October 6, 2012

Utica Scores 30 4th Quarter Points; Rallies Past Buffalo State 51-44

More news about: Utica

Box Score

Utica 51, Buffalo State 44 - Final

The Utica College football team scored 30 fourth quarter points, as it rallied from a 15 point deficit with 9:50 to go in the contest, to earn a huge come-from-behind victory over host Buffalo State in Empire 8 Conference action at Coyer Field on Saturday.  With the scored tied at 44-44 late in the fourth quarter, Utica's Chris Adams sacked Bengal quarterback Casey Kacz, forcing a pivotal fumble which was ultimately recovered by Cedric Hairston with just 34 seconds left in regulation.  Hairston's recovery set up a four-play, 60 yard, game-winning drive in just 21 seconds, capped by senior wide receiver Jeremy Meier's touchdown grab with 13 seconds left on the clock to advance UC's record to 3-2 on the year and 1-1 E8 play.

"This was certainly a thrilling win for our program against a very good Buffalo State team who has won some big games this year," said Head Coach Blaise Faggiano.  "This was one of the most exciting games that I have ever been a part of

Jeremy Meier
Jeremy Meier caught a school-record four touchdowns, including three in the fourth quarter
and I couldn't have imagined it happening to a better group of individuals. These guys never give up and I am proud of the effort and hard work that we have all put in to get to this point.  These wins can help to define a season and we need to take this momentum with us throughout the second half of the year."

 
Buffalo State (2-4, 0-3 Empire 8), which knocked off the nation's No. 1 team, Wisconsin-Whitewater, three short weeks ago, has now lost three consecutive games.  

Senior quarterback Andrew Benkwitt led the way for UC with a single-game record 38 completions for 398 yards and another school-record six touchdown throws.  Meier continued his banner year with a program-best 12 catches for 148 yards and a school-record four receiving touchdowns, including two in the final 2:47 of the contest (three in the fourth quarter). Junior receiver Jamie Murphy also caught 11 balls for 115 yards and a touchdown. 

All six of the Bengals touchdowns came by way of the ground game, including three from nearby Proctor High School graduate Rich Pete, a sophomore running back, who finished the day with 10 carries for 60 yards.  Buff State's Casey Kacz completed 18 passes for 288 yards and also ran the ball eight times for 49 yards and one touchdown, while Manny Brooks rushed 12 times for 67 yards and two scores. 

Eight different Pioneers' caught at least one pass from Benwkitt, while junior running back Jesse Baldassare carried the ball 22 times for 68 yards and one touchdown. 

"This was a much need conference win headed into homecoming weekend and we are excited to come back home next weekend to take on Frostburg," said Faggiano. "What an incredible effort on both sides of the ball - I just can't say enough about how proud I am of the effort today. "

After the Pioneers punted on their opening possession, the UC defense came through on their very first play as sophomore safety James Lenahan picked off the Bengals first pass of the game.  Lenahan later added another key interception at the end of the third quarter to spark the Pioneers' late rally.  He now has a team-best four interceptions this year.  Four plays and 37 yards after the first Lenahan INT the Pioneers drew first blood, cracking the goal line by way of Meiers' 25 yard touchdown reception from Benkwitt, to put UC on top 7-0. 

The UC defense held strong in the first quarter, forcing three straight punts.  The second quarter proved to be much different, as the two conference foes combined for 30 points, to provide the raucous Buffalo State crowd with much to cheer for.  The Pioneers jumped out to a 14-0 lead when Jamie Murphy caught a short touchdown grab from Benkwitt to open the second quarter scoring. 

That's when the home squad began to take it personal and turned up the offensive pressure, scoring 16 points before the half, including two straight touchdowns, to pull the Bengals to within five points at the half.  The second quarter included two touchdowns for the home team -- and a key field goal -- amongst the blustering winds, as time expired in the first half.  Buff State running back Rich Pete punched in the Bengals first score from one yard out, before Manny Brooks made it a 14-13 ball game with 5:28 left in the half.  UC freshman Nick Woodman, a 6-foot-5 defensive end from Proctor High School, blocked the ensuing extra point to help UC cling to a one point lead. 

Buffalo continued to roll in the second half, scoring 21 straight third quarter points to take a commanding 37-21 lead into the final 15 minutes of action.  However, Utica would not go down without swinging, as the Pioneers began their surge with a ten yard touchdown grab from Meier just five seconds into the final quarter. 

Rich Pete answered for Buff State with a one yard touchdown run to push the Bengal lead back to 15 points, 44-29, with 9:50 to go in regulation.  Just 50 seconds later freshman wide receiver Alex DeRusso caught his first touchdown grab from Benkwitt to breathe life into the Pioneer nation. 

Both teams exchanged punts before Meier caught his third touchdown of the day, a circus-style one handed (left hand) grab in the end zone to knot the score at 44-44 with 2:47 left.

"I've never seen a catch quite like the one Meier made today to tie the game up," said Faggiano. "So many different players stepped up today – it was just amazing to be a part of."

Buffalo State tried its own game-winning drive, but the Adam's sack and Hairston fumble recovery led to the game-winning drive and one of the most incredible come backs in the program's 12+ year history. 

Junior outside linebacker Joe Giametta led the Pioneers for the fifth straight game with 11 tackles, while senior Luke Manolescu added nine tackles and one sack.  Shawn Mitchell made eight stops and recovered a fumble for UC, while senior captain Genaro Scampone made eight tackles, including two for a loss. 

The Pioneers return to the gridiron next Saturday at home against Frostburg State for an Empire 8 Conference contest set to begin at 2 p.m. 

Quick Hitters: The Pioneers posted more points in the first half on the Buffalo State defense than national powers Salisbury and Wisconsin-Whitewater recorded in their entire contests against the typically staunch Bengal defense … Utica broke or tied 15 different school-records in the contest. 

                                                                                                 --- www.ucpioneers.com ---

Sep. 30: All times Eastern
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Randolph-Macon 24, at Shenandoah 19
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at Washington and Lee 49, Emory and Henry 23
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Massachusetts Maritime 30, at Fitchburg State 0
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Becker 42, at Gallaudet 18
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at Hobart 38, Merchant Marine 35
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RPI 51, at Rochester 13
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Endicott 21, at MIT 9
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at Johns Hopkins 52, Juniata 17
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at William Paterson 18, Montclair State 13
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at Wesleyan 34, Hamilton 6
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at Tufts 12, Bates 7
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31 Wabash
14 Hiram
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Middlebury 35, at Colby 14
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Amherst 31, at Bowdoin 10
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Frostburg State 25, at Kean 18
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at DePauw 48, Kenyon 35
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Ferrum 30, at Greensboro 0
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1:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Methodist
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26 FDU-Florham
28 Wilkes
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at Castleton 23, Anna Maria 13
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Moravian 33, at Ursinus 32
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Stevenson 48, at Misericordia 0
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at St. Lawrence 42, Springfield 14
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Thomas More 45, at Westminster (Pa.) 35
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Alma 56, at Kalamazoo 26
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Franklin and Marshall 20, at Dickinson 10
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Wesley 63, at Southern Virginia 9
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Adrian 28, at Albion 21
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Husson 33, at SUNY-Maritime 12
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Apprentice 24, at Alfred State 8
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at Salisbury 41, TCNJ 6
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at St. John Fisher 28, Buffalo State 24
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Salve Regina 47, at Curry 14
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at Gettysburg 38, McDaniel 23
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Delaware Valley 48, at Lebanon Valley 0
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at Denison 21, Ohio Wesleyan 14
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at Ithaca 23, Utica 14
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Alfred 49, at Morrisville State 24
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Western New England 56, at Nichols 27
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at Albright 27, King's 7
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Muhlenberg 33, at Susquehanna 30
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at Chicago 38, Birmingham-Southern 34
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Westminster (Mo.) 35, at Crown 7
1:30 PM
Oberlin at Allegheny
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Mount Ida 15, at Norwich 14
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Trinity (Conn.) 38, at Williams 13
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4th - 12:20
56 Baldwin Wallace
49 Marietta
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at Heidelberg 27, Muskingum 24
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at WPI 21, Union 14
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30 Maine Maritime
36 Coast Guard
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67 John Carroll
7 Wilmington
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Mount Union 38, at Ohio Northern 21
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41 Franklin
20 Manchester
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Mount St. Joseph at Hanover
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Widener at Lycoming
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52 Defiance
14 Earlham
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13 Concordia-Chicago
18 Trine
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20 Capital
21 Otterbein
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2:00 3rd Qtr.
7 Plymouth State
0 Westfield State
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41 Wittenberg
7 Wooster
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10 Anderson
35 Rose-Hulman
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20 Hampden-Sydney
45 Bridgewater
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Waynesburg at Grove City
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Cortland at Hartwick
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Centre at Hendrix
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27 Eureka
6 Greenville
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7 Northwestern (Minn.)
5 Iowa Wesleyan
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7 Concordia (Wis.)
16 Lakeland
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15 Rockford
44 Benedictine
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34 Aurora
7 Wisconsin Lutheran
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17 Nebraska Wesleyan
17 Luther
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33 Rhodes
14 Sewanee
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14 Lake Forest
28 St. Norbert
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2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Gustavus Adolphus
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28 Hamline
23 Carleton
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35 St. John's
13 Bethel
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17 UW-Whitewater
14 UW-Platteville
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4th - 10:02
34 Buena Vista
17 Loras
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29 Sul Ross State
33 Hardin-Simmons
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2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at UW-Eau Claire
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Beloit at Lawrence
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Cornell at Monmouth
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10 Wartburg
17 Coe
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28 Dubuque
17 Central
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17 Wheaton (Ill.)
24 Illinois Wesleyan
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3 McMurry
24 Mary Hardin-Baylor
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Elmhurst at Augustana
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Macalester at Ripon
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Grinnell at Illinois College
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HALF
7 Howard Payne
14 Louisiana College
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2:00 PM
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32 East Texas Baptist
17 Belhaven
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7 Augsburg
34 St. Thomas
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3:00 PM
Washington and Jefferson at Thiel
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Maranatha Baptist at Morthland
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St. Scholastica at Martin Luther
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Carthage at Carroll
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0 UW-Stout
17 UW-Oshkosh
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1st - 13:39
0 Willamette
6 Puget Sound
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Pomona-Pitzer at Chapman
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at Hobart 38, Merchant Marine 35
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Final
at Johns Hopkins 52, Juniata 17
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Final
at Salisbury 41, TCNJ 6
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Final
Thomas More 45, at Westminster (Pa.) 35
Final
Wabash 45, at Hiram 21
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Stevenson 48, at Misericordia 0
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Final
at N.C. Wesleyan 41, Huntingdon 31
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Final
Mount Union 38, at Ohio Northern 21
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41 Franklin
20 Manchester
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41 Wittenberg
7 Wooster
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17 Wheaton (Ill.)
24 Illinois Wesleyan
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14 UW-Platteville
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35 St. John's
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3 McMurry
24 Mary Hardin-Baylor
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29 Sul Ross State
33 Hardin-Simmons
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32 East Texas Baptist
17 Belhaven
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28 Dubuque
17 Central
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7 Augsburg
34 St. Thomas
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17 UW-Oshkosh
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