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Second half propels Buffalo State football past Morrisville, 58-31

MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – Visiting Buffalo State College capitalized on three Mustang turnovers in the fourth quarter to top host Morrisville State College football by a 58-31 New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) final Saturday afternoon in Morrisville.

Morrisville State drops to 1-8 overall (1-7 NJAC), while Buffalo State pulls even at 5-5 (5-4 NJAC) to hand Bengal Head Coach Jerry Boyes his 100th career victory.

The two teams combined for 42 points in the first quarter alone, posting a total combined 89 by the end of the contest, combining for 851 total offensive yards, including 485 by Buffalo State.

Bengals quarterback Casey Kacz finished with 218 yards in the air on 20-of-35 completions and three touchdown passes. Rich Pete and Brooks Estarfaa led the running game for Buffalo State with a combined 209 yards and four scores, including 115 and three scores to Pete.

Mike Doherty led the Bengals with five catches for 75 yards and a score, while John Beers added 66 yards on six receptions.

Pasquale Vacchio led the defensive unit with 10 total tackles and an interception returned for 25 yards. Kevin Healy added eight tackles and intercepted two, collecting 39 yards in the return efforts.

Morrisville State collected 224 yards net rushing on the ground, including 63 from running back Sam Stonerock (Hornell, NY) on eight carries. Lemar Johnson (Ossining, NY) added 53 on 14 attempts, while connecting on 7-of-15 passes for 102 yards and two scores. Johnson also threw two interceptions. Mychael Hardamon (Roosevelt, NY) completed 3-of-8 passes for 40 yards and a score, also throwing two picks.

Ricky Demers (Wappinger Falls, NY) led the receiving corp with three catches for 49 yards, including two touchdowns, while Nate McConnell (Buffalo, NY) had two catches for 46 yards and a score.

Jeremy Stewart (Moravia, NY) had eight total tackles, seven solo, as Enrique Robinson (St. Paul, MN) added six to the defensive efforts for the Mustangs.

In a wild first quarter, Buffalo State was quick to put numbers on the board, collecting the first touchdown score of the afternoon on their first offensive play of the day, just 17 seconds in, on a 50-yard scoring run by Pete. Fourteen seconds later, Morrisville State evened the score with an 84-yard kickoff return by Josh Powell (Yonkers, NY).

Just over a minute later, Pete posted his second scoring run of the afternoon, completing the three play 57 yard drive with a 29 yard run to put the Bengals ahead 14-7. The Mustangs responded on the ensuing drive, as Johnson found McConnell on fourth down for the 22 yard scoring pass play to pull even at 14.

Esterfaa regained the lead for Buffalo State at 7:06 with a 23-yard rushing score, but the Mustangs were able to pull even for the third time in the quarter, as Johnson hit Demers wide open in the endzone for the 22-yard scoring pass play.

Buffalo State posted the lone score in the second quarter, as Kacz hit Estarfaa for the seven yard score, completing the six play, 66-yard drive for the 28-21 halftime advantage.

Early in the third, Morrisville State’s David Williams (Central Islip, NY) forced a Pete fumble to prevent a Bengal score, giving the Mustangs possession on their own two yard line, but Johnson got caught in the endzone to score a safety for the defense.

On the ensuing Bengal drive, special teams forced a Morrisville State fumble in Mustang territory, which led to a 15-yard pass play from Kacz to Doherty for the 37-21 Bengal advantage.

Morrisville State responded on the next drive, as Hardamon carried the ball 44-yards to the Buffalo State nine yard line and followed with a nine yard scoring pass to Demers, cutting the lead to nine.

After four plays by the Bengal offense, Morrisville State’s defense made a huge stop on third down to force a punt, and the Mustangs took advantage with a 35-yard field goal from Juan Rios (Grahamsville, NY) to bring the contest to 37-31 at the end of the third quarter.

In the fourth, Buffalo State capitalized on three turnovers, adding 21 points in the final quarter alone, to hand the Mustangs the 58-31 defeat. A fumble by the Mustangs early in the quarter led to a 15-yard scoring pass from Kacz to Beers; before the Bengals added another touchdown on a one yard run by Pete following an interception by Hardamon.

A miscue late in the quarter resulted in a fumble by the Mustangs, and the Bengals again took advantage, as Ben Mauer carried the ball 13-yards for the score and victory.

Morrisville State concludes the 2011 season next Saturday, traveling to SUNY Brockport for a 1 p.m. kick off.

Morrisville State College sets the world in motion for students. Curriculums are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology. Lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs, the college was named to the 2010 President’s Higher Community Service Honor Roll. Visit www.morrisville.edu to experience, Morrisville in motion.