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Buffalo State capitalizes on forced turnovers, hands Morrisville State 40-27 loss

HAMILTON, N.Y. – Buffalo State College forced three Mustang turnovers in the first half racing out to a 27 point halftime lead, as the Bengals claimed the 40-27 New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) victory Saturday afternoon over Morrisville State football at Andy Kerr Stadium in Hamilton, NY.

Buffalo State opened the afternoon with scoring drive on their first possession of the contest, as Willie Hordge (Buffalo, NY) capped off the nine play 58-yard drive with a 26-yard rushing score for the 6-0 lead just four minutes into the game.

On the following drive, Morrisville State moved the ball into Bengal territory, but were quickly stopped as Buffalo State forced the first of four fumbles on the afternoon to regain possession. After a quick three-and-out series, Morrisville State regained possession and moved the ball deep within Bengal territory, where again they were kept scoreless, botching the field goal attempt with yet another fumble.

In the second quarter, the Bengals exploded for three straight scores, opening the quarter with a 74-yard rushing score from Hordges and adding a second rushing score from Sammy Smith (Buffalo, NY) midway through the quarter.

With less than 30 seconds remaining in the quarter, Morrisville State regained the ball off a Bengal turnover, as Rashiem Graham (Albany, NY) intercepted Ryan Lehotsky (North Royalton, OH) on the Morrisville 40-yard line. Bengal’s linebacker Matt Pacana (North Tonawanda, NY) quickly regained possession for Buffalo State, forcing the Mustangs third turnover of the first half, as he intercepted quarterback Jamieson Crast (Mannsville, NY) and returned the ball 44-yards into the endzone for the score and 27-0 halftime lead.

In the third, Hordge carried the ball 52-yards for his third score of the afternoon with 13:38 to go, before Morrisville State was able to get on the scoreboard 20 seconds later on an 80-yard pass from Crast to Kyle Gordon (Riverhead, NY).

Sherman Nelson (Buffalo, NY) added the final Buffalo State score with 8:03 to go in the third, catching a 42-yard pass from Lehotsky to complete the five-play 53-yard drive.

With less than six minutes remaining in the quarter, Morrisville State forced a Bengal fumble and gained possession deep in Buffalo State territory, where Crast connected with Joe Shue (Fulton, NY) five plays later for the score.

Midway through the final quarter, Morrisville State forced a second Bengal fumble and senior Sean McDaniel (Rome, NY) recovered, returning the ball 40-yards for the defensive score with 7:55 to go.

Gordon capped off Morrisville State scoring for the afternoon, catching the four-yard pass from Crast with 27 seconds remaining in the contest.

Hordge led all ball carriers in the running game, rushing 12 times for 161 yards and three scores for Buffalo State as Lehotsky went 11-for-20 in the air for 162-yards and a score, four to Joseph Hlywa (Rochester, NY) for 65-yards.

Defensively, Eddie Weiser (Grand Island, NY) led the Bengals defense with seven tackles, while Jermaine Rose (Niagara Falls, NY) added five, including two for a loss of nine yards, while forcing two fumbles. Pacana had two interceptions for 44-yards.

Morrisville State’s Crast was 21-of-44 for 344 yards and three scores while Gordon recorded a career best 155-yards and two scores on seven catches. Shue tallied four catches for 102 yard and a score.

Defensively, Anthony Brown (Rochester, NY) recorded 14 tackles, six solo, for the Mustangs, including four for a loss of 19 yards while senior EJ Maeweather (Syracuse, NY) posted 12 tackles, two for a loss of 13-yards and a sack for a loss of two-yards.

Morrisville State concludes its season with a 1-9 overall record, 1-8 in NJAC action.

Buffalo State improves to 2-7 overall, 2-6 in NJAC play and will host SUNY Brockport for its season finale next Saturday.

Morrisville State seniors Maeweather, McDaniel and David Daly (Brick, NJ) were honored prior to kick-off.

Morrisville State begins active membership within the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Division III in 2009-10 and is eligible for NCAA Championship Tournament play.

Morrisville State College offers more than 75 bachelor and associate degrees and options. Considered to be one of the most technologically advanced colleges in the nation for its ThinkPad University program and wireless technology initiative, the college recently became the first in the nation to comprehensively replace landlines in residence halls with individual cellular phones. Morrisville State College was also chosen as one of the top five colleges in the nation for campus activities by Campus Activities magazine.

The Morrisville State College Norwich Campus offers associate degree programs in accounting, business, computer systems technology, office administration, liberal arts transfer, nursing, early childhood, criminal justice and human services to south central New York residents and employers. Students may also apply coursework to other associate or bachelor degrees at the main campus.