Football outlasts Cortland 41-28 in season opener

Kacz leads the way with 344 total yards and five touchdowns


Buffalo State Sports Information

Quarterback Casey Kacz accounted for 461 yards of total offense and one touchdown in the Bengals’ victory over Brockport on Saturday.

Buffalo State football opened its season with a nail-biting 41-28 victory over Cortland today, despite a furious Red Dragons comeback attempt in the second half.

Cortland opened the game with a 67-yard touchdown run from Dylan Peebles on the first play from scrimmage.

Buffalo State answered later in the first quarter when Casey Kacz’s pass was deflected in the end zone and eventually caught by senior wide receiver Caesarae Lewis for a touchdown.

The Bengals pushed their lead to 21-7 on the legs of Kacz, who scored twice, on two identical speed option plays to the right side, to push the lead to 14 points. Cortland scored just before halftime to cut the lead to 21-14.

Kacz took over in the second half on the ground, scoring one more rushing touchdown and piling up almost 100 yards rushing in the second half alone.

But Cortland never quit. Down 35-14, the Red Dragons stormed back to make the score 35-28 in the fourth quarter on two touchdown passes from quarterback Tyler Augliano.

With less than three minutes to go in the game, Cortland had the ball inside the Bengals’ ten-yard line. On third and goal, Augliano threw a ball up for grabs in the left corner of the end zone, and senior cornerback Chris Hall intercepted the throw.

The Red Dragons were still not done, however, as they forced a Buffalo State punt on the ensuing drive and got the ball back at their own 15-yard line with five seconds to go in the game.

On the last play of the game, Cortland completed a pass and began to run a hook and ladder play. They gained about 30 yards before fumbling, and the loose ball was recovered and returned for a touchdown by Shaq Frederick as time ran out to make the final score 41-28 in favor of the Bengals.

Casey Kacz finished the game 19-29 for 226 yards and two touchdowns and one interception through the air. He also ran for 118 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. He accounted for 344 of the Bengals’ 399 yards of total offense and all five Bengals’ offensive touchdowns.

Mike Doherty lead the Bengals with five receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown. Scott Koen was the leader defensively, registering eight tackles, a sack, and two and a half tackles for a loss.

The Bengals allowed 475 yards of total offense, 400 of which came through the air. Cortland’s John Babin made six catches for 193 yards and a touchdown, and Dylan Peebles had three receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown.

The Bengals take on Brockport next Saturday in their home opener.  Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Chris Dierken can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @cdierken