utica 40 yard line with 34 seconds left.

Benkwitt completed a 33-yard pass to DeRusso to get to the Buffalo State 27 yard line with 27 seconds left before calling timeout. After an incomplete pass, he completed a 17-yard pass to Murphy before hitting Meier for the game-winning 10-yard touchdown pass.

“The first thought in my mind was that we were going to score,” Benkwitt said. “I got hit so I didn’t see, but I heard the crowd go crazy and I knew that we scored.”

“We were able to execute because guys were doing their job,” Benkwitt added. “The O-line made the blocks that they have to and the skill guys went out and made the plays that they had to.”

Buffalo State will try to get their first conference win in the Empire 8 against Ithaca on Saturday at 1 p.m. Ithaca is coming off of their first loss of the season to Alfred.

Bengals Keep Their ECAC-Bowl Bid Hopes Alive

Bengals Keep Their ECAC-Bowl Bid Hopes Alive
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Hartwick led 24-13 with less than ten minutes left in the game, but the Bengals stepped up to the challenge on a wet and windy day, scoring two touchdowns, including the game-winner with 33 seconds left in a 27-24 victory over the Hawks.
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It looked like Hartwick was going to pull off an upset, but a fumble by RB Joseph Rosiecki was recovered by LB/S Scott Koen, setting up the game-winning drive.

Entering Homecoming and Senior Day, the Buffalo State football team knew they had to find a way to snap their three-game losing streak at home, but it wasn’t going to be easy.

Hartwick led 24-13 with less than ten minutes left in the game, but the Bengals stepped up to the challenge on a wet and windy day, scoring two touchdowns, including the game-winner with 33 seconds left in a 27-24 victory over the Hawks.

“In the second half, I thought the defense played a much better ballgame,” head coach Jerry Boyes said. “I was very concerned because offensively we had a couple of short fields in the second half right away and we didn’t score. I was worried that it was going to come back to haunt us, but this is a crazy game and you never know.”

In the first half, the Hawks jumped out to an early 7-0 lead on the opening possession with a 25-yard touchdown run by running back Joseph Rosiecki to cap off a six-play 61-yard drive. Buffalo State responded with a 16-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Lehotsky to Sherman Nelson.

“Our first drive, I knew we had to come back and make a big play to make it 7-7,” Nelson said. “I did an inside move and ran a corner route. Lehotsky threw a great ball and I just put my hands on it and didn’t look back and scored the touchdown.”

Following a failed 4th-and-1 attempt at the Buffalo State 43-yard line, the Hawks defense forced a three-and-out by the Bengals. Hartwick retook the lead on the first play of the second quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run by Rosiecki. It ended an 8-play 100-yard drive, the longest of their season.

After a series of possessions ending in punts for both teams, Hartwick extended their lead to 21-7 with a 27-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Andre Bashford to wide receiver Chris Hoose.

Buffalo State cut the deficit to 21-13 with a 45-yard touchdown run by running back Rich Pete, but a missed extra point by kicker Nate Benoit kept it an eight-point lead.

“My first run sparked it for us and it let us know that we could easily get to the edge to score a touchdown and that’s what we did,” Pete said. “My fullback said ‘I’m going to kick him out, make the cut and we should score. Just do your thing.’”

Hartwick started their nine-play, 53-yard drive with 1:16 left in the first half and ended it with a 37-yard field goal by kicker Alex Tesoriero on the final play before halftime. The field goal was set up a roughing the passer penalty called on defensive tackle Dez Howard with no time left and the Hawks led 24-13 heading into the break.

Coming out of halftime, the Bengals were forced to punt on their first possession, but Matt Hauser recovered a fumbled return by Clyde Miller and Buffalo State was back in business at the Hartwick 18-yard line. Three plays later, Benoit attempted a 33-yard field, but it ended up short.

Neither team could get anything going offensively for the rest of the third quarter.

Following a Buffalo State three-and-out at the start of the fourth quarter, the Bengals defense swung the momentum back to their side with a sack by defensive end Jahi Owens on third-and-10 to force a punt.

“I was thinking we have to give our offense another opportunity, so when I pass rushed I wasn’t actually trying to get around the guy,” Owens said. “I was trying to make sure the quarterback wouldn’t flush out and then Pasquale came in and slowed him down, so I got him.”

Lehotsky caught fire on the Bengals’ next drive and hit wide receiver John Beers with a six-yard touchdown pass before a failed two-point conversion attempt by third-string quarterback Dave Jacobs. A 46-yard pass to wide receiver Ryan Carney set up the touchdown, cutting the deficit to 24-19 with 9:04 left in the 4th quarter.

“We ran a play action and the cornerback bit hard,” Carney said. “It was a blown coverage and I was wide open. In the first half, their defense wasn’t giving me the open route, but in the second half they started backing off and we took advantage of it.“

Bashford responded with a 66-yard pass to wide receiver Tanner Williams to get to the Buffalo State 9-yard line, but the Bengals’ defense didn’t allow a score, stopping four rushing attempts. Linebacker/safety Brandon Hodgins and linebacker Pasquale Vacchio stuffed Rosiecki on 4th-and-goal at the two-yard line.

“We kept on talking about how we had to stick together and we stuck together,” Hodgins said. ”We didn’t make any adjustments. We just had to play ball. We obviously didn’t play how we were supposed to and then in the second half we shored it up.”

Lehotsky rode the momentum and completed a 43-yard pass to Carney to get the Bengals into the opposing territory, but a fumbled snap at the Hartwick 29-yard line turned the ball over as the Hawks recovered with 2:56 remaining in the game.

It looked like the Bengals were going to lose the game following a first down by Hartwick, but Rosiecki mishandled the toss from Bashford and linebacker/safety Scott Koen recovered the fumble at the Buffalo State 48-yard line with 1:41 left.

“I just came in and the guy couldn’t hold on, so I just made the play,” Koen said. “It was a sense of relief because we were able to get our offense back on the field.”

Similar to every Thursday two-minute drill practice, the Bengals drove down the field and found a way to score.

The Bengals started their game-winning drive with a Lehotsky 13-yard pass to tight end Zachary Best and a 15-yard draw by Rich Pete. With time ticking away, Lehotsky hit Carney with an 8-yard pass to get out of bounds. The next play Lehotsky hit Pete with a 16-yard touchdown pass to take the lead.

“It was just time for me to get the screen,” Pete said. “I turned around and my guys were down the field wide open. That was real big.”

With the score 25-24 and 33 seconds remaining in the game, the Bengals attempted a two-point conversion and made it three-point game when Best came down with the Lehotsky pass in the end zone.

“We ran the play where I do the fake trip, get up and run across the formation,” Best said. “I ran across the field and Ryan just found me. It worked out pretty good. We needed the two and we ran that play in the past. It just seems to work for us.”

Hartwick had a chance to comeback, but they no timeouts and the clock ran out them.

Lehotsky completed 18 of 33 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns. Pete had 112 total yards and two touchdowns, including 94 yards on the ground from just nine carries. Carney led the receivers with seven catches for 136 yards.

Buffalo State (5-4, 3-3) will look to finish the regular season on a high note at St. John Fisher (6-2, 3-2) this Saturday at noon. The Bengals have a chance to finish above .500 for the first time since 2000. The Cardinals are coming off of 21-0 victory against Frostburg where they allowed just 239 yards of total offense.

“This is a chance for us to say that we definitely have turned the corner with the program here,” Boyes said. “I don’t know how many years it’s been since we’ve had a winning season. Last year was a non-losing season at .500, so we have that in front of us and hopefully we can play well for 60 minutes next week.”

Buffalo State Will Face Brockport in the I-90 Bowl

Buffalo State Will Face Brockport in the I-90 Bowl
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Buffalo State’s defense will have their work cut out for them going against Brockport, who had the top offense in the NJAC last season.
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Buffalo State has won their last two games against Brockport with the most recent being a 51-30 blowout victory.

Following a 49-31 statement victory over the Cortland Red Dragons, the Buffalo State football team will face another non-conference rival in the Brockport Golden Eagles.

The Bengals defeated the Golden Eagles 51-30 at home last season after a highly entertaining first half that saw Buffalo State take a 48-23 lead into halftime. Quarterback Casey Kacz was the star of the game as he completed 22 of 31 passes for 290 yards and two touchdowns with 11 carries for 74 yards and two touchdowns.

“I think we just ran the right plays and we had a good week of practice and we came out and executed the right way,” said guard Josh Jesonowski. “With their defensive line, we were just able to manhandle them all across the board. We had that good push up front.”

Brockport finished last season with the top offense in the New Jersey Athletic Conference averaging 432.8 yards per game. They also averaged 252.6 passing yards which was second-best and 29.1 points which were third-best.

The Golden Eagles have three returning All-conference players in wide receiver Jordan Hogan, offensive lineman Bruce Doyle and defensive back Ross Ragonessi.

Also returning from the league’s best offense last year is quarterback Joe Scibilia and running back Tyrone Nichols. Scibilia finished last season completing 174 of 280 passes for 2,007 yards with 11 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and Nichols rushed 121 times for 694 yards and seven touchdowns

Brockport won their first game of the season 24-2 against Lycoming, who were 8-2 last season. Scibilia completed 21 of 34 passes for 324 yards, two touchdowns and an interception and running back Tyrone Nichols rushed 21 times for 113 yards and a touchdown.

“They like to run mostly shotgun,” said safety Matt Wesolowski. “I heard Coach Lewis say they only have one tight end that comes in as an offensive lineman that’s there to block, but they usually go four-spread in shotgun. Their quarterback is pretty solid. He’s good with his reads and he’s very capable of running the ball, but as long as we play hard and play fast, we should beat them.”

In recent years, the Buffalo State-Brockport rivalry has been a high-scoring affair, but it should be interesting to see how the Bengals offense will do against the Golden Eagles’ defense that held Lycoming’s offense scoreless this past week. However, Lycoming’s sophomore quarterback Tyler Jenny was making his first start.

Kacz is coming off a game against Cortland where he broke a school record with 579 passing yards and tied a school record with five touchdown passes. Wide receiver Caesarae Lewis had seven receptions for 156 yards and tied a school record with three touchdowns and freshman wide receiver Ryan Carney had 12 receptions for 242 yards and two touchdowns making his first career collegiate start after the Bengals found out just three days earlier they would be without Mike Doherty, who suffered a season-ending injury in practice.

“The one thing we emphasize as coaches all the time is that our backups have to be ready to play,” said Offensive Coordinator Greg Forest. “Everybody has to practice like they’re the starter and when a guy goes down like Mike Doherty did, Carney had to step up and that’s what we need from everybody on the team whether you’re a fourth team player or a first team player, you’ve got to practice every day like you’re trying to be the starter.”

Buffalo State will travel to compete in the I-90 Bowl against rival Brockport next Saturday at 1 p.m. The Bengals have defeated Brockport the past two years and will look to bring home a third I-90 Bowl trophy as the rivalry continues to grow with the Golden Eagles joining the Empire Eight during the 2013 season.

“I certainly don’t like that team,” said equipment manager Bob Decker. “I don’t like the way they do football business. We went on a road trip a few years back and we couldn’t shower in their facilities because Brockport had been there the week before and wrecked the place, so we had to get on the bus smelly and bus somewhere else to take a shower and then get back on that smelly bus for our ride home.”

“One time when they came here to Buffalo, I had heard the showers running and I was sure the bus had left,” Decker added. “I went in the shower and every shower faucet was turned on and I had to try to turn them all off without getting soaked myself. What a disrespectful bunch of people over there at Brockport.”

Bengals Get Their First Empire 8 Conference Win

Bengals Get Their First Empire 8 Conference Win
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The Bengals bounced back after allowing a season-high 51 points to Utica by forcing three turnovers and holding Ithaca to just 253 yards of total offense in a 21-14 victory, giving Buffalo State their first-ever win in the Empire 8.
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Backup quarterback Ryan Lehotsky complete a 42-yard touchdown pass to Zachary Best and converted a fake extra point into a two-point conversion
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Kam Johnson made the play of the game with an interception at the Buffalo State six yard line, preventing Ithaca from scoring inside the red zone.

After losing three straight games at home against Empire 8 Conference opponents, the Buffalo State football team went on the road and picked up where they left off against UW-Whitewater.

The Bengals bounced back after allowing a season-high 51 points to Utica by forcing three turnovers and holding Ithaca to just 253 yards of total offense in a 21-14 victory, giving Buffalo State their first-ever win in the Empire 8.

“We played well at times in all three phases today, but the defense was the big difference,” head coach Jerry Boyes said. “We gave them a number of opportunities with a short field in the second half, but the defense rose to the occasion and secured the win for us.”

Buffalo State got on the board first after quarterback Casey Kacz led a 14-play 91-yard drive, capped off by a one-yard touchdown run by Ismail Brooks to take an early 8-0 lead. The Bengals faked the extra point with holder Ryan Lehotsky throwing a pass to linebacker Eddie Weiser to complete the two-point conversion.

Two plays later, the Bengals’ offense found themselves going back on the field, following a fumble by Ithaca running back Clay Ardoin, which was recovered by defensive tackle Tawone Williams. This time, however, the Ithaca defense held them to 27-yard field goal by kicker Nate Benoit as Buffalo State pushed their lead to 11-0.

Ithaca answered with a nine-play, 67-yard drive, resulting in an Ardoin two-yard touchdown run to close the deficit to 11-7.The Bengals drove deep into Ithaca territory again on their next drive, but Benoit missed a 21-yard field goal.

On Ithaca’s next possession, quarterback Phil Neumann threw an interception to safety Mike Burton, who returned it 56 yards. Benoit redeemed himself by hitting a 32-yard field goal to give Buffalo State a 14-7 lead heading into halftime.

“I thought there was wind at the beginning of the game and I tried to play it by angles too much,” Benoit said. “It didn’t work out for me on the one that I missed, but I figured there would be another field goal and I’d better be ready. I just didn’t want to be 50-percent for the day.”

Coming out of the half, wide receiver Caesarae Lewis fumbled the opening kickoff, but the Bengals prevented a score as defensive end Brian Greene sacked Neumann on a fouth-and-three play at the Buffalo State 23 yard line.

“They double-teamed me and I just fought through the double team to make the sack,” Greene said. “I was being a Tasmanian devil and just had to keep going and keep working to fight through the blocks.”

Kacz turned the ball back over with an interception on the very next play, but the defense forced a three-and-out. Lehotsky came in off the bench to replace Kacz and led a six-play 72-yard drive that ended with a 42-yard touchdown pass to tight end Zachary Best, extending the Bengals lead to 21-7 midway through the third quarter.

“Coming into the game, you just always have to be ready because you never know what could happen in one play,” Lehotsky said. “The play we just set up nicely. It was a play action and they didn’t cover him. He was wide open.”

“We were just running the ball on them and they were flying up, so we decided to go over the top, “Best said. “I saw the ball and it just seemed to be floating in the air forever. Lehotsky has been a great quarterback here for a number of years, so I had all the faith in him in the world.”

Ithaca tried to respond on the next drive, but Kam Johnson intercepted Neumann at the Buffalo State 6-yard line, killing their momentum for the rest of the third quarter.

“I read the tight end and I went downhill,” Johnson said. “I tried to get back into coverage, but I slipped and fell and the ball landed in my lap, so I just squeezed the ball tight. It was big for the team.”

On the Bengals next possession, Lehotsky threw an interception to cornerback Brian Garvey, who returned it 31 yards. The Bombers took advantage of the turnover as Neumann finished the five-play 37-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Steve Delmore to make the score 21-14 with 10:14 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Ithaca had two more chances to try to tie the game, but the Bengals defense prevented a score and Buffalo State ran out the remaining 2:05 left on the clock to win the game.

Lehotsky ended the game completing 5 of 10 passes for 70 yards with a touchdown and interception after replacing the injured Kacz, who completed 10 of 19 passes for 134 yards and an interception. The Bengals had a balanced ground attack with 161 rushing yards.

“We took [Kacz] out because he was still hurt a little bit and because he made a bad decision,” offensive coordinator Greg Forest said. “I think Lehotsky did the job that he should’ve done just like he was the starter. He went in and made some plays and we were able to win the game.”

Buffalo State will try to get back to .500 and try to make a push at an ECAC-bid this Saturday when it travels to Maryland to face Frostburg State during their homecoming weekend at 1 p.m. The Bobcats are coming off of a 41-0 loss to Utica where they had just 168 yards of total offense.

“With the losses we have, it would be very difficult for us to get an NCAA-bid, but what looms out there is the ECAC-bid because that is a possibility for us, depending upon how we can finish out the season,” Boyes said. “It comes down to the same thing every Saturday and what we have to do. If we do it the way we’re capable of, only good things can happen.”