BUFFALO, NY—Buffalo State (5-4/3-3) took its first lead of the day on a 16-yard catch and run by Rich Pete (Utica/Proctor) with just 33 seconds remaining, as the Bengals scratched out a 27-24 homecoming victory over Hartwick (3-5/0-5) on a wet and windy day at Coyer Field.
Pete finished with 112 total yards and two touchdowns, including 94 yards on the ground on just nine carries. Quarterback Ryan Lehotsky (N. Royalton, OH/N. Royalton) finished 18 of 33 for 265 yards and three touchdowns. Ryan Carney (Olean/Olean) was the top target with seven grabs for 136 yards, while Sherman Nelson (Buffalo/O'Hara) had four catches for 69 yards and a score. Pasquale Vacchio (Glen Head/North Shore) had a team-high 12 tackles, and Sean Littlejohn (Cohoes/Cohoes) had 11 stops with a sack and 2.5 for loss.
Joseph Rosiecki (Montgomery/Valley Central) led the Hartwick ground game with 109 yards on 31 carries and two scores. Andre Bashford (E. Rockaway/E. Rockaway) was 11 of 22 for 215 yards and a score, and had 11 rushed for 33 yards.
Buffalo State erased a 24-13 halftime deficit, scoring a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns. After John Beers (Syosset/Syosset) reeled in a 6-yard scoring pass from Lehotsky with 9:04 remaining, the Bengals' two-point attempt failed leaving the deficit 24-19.
Hartwick answered that drive hitting a 66-yard pass from Bashford to Tanner Williams (Eagle Bridge/Hoosic Falls) to work deep into Bengal territory. The Bengals managed to stuff a fourth-and-goal from the 2, to keep the comeback hopes alive.
Buffalo State hit on a 43-yard pass play to Carney and moved the ball down field, but an errant shotgun snap with just 2:56 remaining was recovered by Hartwick near midfield. The Hawks returned the favor five plays later, however, when Rosiecki could not handle a pitch and Scott Koen (Oxnard, CA/Santa Clara) recovered for the Bengals at the Buffalo State 48 with 1:41 remaining.
After a pair of first downs, the Bengals faced a third-and-2 when Lehotsky dumped a screen pass to Pete and he streaked into the end zone for the winning score.
In the first half, the Hawks ran out to a 7-0 lead on their first possession, running the ball six times for 61 yards, capped by a 25-yard score by Rosiecki. The Bengals answered with seven points on their first possession as well, when Lehotsky connected with Nelson for a 16-yard touchdown.
Hartwick reclaimed the lead on the first play of the second quarter with a 1-yard run by Rosiecki, and then pushed the advantage to 21-7 later in the period with a 27-yard touchdown strike from Bashford to Chris Hoose (Leeds/Cairo-Durham).
Buffalo State cut the deficit to 21-13 with a 45-yard scamper by Pete with just 1:16 remaining in the first half, but Hartwick's Alex Tesoriero (Rensselaer/Columbia) booted a 37-yard field goal on the final play of the frame. The try was set up by a roughing the passer call on a fourth-down play with no time left, leaving the score 24-13 at the break.
Hartwick finished with 434 total yards, including 219 on the ground. Buffalo State had 334 total yards, and just 69 on the ground on 18 rushing attempts.
Buffalo State will play its regular season finale next Saturday at St. John Fisher at noon.