FROSTBURG, Md.—Buffalo State (4-4/2-3) used a balanced offensive attack and another strong defensive performance to earn a convincing 22-7 victory at Frostburg State (3-4/1-3) in an Empire 8 game today at Bobcat Stadium.
The Bengals gained 439 total yards, including 295 passing and 144 on the ground, while limiting the Bobcats to just 272 total yards and only 97 through the air. Buffalo State forced Frostburg to go 0 for 13 on third-down conversions and 2 of 4 on fourth downs.
Quarterback Casey Kacz (Amherst/Sweet Home) went 7 of 11 for 114 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game at the end of the first quarter. Senior Ryan Lehotsky (N. Royalton, OH/N. Royalton) finished 12 of 24 for 158 yards with a touchdown and a pick in relief. Eight different Bengals caught passes, led by Ryan Carney (Olean/Olean) with five grabs for 88 yards and a score, while Caesarae Lewis (Newbern, AL/Sunshine) had four catches for 77 yards. Rich Pete (Utica/Proctor) and Manny Brooks (Auburn/Auburn) shared the load on the ground with nine carries for 73 yards and 11 runs for 65 yards respectively.
Chris Hall (Pasadena, CA/St. Francis) had a team-best nine tackles, and Pasquale Vacchio (Glen Head/North Shore) added eight stops including a sack for Buffalo State.
Frostburg quarterback Ken Emmons finished 12 of 28 for just 97 yards and a touchdown. Chuky Iweh had 13 rushes for 97 yards, and J.D. Hook added 92 yards on 14 carries.
Buffalo State produced points on each of its first two possessions, but neither team would score again in the first half. After a three-and-out by Frostburg on the opening sequence, the Bengals marched 60 yards on nine plays before settling for a 26-yard field goal by Nate Benoit (Grand Island/Grand Island). On its second possession, Buffalo State needed just two plays to find the end zone on a 39-yard pass from Kacz to Carney. Following a failed 2-point conversion attempt, the Bengals led 9-0.
Frostburg threatened twice, but came away empty. After using an eight-play, 75-yard drive to set up a first-and-goal, the Bengals stuffed a fourth-and-goal attempt from the 1 yard line. The Bobcats worked their way deep into Buffalo State territory again midway through the second quarter with a first-and-goal from the Bengals' 3. After losing five yards on the next three plays, however, they attempted a 25-yard field goal that rang off the right upright and kept the deficit at 9-0.
Buffalo State assembled a nine-play, 66-yard drive on the ensuing possession, but also came up empty when Lehotsky fired an incomplete pass on fourth-and-4 from the Frostburg 14 to turn the ball over on downs.
The Bengals got the ball back to start the second half and drove 77 yards in 12 plays, eating up eight minutes and 34 seconds, and ended with a 9-yard scoring strike from Lehotsky to John Beers (Syosset/Syosset). A blocked extra point made the score 15-0.
Buffalo State extended its lead to 22-0 midway through the fourth quarter with an 11-yard end around by Sherman Nelson (Buffalo/O'Hara). Frostburg finally got on the board with a 2-yard touchdown pass from Emmons to Hayden Roberts with just 3:11 remaining, but after a failed on-side kick, the Bengals ran out the clock.
"Our defense turned in another great performance," said Buffalo State coach Jerry Boyes. "We left a lot of points on the field offensively, but did enough good things to earn the victory."
Buffalo State will celebrate homecoming and "Senior Day" next Saturday against Hartwick at noon.