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Bengals lose on late gamble at Bridgewater State, 30-29


BRIDGEWATER, M.A. -- Jamar Rutledge's (Buffalo/McKinley) second touchdown of the day with 27 seconds remaining pulled visiting Buffalo State within one before the Bengals elected to go for the victory with a two-point conversion try, but Kevin Torrillo's (Amherst/Sweet Home) pass sailed out of the back of the end zone, allowing Bridgewater State to escape with a 30-29 victory in today's season-opener.
FINAL SCORE: Bridgewater State – 30, Buffalo State – 29
LOCATION:  Swenson Field – Bridgewater, Mass.
RECORDS:  Bridgewater State (1-0), Buffalo State (0-1)

  • Torrillo was 20 of 33 for 264 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions in his second collegiate start.
  • Jordan Evert (Amherst/Sweet Home) finished with five catches for 153 yards and a touchdown, and Rutledge had eight grabs for 68 yards with two scores. 
  • Paul Tonic (Albany/Colonie) struggled to find room on the ground in the early going, but finished with 95 yards on 25 carries and had a receiving touchdown.
  • Gino Bonagura (Lindenhurst/Lindenhurst) led the Bengals with 17 tackles and added an interception and a forced fumble.
  • Dupreme Robinson (Brooklyn/South Shore) added 12 tackles to go with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

  • Rolando Cercone (Buffalo/Canisius) snagged an interception on the game's opening drive to set Buffalo State up with a short field which it converted into a 3-0 lead on a 32-yard field goal by Merrick Sproule(Oakville, ON/White Oaks).
  • Bridgewater answered with a 43-yard field goal by Jacob Crear on its next possession to even the score.
  • After a fumble recovery by E.C. Weigand (W. Babylon/W. Babylon), Buffalo State quickly went 61 yards in six plays, capped by a 25-yard strike from Torrillo to Rutledge to give the Bengals a 10-3 lead.
  • Bridgewater responded on its first possession of the second quarter with a 41-yard touchdown pass from Stefano D'Emilia to Travis Bassett to even the score at 10-10.
  • Buffalo State completed the first half scoring on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Torrillo to Tonic, but a failed kick, left the score 16-10.
  • The Bengals threatened again later in the frame, but the drive ended Torrillo interception by Kyle Dance deep in Bears' territory.
  • Nick Santavicca capped a 13-play, 82-yard drive with a 9-yard scoring run in early in the second half and a blocked extra point left the score knotted at 16-16.
  • Buffalo State answered quickly with a 56-yard catch and run by Evert, however, to reclaim the lead.
  • Bridgewater had an answer again on the ensuing possession, needing just five plays, including a 30-yard touchdown catch by Jack Lavanchy to even the score once again.
  • As Buffalo State's offense began to stall, the Bears drove deep into Buffalo State territory twice in the fourth quarter, but came away empty each time.  After fumbling the ball out of the end zone from the 1, the Bears turned it over on downs at the 9 on their next trip.
  • The third time proved to be the charm, however.  Buffalo State managed just a 21-yard punt from its own 1-yard line, and the Bears capitalized ending the short drive with a 10-yard scoring run by Santavicca to take a 30-23 lead with just 2:26 remaining.
  • Buffalo State's offense came back to life in the two-minute drill, covering 49 yards in eight plays, culminating with a 2-yard strike from Torrillo to Rutledge with just 27 seconds remaining.  Playing for the win, the Bengals tried for the two-point conversion, but Torrillo missed on the crossing pattern in the back of the end zone.

  • Buffalo State suffered its first loss in a season-opener since 2011.

  • D'Emilia finished 17 of 26 for 211 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
  • Santavicca had 200 yards on 32 carries with a pair of touchdowns.
  • Lavanchy finished with 10 catches for 100 yards and a score, and Bassett caught four passes for 86 yards and a score.
Buffalo State will travel out of state in the opposite direction next Saturday to visit Adrian in Michigan for a 1 p.m. kickoff.

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