Carney’s big day leads Buffalo State past Hartwick


Dave DeLuca/The Record

Ryan Carney had nine catches for 229 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Hartwick.

Tony Callens, Staff Writer

The Buffalo State Bengals came home for their final home game of the season against the Hartwick Hawks. On senior day, they looked to rebound from a draining loss against St. John Fisher last weekend.

With a 5-3 record, the Bengals needed to win their two remaining games to have any chance at an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament. Junior wide receiver Ryan Carney’s nine catch, 229-yard and three touchdown day led the Bengals to a decisive 35-10 victory.

Each team brought an exciting start to the game with a pair of big plays. In the first drive, Hartwick connected with a 48-yard pass from junior quarterback John Garcia to freshman receiver Carl Holmes. The Hawks found themselves deep in Bengals territory but junior safety Mitch Thomas came to the rescue for Buffalo State with an interception in the end zone.

A pair of punts later gave the Bengals the ball and they took advantage with a 7-play, 64-yard drive that resulted in a 15-yard touchdown strike from junior quarterback Dan Serignese to Carney.

Hartwick couldn’t get anything going due to a stout defensive performance in the first quarter by the Bengal defense. The Bengals led at the end of the first quarter 7-0. Buffalo State kept switching out their quarterbacks between Serignese and sophomore Kyle hoppy.

In the start of the second quarter, Buffalo State marched down the field on a drive that started from their own 10-yard-line. Two big catches by Carney pushed them all the way to Hawks 14. Hartwick’s defense bent but did not break as they forced senior running back Rich Pete to cough up the ball.

Defense continued to be the name of the game as the teams had four drives in the second quarter that ended in punts. The Bengals had one long drive that was stopped on downs at the Hartwick 16-yard line. After an uneventful second quarter the score remained at 7-0 going into halftime.

The Hawks were held to minus 25 yards rushing in the half after four sacks.

The defense trend continued in the second half starting with an interception of Hoppy by Hartwick defensive back Midnet Cantave.

The Hawks took advantage of the turnover and finally got on the board with a 30-yard field goal from junior Korey Jubie. The momentum continued to shift Hartwick’s way when they recovered an outside kick. They drove down the field on a 30-yard Garcia to Holmes connection and capped off the drive with 3-yard touchdown run on an end around play by Holmes to take their first lead of the game.

After struggling to get its offense going for most of the game, Buffalo State answered right back with a 52-yard catch and run from Hoppy to Carney for his second touchdown of the day. The scoreboard read 14-10 Buffalo state with 5:31 to play in the third quarter.

The ebb and flow of the game swung back in Buffalo States favor after the touchdown as the defense followed suit with an interception by junior cornerback Ish Height on a crazy play where the Hartwick receiver seemed have the ball and rolled over as the ball flung out of his hands right into Height’s. It was all Carney all the time as he scored his third touchdown on the day off of a 39-yard streak route from Hoppy.

Any hope for a Hartwick comeback was shattered with a Garcia fumble recovered by senior defensive back Scott Koen. The Bengals took advantage of the turnover with a 11-play, 63-yard drive that took 5:37, capped off by a 27-yard touchdown catch by Mike Doherty to stretch the lead to 18. Hoppy finished the day 11 for 18 passing for 225 yards and two touchdowns.

The Bengals added to their dominant defensive performance with another interception this time from junior Marquis Artis who returned the pick to the Hartwick 10-yard line. The Bengals coaching staff put their seniors in to finish their home careers. They gave senior running back Brandon Alexander a carry which he capitalized on with his first career touchdown in a feel good moment for the team.

The defense was rock solid as they held Hartwick to minus 9 yards rushing on the day and had five sacks. They also forced five Hawk turnovers; a much better performance than the previous week.

The Bengals now look to their final game of the regular season with a spot in the NCAA Tournament on the line as they travel to Brockport next Saturday.

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