BUFFALO, NY-- The College of New Jersey (3-4/2-4) rushed for 342 yards and capitalized special teams miscues and four Buffalo State (1-6/1-5) turnovers in a 48-29 victory in an NJAC contest this afternoon at Coyer Field.
Joe Falco (Ocean, NJ/Ocean Twp.) led the TCNJ ground attack, rushing for 169 yards and three touchdowns on 28 carries. Quarterback James Donoghue (Shamong, NJ/Seneca) threw just four passes, completing two for 58 yards including a 49-yard touchdown. Donoghue also had six rushes for 45 yards. Gregory Burns (Hamilton, NJ/Hamilton West) anchored the Lions' defense with 13 tackles and an interception.
Buffalo State quarterback Ryan Lehotsky (N. Royalton, OH/N. Royalton) ended the day 21 of 36 for 245 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. Jarrett Smith (Beacon, NY/Beacon) was the leading receiver with six catches for 110 yards. Jordan Boser (Geneva, IL/Geneva) and Kimani George (Brooklyn, NY/William Grady) led the defense with 12 and 11 tackles respectively.
TCNJ jumped out to an early 10-0. After Tyler Olsson (Kendall Park, NJ/S. Brunswick) kicked a 22-yard field goal on the opening drive, the Lions got the ball back on an interception by Dean Misiura (Holmdel, NJ/Holmdel). Three plays later, Donoghue hit a wide open William Friedrich (Berlin, NJ/E. Stroudsburgh South) for a 49 yard touchdown.
Buffalo State bounced back with touchdowns of its own on its next two possessions to take a 15-10 lead. Rob Smith (Rochester, NY/McQuaid) caught a 10-yard strike from Lehotsky for the first score. The Bengals faked the extra point, and kicker Nick Debbins (Lancaster, NY/Lancaster) threw to Zachary Best (Henrietta, NY/Rush-Henrietta) for the 2-point conversion. Then the Bengals assembled an 11-play, 58-yard drive that culminated with a 2-yard scoring run by Greg Spears (Syracuse, NY/Henninger).
TCNJ cut the gap to 15-13 with a 26-yard field goal by Olsson. Buffalo State's Mike Doherty (Tonawanda, NY/Kenmore East) muffed the ensuing kickoff out of bounds at the Bengals' 2. TCNJ forced a three-and-out and took over at the 25 after a short punt. The Lions capitalized to reclaim the lead at 20-15 following a 10-yard touchdown run on a quarterback sneak by Donoghue.
The Lions scored the first points of the second half after Jarrett Smith muffed a punt at the 12 yard line and Patrick Chirchirillo (River Vale, NJ/Pascack Valley) recovered the bouncing ball in the end zone.
Falco pushed the lead to 34-15 early in the final period with his first of three rushing touchdowns, scoring from six yards out.
Doherty atoned for the earlier fumble on the ensuing kickoff, racing 85 yards for the score, pulling the Bengals back to within striking distance at 34-22.
TCNJ quickly thwarted any comeback hopes however, as Falco broke free for a 44-yard touchdown run on the next possession. After a Shawn Brown (Long Branch, NJ/Long Branch) interception, TCNJ ate up more than eight minutes of clock before Falco scored again, recovering his own fumble in the end zone to complete the 3-yard scoring run.
Buffalo State added a final touchdown with 14 seconds remaining on a 14-yard pass from Lehotsky to running back Spears to complete the scoring.
Buffalo State will travel to William Paterson next Saturday for a 1 p.m. kickoff.