Defense dominates in shutout win over Alfred St., 27-0

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Dave DeLuca/The Record

Buffalo State defensive end Cliff Brown and the Bengals pitched a shutout against Alfred State.

Tony Callens , Associate Sports Editor

The Buffalo State offense went off last week in a win over Cortland. This week it was the defense’s turn.

The Bengals allowed just 169 yards of total offense from Alfred State in a 27-0 shutout. It was the first shutout by Buffalo State since last season’s 62-0 win against Finlandia. The team also recorded a shutout in the opener at Otterbein in a 29-0 win last season.

This game was the first-ever meeting between the two teams (It’s worth nothing the Bengals also play Alfred University). The Bengals improved to 4-2 on the season and 2-2 in Empire 8 play. The Pioneers fall to 0-7.

Bengals defense is dominant

Buffalo State allowed just 104 yards through the air and only 65 yards on the ground in a dominant performance. Junior linebacker Bart Mazzara led the team with nine tackles. He leads the Bengals this season with 58 tackles. Senior defensive back Ish Height forced a fumble and recorded his second interception of the season in the fourth quarter which led to a Tre Jones touchdown. Alfred State started its first drive at the Buffalo State 26-yard line following an interception. Height’s forced fumble came at the 2-yard line as Alfred State looked primed to score. The Bengals recovered it in the endzone, resulting in a touchback and preserving the shutout.

Tre Jones emerging

With starting running back Dale Stewart out with an injury, senior Tre Jones has been asked to carry the load in the backfield. In his first start of the year, Jones posted his first 100-yard rushing day of the season. He had 24 carries for 149 yards and a touchdown. The Bengals gained 233 yards on the ground. Jones has gained 493 yards and rushed for three touchdowns this season.

Hoppy leads the offense with efficiency

Following his career 434-yard, five touchdown day last week that earned him Empire 8 Offensive Player of the Week honors, quarterback Kyle Hoppy had an efficient day against the Pioneers. The junior completed 20 of 35 passes with 224 yards and a touchdown. He also added a touchdown with his legs in the second quarter. The lone blotch on his day were two interceptions. He has been responsible for seven touchdowns in the last two games.

Bengals dominate possession

Every scoring drive,  the Buffalo State offense took at least 10 plays with exception of the last one that began inside the red zone. Possession went Buffalo State’s way, 30:20 to Alfred State’s 20:40. The Bengals were efficient on third down, going 10 for 18 while the defense held Alfred State to 1 of 9.

Marc Montana connected on both field goal attempts and made all three of his extra-point conversions. Junior Had Bryant led all receivers with five catches for 71 yards. Following his career 11-catch, 175-yard day last week, senior receiver Madison Wesolowski hauled in five catches for 62 yards.

The Bengals will head home Saturday when they take on Empire 8 rivals Utica (5-2/3-2 Empire 8) for a noon kickoff.

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