Football falls to Utica, 36-3

Ryan Williams, Sports Reporter

The SUNY Buffalo State Football team had difficulties slowing down the Utica Pioneers all day. Because the Pioneers are in a playoff race, Saturday’s game was much more crucial for them and they played like it.

The Bengals’ defense surrendered 36 points while allowing Utica to gain almost 500 total yards in a 36-3 route Saturday afternoon.

Senior Justin Simoncelli put the first points of the game on the board with a 31-yard field goal with 3:23 left in the first quarter capping off a potent 14-play drive which Buffalo State an early 3-0 lead.

On the following possession, the Bengals’ defense stepped up in a big way stopping the Utica Pioneers on a crucial fourth down in Bengal’s territory.

Buffalo State’s solid play defensively continued into the second quarter when Logan Wilcox’s pass was picked off by Elloheim Tucker at the Bengal one-yard line with 9:04 remaining in the first half.

Unfortunately, Kevin Torrillo was sacked in his own end zone for a safety on the following possession which gave the Pioneers there first points of the game and at the 8:20 mark of the second quarter.

With 4:39 left in the second quarter the Pioneers took there first lead of the game when Wilcox found Peyton Miller on a three-yard strike on third down making the score 9-3 Utica.

After stopping the Bengals on a fourth and nine, the Pioneer offense drove down into Buffalo State territory but had to settle for a 19-yard field goal by Maki Medici giving Pioneer the 12-3 lead after two quarters.

Utica had success with the run game racking up 153 rushing yards in the first half with Malcolm Stowe picking up 148 of those yards on 16 carries.

The Pioneers scored the first points of the second half with a special teams touchdown after recovering a botched snap in the Bengals end zone with 12:03 left in the third quarter making the score 19-3 Utica.

Buffalo State’s offensive woes continued into the third quarter when Torrillo was sacked and fumbled the football away at the Utica 42-yard line.

Utica capitalized on the turnover on the following possession when Willcox found receiver Imani Vincent on a 41-yard bomb, extending the Pioneer lead to 26-3 with 6:40 left in the third quarter.

Torrillo suffered an injury during the third quarter, which opened the door for back up quarterback Thomas Dupree.

Unfortunately, things didn’t get any better for the Bengals offense as Dupree went six of ten for 46 yards and had a fumble.

Torrillo did re-enter the game in the fourth quarter. With 10:32 left in regulation, Torrillo threw his second interception of the day, ending any hopes of a late fourth quarter rally.

The beat down continued late in the fourth quarter when Wilcox threw his third touchdown of the day, connecting with Vincent on a 36-yard pass for the game’s final score.

The Bengals had trouble stopping the Pioneers both on the ground and through the air, giving up 470 yards of total offense.

The 1-8 Buffalo State Bengals will be traveling to St. John Fisher next Saturday for the final game of the season, kickoff is 1 p.m.