Montclair, NJ (9/24/11) – Senior running back Chris D'Andrea (Union, NJ / Union) rushed for two touchdowns while senior quarterback Tom Fischer (Livingston, NJ /Livingston) threw for a pair of scores as No. 10/14 Montclair State turned three early miscues in the 17 points in a 53-24 victory over Buffalo State at Sprague Field.
Senior Kevin Cloghessy (West Hempstead, NY / West Hempstead) returned an interception for a score as the Red Hawks improved to 3-0 for the second straight season and 19th time program history while winning at home for the 25th time in their last 26 games.
Junior Casey Kacz (Amherst, NY / Sweet Home) was 16-of-28 for 213 yards and a touchdown off the bench as the Bengals fell to 1-3 overall, 1-2 in the NJAC.
After Buffalo State got the opening kickoff, Cloghessy put Montclair on the board as he intercepted a Ryan Lehotsky (N. Royalton, OH / N. Royalton) pass the MSU 48 and raced 52 yards for the touchdown as Montclair led 7-0 2:53 into the game.
Two possessions later, Buffalo State was backed to its own 21 yardline when it tried a bit of trickery as punter Joe Going (Kings Park, NY / Kings Park) attempted a pass on fourth down. The pass was complete, however Clario Sampson (Newark, NJ / Orange) made the play short of the first down as Montclair State took over at the Bengals' 26.
Montclair would get a 39-yard field goal out of Jake DelVento (Island Heights, NJ / Toms River South) to extend the lead to 10-0. On the ensuing possession, Rich Pete (Utica, NY / T.R. Proctor) had the ball jarred loose by MSU's Chad Faulcon (Cranford, NJ / Cranford) with the Red Hawks recovering at their own 46. Fischer connected twice with Dan Keegan (Fairfield, NJ / West Essex), the latter a 25-yard touchdown as MSU led 17-0 with 1:59 to play in the opening quarter.
Caesarae Lewis (N. Syracuse, NU/ Cicero-N. Syracuse) returned the next kickoff 55 yards to give Buffalo State good field position and Bengals took advantage capping off a six-play drive with a six-yard touchdown run by Brooks as the Bengals closed within 17-7 eight seconds into the second quarter.
Montclair State countered with a four-play, 71-yard drive to push the lead back to 23-7. Fischer found Keegan for 36 yards to the Buffalo State 35 before D'Andrea did the rest rushing for 35 yards, including a 19-yard score with 13:01 left before halftime.
Red Hawk punter Joe Liscio (Little Falls, NJ / Passaic Valley) later pinned the Bengals at their own 1 and it paid off for Montclair State as Bobby Skinner (Staten Island, NY / New Dorp) sacked Lehotsky and forced a fumble that Faulcon recovered at the Buffalo State four. D'Andrea scored on the next play as Montclair led 30-7 with 5:03 to go.
Nick Debbins (Lancaster, NY / Lancaster) connected from 20-yards out with 57 seconds to play to make the score 30-10, but Montclair State went 64 yards in 49 seconds. Fischer found Byron Lewin (Carteret, NJ / Carteret) for 42 yards down to the Bengals' 22 and then ran for 11 yards. He then found brother Vinny Fischer (Livingston, NJ / Livingston) from seven yards out with eight ticks left as the Red Hawks led 37-10 at halftime.
DelVento hit from 42 yards out in the third quarter and A.J Scoppa (New Milford, NJ / New Milford) ran in from six-yards out as Montclair widened its lead to 46-10 with just under seven minutes to play. Pete had a four-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter for Buffalo State while Bill Roman (Annandale, NJ / St. Peter's Prep) ripped off a 36-yard touchdown for MSU. Kacz found Justin Medley (Henrietta, NY / Rush-Henrietta) with 33 seconds left for the final score of the game.
Fischer was 13-of-23 for 223 yards with Keegan hauling in six passes for 115 yards. Lewin and Gerald Silvera (West Orange, NJ / West Orange) had three receptions apiece. D'Andrea rushed for 85 yards on 14 carries. Faulcon led the defense with nine tackles as Montclair collected five sacks in the game.
Pete ran 15 times for 87 yards with Brooks getting 53 yards on 11 carriers. Kacz also had 27 yards on the ground. Medley was the leading receiver for the Bengals with seven catches for 65 yards. Kevin Healy (East Meadow, NY / East Meadow) had seven tackles.
Buffalo State outgained Montclair 414-393 and held the ball for 34:15 of the game, however the three turnovers and early miscues proved too costly.
Both teams return to action next Saturday, October 1. Montclair State travels to Brockport, NY to face College at Brockport at 1:00 pm. Buffalo State is back at Coyer Field for a Noon start with William Paterson.