BUFFALO, N.Y.—Utica limited Buffalo State to just 58 passing yards and scored two second-half touchdowns en route to a 26-13 victory in an Empire 8 contest today at Coyer Field.
FINAL SCORE: Utica – 26, Buffalo State – 13
LOCATION: Coyer Field – Buffalo, N.Y.
RECORDS: Utica (6-2/4-2), Buffalo State (4-3/2-3)
INSIDE THE BENGAL BOX SCORE
- Kyle Hoppy (Orchard Park/Orchard Park) finished just 5 of 22 for 58 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He added 41 rushing yards on 15 attempts.
- Tre Jones (Rochester/Greece-Athena) had a strong game on the ground for Buffalo State with 135 yards on just 17 carries.
- Bart Mazzara (Lockport/Starpoint) paced the defense with a career-best 18 tackles, and Tiquan Simpkins (Syracuse/Henninger) finished with 11.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Bengals opened the scoring with a 37-yard field goal by Marc Montana (E. Amherst/St. Joe's), but Utica found the end zone twice before the end of the first quarter.
- Two plays after the Bengals' field goal, Teddy Van Galen hit Jerred Beniquez for a 63-yard touchdown. A bad snap led to a missed extra point.
- The Pioneers extended their lead to 13-3 with a 1-yard scoring plunge by Lindell Reed.
- Montana hit his second field goal of the game from 39 yards out with 5:03 remaining in the half to cut the deficit.
- After a three-and-out, the Bengals got the got the ball back and went 77 yards on 10 plays, capped by a 4-yard touchdown strike from Hoppy to tight end Nick Jones (Buffalo/W. Seneca West) to even the score at 13-13 just 20 seconds before the intermission.
- Utica drove into Bengal territory with the opening possession of the second half, but Ish Height (Brooklyn/Grand St. Campus) produced his third interception of the season at the Buffalo State 5-yard line to end the threat.
- The Pioneers forced a punt on the ensuing possession however, and this time completed the drive with a 9-yard pass from VanGalen to Beniquez to reclaim the lead for good at 20-13.
- Buffalo State's best opportunity to even the score came midway through the fourth quarter when a shanked punt into the wind gave the Bengals possession on the Pioneers' 28-yard line. Buffalo State was unable to advance past the 16 and then a fumbled snap on a field goal try resulted in a turnover on downs.
- Utica was able to put the game out of reach on the ensuing possession when Ryan Burnett broke through for a 39-yard scoring run. The Bengals blocked the extra point leaving the score 26-13 with just 1:30 remaining.
- An interception by Chance Harris on a fourth and long allowed Utica to take and knee in "victory formation" to run out the final seconds in the victory.
- Utica outgained the Bengals 373 yards to 253 for the game.
FOR THE FOES
- VanGalen finished 15 of 22 for 200 yards with two scores and a pick.
- Beniquez was the leading receiver with three catches for 74 yards and two touchdowns.
- Burnett finished with 153 yards on 32 carries and found the end zone once.
- The visiting team has won all five games in the all-time series.
Buffalo State will close out its home schedule next Saturday against Hartwick. Kickoff has been moved up to 11 a.m. to accommodate a home men's soccer playoff game that will start at 3 p.m. to ensure enough daylight.