Late-game comeback falls short as Bengals fall to Alfred


Dave DeLuca/The Record

Ryan Carney hauled in a 34-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to make it a one possession game.

Tony Callens, Reporter

Homecoming is a time of excitement and pride on campuses around the country. Capping off homecoming week at schools with a football game is a time-honored tradition. The 2-0 Buffalo State Bengals took on the 2-0 Alfred University Saxons Saturday at Coyer field on beautiful, but fairly windy day to cap off this week’s homecoming celebration.

Alfred put the lights out on the Buffalo State party, grinding out a 29-21 victory.

Sophomore quarterback Tyler Johnson led the way for the Saxons going 17 for 27 passing, for 163 yards with two touchdowns passing on top of a team-leading 117 yards on the ground with a touchdown.

Alfred opened up the scoring on the first drive of the game with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Johnson to sophomore wide receiver Brenden Buisch who had four catches, 43 yards and two scores receiving on the day. A botched snap on the PAT forced a missed two point conversion as the Saxons jumped to a 6-0 lead.

The Bengals responded with a 40-yard touchdown run from sophomore quarterback Kyle Hoppy.

The game slowed down at the beginning of the second quarter with ball handling miscues from the Saxons and stagnant offense from the Bengals. Alfred turned the momentum with a pair of interceptions including a 13-yard interception return touchdown by sophomore defensive lineman Zack Bacon with 5:42 in the second quarter.

The Bengals responded with an interception by junior safety Mitch Thomas on a play where Tyler Johnson did his best Johnny Manziel impression scrambling around and avoiding numerous Bengal tacklers before getting picked by Thomas.

Alfred added a field goal right before the half to take a 16-7 lead after two quarters.

Buffalo State’s turnover woes continued when senior running back Rich Pete coughed up the ball as the Bengals were driving to start the second half.

The Saxons added insult to injury with a pair of touchdowns in consecutive drives, a 41-yard scamper from Tyler Johnson and an 11-yard connection from Johnson-to-Buisch.

The Bengals finally found a pulse as they scored on a 5-yard run by Hoppy to bring the deficit down to 15. Senior safety Sherman Nelson made a big interception to give the ball back to the Bengals. Buffalo State took advantage of the turnover as Hoppy connected with Ryan Carney, who made a great leaping grab for a 34-yard touchdown catch.

Buffalo State had opportunities to potentially tie the game but were stymied on their final two possessions as they turned the ball over on downs on both occasions.

Alfred was able to bleed the clock on the final possession after a key conversion on 4th and 6.

Three turnovers and penalties at key points in the game ultimately did the Bengals in on the day as a team that had scored 111 combined points in the first two games of the season were held to just 21.

Hoppy would finish 8-27, 138 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions passing along with six carries for 34 yards and two scores on the ground. Senior running back Rich Pete had team-leading 116 yards rushing on 22 carries.

Buffalo State fell to 2-1 on the season and will take on Salisbury next Saturday at Coyer Field.

Tony Callens can be reached by email at [email protected]