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.”