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No. 14 St. John Fisher slips past Buff State football, 28-24

PITTSFORD, N.Y.— Buffalo State took a lead in the fourth quarter but could not close out the upset as No. 14-ranked St. John Fisher responded with a late touchdown to escape its homecoming with a 28-24 victory today in Empire 8 action.

St. John Fisher opened the scoring on the very first play from scrimmage with a 78-yard touchdown pass from freshman Colin Fiutko to William Coon. The Bengals answered on their first possession, assembling a 13-play, 71-yard drive that ended with a 7-yard scoring run by Stewart to even the score at 7-7. Buffalo State took its first lead with a 10-yard touchdown run by Jones early in the second quarter, capping another long Bengal drive, covering 77 yards in 12 plays. Fiutko connected with Mike Collichio for a 5-yard touchdown strike later in the quarter to even the score.  The Cardinals drove into Bengals' territory again late in the half, but Tiquan Simpkins. Syracuse/Henninger) came up with a fumble recovery for Buffalo State at his own 30-yard line with 1:41 remaining in the half. The Bengals capitalized, advancing the ball far enough for Marc Montana (E. Amherst/St. Joe's) to boot a 41-yard field goal as time expired to give Buffalo State a 17-14 lead heading into the locker room.

Buffalo State opened the second half near midfield after a strong kick return, but Hoppy was picked off for the second time of the day on a deep ball on the first play from scrimmage. After punts by each team, the Cardinals took a 21-17 lead on a 35-yard pass from Fiutko to Wyatt Stehle for the only points of the third quarter.  Montana missed a 39-yard field goal try on the ensuing possession. After a Fisher punt, Buffalo State put together another sustained scoring drive, marching 50 yards in 10 plays, culminating with Jones' second touchdown of the day on an 8-yard run to the left side of the end zone, putting the Bengals ahead 24-21. After a sack-fumble by Khalil Sommerville (Buffalo/Bennett) on the next play from scrimmage, Buffalo State was back in business with ball in Fisher territory, but could not capitalize, turning the ball over on downs. The Bengals appeared to have Fisher stopped on the ensuing possession with a sack on a third-and-13 play, but offsetting penalties gave the Cardinals another chance on which they converted.  Fisher continued the drive and scored on a 17-yard run by Chris Smith to take the 27-24 lead with 4:28 remaining. Buffalo State had two more chances with the ball, but a turnover on downs and a late interception on fourth down sealed its fate.

Buffalo State outgained Fisher, 472-368, and had 26 first downs compared to 19 by the Cardinals. The Bengals also threw three interceptions, however, and committed 10 penalties for 90 yards, while Fisher was penalized seven times for 60 yards.

Buffalo State will travel to Cortland next Saturday for a 1 p.m. kickoff.

from BuffaloStateAthletics.com via IFTTT

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