Football throttles St. John Fisher, 30-7


Dave DeLuca/The Record

Running back Dale Stewart runs for a 37-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

Tony Callens, Staff Writer

Buffalo State forced three turnovers in the first half and only allowed only 185 yards of total offense to pull away early for a 30-7 win against the St. John Fisher Cardinals today at Coyer Field.

The win in the first home game of the season was important for a Bengals team coming off two close losses on the road.

Junior quarterback Aaron Ertel made his first ever start for Buffalo State and led the team going 21 for 35, 223 yards and three touchdowns through the air. He also added 5 carries for 18 yards on the ground.

Nine different Bengal players had a reception. Receivers Stephen Johnson and Had Bryant recorded touchdown catches for Buffalo State along with running back Tre Jones. Isiah Clarke led the team in catches with seven on the day for 50 yards.

Jones led the Bengals in rushing with 15 carries for 65 yards. His backfield mate Dale Stewart added six carries for 45 yards and a touchdown.

Linebacker Marquis Artis led the way on defense and recorded 10 tackles for Buffalo State. 

The Bengals defense set the tone early by recovering a fumble when safety will Cheshire knocked the ball out of a Cardinal receiver’s hand as he tried to stretch the ball out for a first down. 

Buffalo State took advantage of the turnover on their first possession with a 10-yard touchdown catch from Ertel to Bryant.

The next Cardinals possession led to an interception by cornerback Tiquan Simpkins who darted across the field and took the return to the St. John Fisher 8-yard line. The Bengals kicked a field goal to stretch the lead to 9-0.

Buffalo State added a touchdown on their next possession that was capped off by a 37-yard runfrom Stewart.

The teams traded off punts and then the Cardinals found themselves with the ball on the Bengals25-yard line. Cornerback Mike Bryan preserved the shutout with an interception on the 2-yard line.

The defining moment of the contest came on the next drive, as Buffalo State methodically moved the ball down the field. The drive lasted almost half of the second quarter on 12 plays and was finished off on a fourth down conversion when Ertel connected with Jones on a slant pattern that Jones took to the house. By half time the score read 23-0.

In the second half, the Bengals continued to pour it on with another touchdown pass by Ertel. His third of the day came to Johnson for 9-yrds that capped off the 13-play, 75-yard drive.

By the fourth quarter, the two teams were playing the rest of the game out with their backups in as the score was out of reachThe Cardinals were finally able to get on the board with 47 seconds left but it was too little too late for them as they dropped to 1-3 on the season.

Buffalo State (2-2) will set their sights to a noon matchup next Saturday at home against the Cortland Dragons (4-0) in a rematch from last season’s 51-48 overtime thriller.