BUFFALO, NY— Ryan Sweet (East Aurora/East Aurora) had five receptions for 144 yards and two touchdowns, and St. John Fisher (7-2/4-2) limited host Buffalo State (5-5/3-4) to 215 yards of total offense and forced three turnovers in a 24-6 victory in an Empire 8 game today at Coyer Field.
Sophomore Matt Naton (Syracuse/W. Genesee) was 14 of 23 for 293 yards with two scores making his first collegiate start for the Cardinals. Cody Miller (Spencerport/Spencerport) led Fisher on the ground with 20 carries for 53 yards and a score. Sean Preish (Rochester/Aquinas) had 13 tackles to lead the defense, and Ryan Ballard (Dundee/Dundee) had nine stops and an interception.
Senior Casey Kacz (Amherst/Sweet Home) was 14 of 29 for 129 yards in his final game as a Bengal. He also had a team-best 54 rushing yards and a touchdown on 14 attempts. Mike Doherty (Tonawanda/Kenmore East) reeled in seven catches for 60 yards. Brian Greene (Syracuse/Liverpool) finished with 10 tackles, including 2.5 sacks, and Eddie Weiser (Grand Island/Grand Island) also had 10 tackles.
The Cardinals scored 17 second-quarter points to take a 17-0 lead into halftime. Naton and Sweet connected on a pair of long seam routes for scores, covering 44 and 78 yards. After Bryant Moore (Camden/CBA) forced a fumble that was recovered by Ryan Seymour (Middle Grove/Saratoga Springs) late in the half, Fisher tacked on a 35-yard field goal by Brendan Carey (Marcellus/Marcellus) with just seven seconds remaining.
After a scoreless third quarter, Fisher pushed its lead to 24-0 with an eight-play, 99-yard drive the ended with a 5-yard scoring run by Miller early in the final frame.
Buffalo State's offense finally got in gear on its final possession, assembling a 10-play drive that covered 80 yards. Kacz broke the shutout on a 3-yard quarterback keeper with just 49 seconds remaining. The Bengals failed to convert the two-point conversion attempt.
Buffalo State ended its season 5-5 overall, marking the third-consecutive season with a record of .500 or better. Fisher will close out its regular season next Saturday at home against Alfred.